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From chump to Champions League

How about this for a quiz question?. Which former Leicester City goalkeeper appeared in one of this year's Champions League matches?

Answer: Zeljko 'Spider' Kalac!

AC Milan keeper Dida was stretchered off after 67 minutes of tonight's 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich, and the 6ft 7in former City goalkeeper came on in his place.

Kalac's last appearance for City was as a substitute in the 1996 Division One play-off final against Crystal Palace at Wembley, coming on during the final minute of extra-time.

Being so big, Leicester manager Martin O'Neill thought that Kalac would be able to save penalties during the shoot-out.

But the appearance of this massive man momentarily distracted the Palace players and Steve Claridge scored his famous winning goal with the last kick of the game and the Foxes were promoted to the Premiership.

Martin O'Neill then quickly outed the error-prone goalkeeper who had been signed by Mark McGhee, made his debut against West Bromwich Albion and then had a nightmare League Cup match against Bolton before that last momentary appearance at Wembley.

He was supposedly bound for Wolves in a double transfer involving Australian, Steve Corica, but Leicester won 250,000 compensation from their Midlands rivals when the Kalac part of the deal fell through.

Nevertheless biographical details show that Kalac, an Australian International, spent into two seasons at Leicester, 1995/6 and 1996/7, regardless of his brief appearances then he went on to play for Sydney United, Roda JC (Holland), Perugia in the Italian League and now AC Milan with his remarkable 25 minute appearance in the Champions League.

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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 21 2006

Time: 11:16PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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The wembley game was actually Kalacs LAST 'appearance' for us. He made his debut the previous autumn against West Brom on tv which we won but was ridiculed in a midweek game soon after. He then made no more appearances in the first team until that wembley moment.
Report Abuse
22/02/2006 00:13:00

Thanks for that FoxinAmerica. I'm pleased to stand corrected.
Report Abuse
22/02/2006 09:43:00

Spent most of his time in the bookies with Joachim and Scott Taylor...
Report Abuse
22/02/2006 13:55:00


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