When we talk about the 'legends' there's a debate about best games, greatest goals etc. Most professionals are simply hard working and honest and then along comes one game that whenever their name is mentioned it springs to the mind and defines their career.
Ronnie Rosenthal won three championships and a number of caps and yet for Spurs fans he will be remembered for one special game and one special hat trick.
Next in our series of player profiles is Ronnie Rosenthal who on this day in 1995 wrote himself into Tottenham folklore. In the season that we had started by been banned from the FA Cup and only reinstated at the last moment we met Southampton in the Fifth round. The first game at the Lane finished 1-1, Klinsmann getting our goal (1). In the replay at Southampton’s old Dell ground they were the better team and had a 0-2 lead at the break. Gerry Francis needed to make changes and took off defender Stuart Nethercott and put on an extra striker. Enter Rocket Ronnie as he was known. His first goal started with a Sheringham back heel to Barmby who fired low across the box and Ronnie meet it at the near post. Then within two minutes, picking up a ball wide right, he came back inside two defenders and let loose from 25 yards into top left corner. Suddenly in a few minutes it was 2-2. Extra time arrived. Ronnie picked the ball up on the left and headed for the box and another 25 yard sizzler this time into the top right corner which the keeper didn’t seem to see.
What was even more surprising few of us believed he had it in him, especially as he did not score again that season. Ronnie was always capable of producing the touch of magic, it was just he did not seem to do it often enough. Having said that he did win League Championships in three countries, Israel, Belgium and England.
He started his career in his native Israel with Maccabi Haifa. Before playing in Belgium with FC Burge and then Standard Liege. Next to Liverpool where he got a hat trick on his debut. His most famous moment however would come at Villa Park in 1992. He rounded the goalie and from about eight yards managed to hit the bar.
Ronnies miss - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiVq5-u7MH0
After three years he moved to Tottenham where he hit 11 goals in 101 games. As well as earning 19 of his caps along with 4 goals. This included the1996 strike V Azerbaijan that was voted the ‘Goal of the Millennium’ in Israel. He picked the ball on the edge of his own box and started up field, and just keep going. If you have 26 seconds to spare watch the sort of goal that you dream you will score one day.
Goal of the Millennium - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMpQLjquJ2k
He moved on to Watford and was a member of the side that won the Second Division before retiring and now works as a football consultant. He still lives in the area and his son is at the Watford academy.
Notes 1- There's an action shot from this game in last weeks Talking Tottenham
Top Image - BBC, Thanks to - Liverpool FC history, THOS, The Guardian,
About the author:
Keith Harrison, Nilgiris, TN
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