San Marino’s 8 seconds of (dubious) football fame
San Marino’s National team fame on football it’s quite known with football fans, due to their abundant amount of goals during international competition such as the World Cup for example…eer, to be precise goals scored against usually.
But there’s maybe one country in particular that better remembers them than any other.
It’s the 17th of November 1993 when San Marino vs England is taking place at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna during the USA 94’s World Cup qualifications,
England that year had lost away in Norway and Holland and drawn against Poland, left them needing seven goals and a helping hand from Poland against Netherlands to give them the remotest hope of qualifying. So a really, really tricky situation for them in order to qualify you can say. However, England manager hopes were almost realised – “In 20 years, people will recall this and say ‘Do you remember the night when we beat San Marino by seven goals and Poland beat Netherlands to put England into the World Cup Finals. We’re making history!” he said prior to the match. And – by sheer miracle – England actually managed to score those 7 goals. But something even more memorable happened that night as San Marino scored a goal as well….a very very special goal!
The world’s fastest goal
After San Marino kicked off, the ball made it through to England defender Stuart Pearce, who attempted a back-pass to the goalkeeper, which was intercepted by San Marion striker Davide Gualtieri. Without a moment hesitation he took the ball kicked it with all his force beyond the baffled English goalkeeper. And it all happened within 9 seconds of the match (precisely 8,3). That’s the way San Marino National team scored what still at present the fastest goal in FIFA qualification history and gained a place in England supporters memory.
Apparently the ones that remember and loved that goal possibly more than Sammarinese people and the striker itself, were the Scottish that came to play in San Marino in 1995, in fact Gualtieri a decade later revealed to the Evening Standard:
“I’m probably more famous in Scotland. In ’95, we played the Scots here and their fans came wearing T-shirts which said ‘Gualtieri – eight seconds’. I was in a pub in town when some of them found out who I was. They bought me drinks all night and wouldn’t let me leave.”