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Watch: Relive The Magic Of Shay Given's World Class Save From A Zidane Free-Kick

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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The year was 2005 and Zinedine Zidane had recently come out of international retirement to try and guide France to the 2006 World Cup.

Ireland were badly in need of a result when the French arrived at Lansdowne Road on September 7th, with the likes of Henry, Makelele and Boumsong in their side. Switzerland and Israel were picking up results around us, and most Irish fans knew that defeat could be fatal for the boys in green, who faced a trip to Cyprus before welcoming the Swiss back to Dublin for the final game of the qualifiers.

Tensions were high, and they ran even higher when one of the finest footballers ever to grace a football pitch lined up a free-kick from a position that he couldn't have picked to be any more perfect for his sublime right foot.


Zidane took aim, curled an absolute beauty towards the top corner, and even started the first few steps of his celebration run before Shay clawed the ball out of the top corner:

That save isn't talked about too much anymore, mainly because France went on to win the game 1-0 thanks to a wonderful, and very legitimate French goal via Thierry Henry, but it was a piece of goalkeeping from the Donegal man who showed great quickness across his line to get into a position where he could palm to ball to safety.

Ireland went on to win in Nicosia before playing out a disastrous 0-0 draw at home to Switzerland which saw us finish in 4th place behind Israel, and of course the Swiss, and ensure that we wouldn't qualify for the first World Cup after our unforgettable time in Japan/Korea.


Sad times in general, but what a save from Shay.

SEE ALSO: RETRO FOOTBALL CLIP: Have It! Mick McCarthy Nearly Scores Against England From The Halfway Line

SEE ALSO: RETRO FOOTBALL CLIP: The Three Minutes Which Summed Up The Entire Charlton Era


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