Massimo Taibi (born 18 February 1970 in Palermo, Italy) is an Italian football goalkeeper, who has played in several clubs, mostly in Italy's Serie A, B, and C1. He currently plays for Serie B Ascoli. He wears the number 1 for his club.
Taibi started his career for Italian side Licata
in Serie B
, and stayed there until 1989. He appeared for Licata only once, then moved to AS Trentino
in Serie C1
, where he was a first-choice goalkeeper, playing 23 matches. After one season, he moved to A.C. Milan
in Serie A
for the 1990-91 season. As in his first club, he was not used at all, and shortly moved to C1 club Como
, where he played the following season. After that he moved to Piacenza
. Taibi stayed there for six years, until the 1996-97 season, and appeared for most of the club's games. He had his best years during this period.
Piacenza thought his time was over, so they sold him to the club which had not played him, A.C. Milan. This time the club realized his true potential, and played him in half of the 1997-98 season's games as a backup to fellow teammate Sebastiano Rossi. Then Milan sold him to another Serie A club, Venezia. In his first season with Venezia, he played in nearly every game.
In 1999 English Premier League
club Manchester United
bought him for £4
.4 million. He made his debut against Liverpool, where he was at fault for Liverpool's first goal after he flapped at a free kick allowing Sami Hypia
to score. However he redeemed by making a number of good saves including a great one-on-one save from Vladimir Smicer
. Manchester United went on to win 3-2 with Taibi getting the Man of the Match award. Taibi competed with the other two Manchester United goalkeepers, Mark Bosnich
and Raimond van der Gouw
, for the first-team place, but lost out, after making a horrible gaffe against Southampton
that resulted in Matthew Le Tissier
scoring a goal. Following this incident, a British newspaper dubbed him 'The Blind Venetian', as a pun on Venetian blinds
. The mistake made him a well known name amongst English football fans, and is included in almost every football blooper compilation. He only played four matches, one of them being a 5-0 defeat at Chelsea - which is still only the third time in the last quarter-century that United have suffered such a hefty defeat.
Return to Italy
Taibi was then transferred to Reggina
, where he was played regularly at the end of the 1999-00 season
and through the 2000-01 season
On 1 April 2001, he gained much popularity by scoring a goal with a header off a corner kick
in the 87th minute of a Serie A match versus Udinese Calcio
to equalize the score 1-1. This action, in which the goalkeeper crosses the entire pitch to try to help his team score, is commonly seen when a team is desperate to score and time is running out, but very rarely succeeds. Taibi joined Michelangelo Rampulla
as the only goalkeepers to score from open play in Serie A history.
After his two-year spell at Reggina, he was shifted to Atalanta. In the summer of 2005, he went on loan to Torino F.C., serving as first-choice goalkeeper; the move became permanent in 2006, with Taibi however becoming the backup goalkeeper behind Christian Abbiati. He made his seasonal debut on 13 January, 2007. In 2007-08, he joined Ascoli, as Torino acquired the services of former SS Lazio goalkeeper Matteo Sereni.