Anton Ferdinand has bizarrely blamed his decisive penalty shootout miss against Liverpool in the 2006 FA Cup final on a Nokia ringtone.
Christened ‘The Gerrard Final’ courtesy of Steven Gerrard’ s stunning individual performance, the Reds captain netted a brace, including last-minute pile-driver, as Rafa Benitez ‘s side twice came from behind to draw 3-3 and force extra-time.
With the game decided on penalties, Bobby Zamora and Paul Konchesky had already failed to convert their efforts when Pepe Reina saved from Ferdinand to win the cup for Liverpool.
And the 36-year-old has revealed how he was distracted when taking his spot-kick, blaming his miss on the defender hearing an old Nokia ringtone over the 71,140 Millennium Stadium crowd.
“Pepe Reina saved my penalty which meant Liverpool had won the shootout, and I honestly can’t remember anything from the immediate aftermath of my penalty,” he told Ladbrokes, cited by the Daily Star. “I don’t know who came over to me first, I just wanted the ground to swallow me up to be honest. It was a surreal moment. It’s just a blur.
“The only thing I remember about stepping up to take the penalty is that for 120 minutes we’d had about 90,000 fans directing noise towards the pitch, but when I stepped up and put the ball down, there was pure silence.
“I remember hearing the old Nokia ringtone. I could just hear that. I swear I just heard that ringtone, because the whole place was silent. It threw me completely.
“I’d lost all my trail of thought because before that I was fully focused. That’s what did me, it’s my main memory of the day.
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“I was confident while I was walking to the spot – I call it a great save from Pepe Reina – but I felt calm and confident.
“Before the shootout we were in the huddle and the gaffer was asking who wanted to take the penalties.
“We’d sorted out the first four takers but no one stepped up for the fifth, so I put my hand up, took it upon myself and said I’d take it, and that was it. It just wasn’t meant to be.”