Emre Can has scored the sh*ttest halfway line goal we’ve ever seen

For years, scoring from the halfway line was the footballing equivalent of reaching Everest or landing on the moon, with each near miss only highlighting the elusive nature of achieving such a feat.

Back in 1970, when families across England settled down to watch satellite images from the World Cup in Mexico, Pele’s audacious effort against Czechoslovakia became more famous than the vast majority of his career goals.

When David Beckham pinged the ball over Neil Sullivan’s head at Wimbledon in 1996, it genuinely made front-page news. People rubbed their eyes and asked themselves whether the human race had anything left to achieve.

Sadly, the halfway line goal has become somewhat old hat in recent decades. Xabi Alonso’s strike against Newcastle in 2006 was aided by Steve Harper tripping over his laces like an uncoordinated clown.

And Wayne Rooney produced his party piece on two separate occasions against West Ham – once for Manchester United and once for Everton – with the ease of a professional golfer at his local driving range. Boring.

But Emre Can has breathed new life into the genre of halfway line goal with a simply sensational effort for Borussia Dortmund against Bochum.

Forget perfect technique and audacious skill, everything was about it was simultaneously shit and perfect; after a shanked clearance from Bochum goalkeeper Manuel Reimann, Can attempted to trap the ball with his chest only to see it bounce away alarmingly easily.

Instead of attempting to get the ball back under control and recycle possession, the former Liverpool midfielder stretched a telescopic limb and prodded the ball forward with all the finesse of a horse drinking a pint.

One Bochum defender made a gloriously lame attempt at blocking the goal-bound trundle, only to give himself a grass stain for his troubles.

Reimann’s similarly doomed quest was comedy gold, stumbling forward only for gravity to claim its inevitable victory over his dignity. He nestled in the net alongside the ball.

Can’s celebration was telling, infused with the self-aware embarrassment of a sober man busting out his moves on a packed dancefloor.

But, for scoring a goal from the halfway line in the manner of a lower-league journeyman finishing a goalmouth scramble, Can has earned our eternal respect.

‘Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! Oh it’s gone in! What a goal! Emre Can has just scored a long-range smasher,” the commentator cried in a textbook example of a media professional resorting to bare-face lying to hype his product.

Dortmund were pegged back in the 64th minute when Kevin Stoger netted from the penalty spot. But the Bundesliga giants reclaimed their lead shortly after through Marco Reus.

Jude Bellingham beat the offside trap and unselfishly rolled the ball across to Reus, who had the easy task of rolling the ball into an empty net from six yards out.

Can hasn’t enjoyed the easiest of careers since leaving Liverpool in 2018; his time at Juventus was a failure and the former Germany international also won his battle against thyroid cancer.

But the midfielder is back at Dortmund and has won himself a place in the footballing pantheon with the shittest halfway-line goal you’re ever likely to see.

By Michael Lee

READ NEXT: Revisiting the 12 Dortmund academy kids given debuts by Jurgen Klopp

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Liverpool’s XI from Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge?