Have you ever wondered what happens when Footballers have to use the toilet in a match? When the call of nature beckons, there’s simply no other choice but to respond. However, imagine being a professional footballer in the midst of a game when nature calls. What action do you take? Let’s explore how certain players have tackled the challenge of responding to nature’s call amid a football match.
When Footballers have to use the toilet in a match
Here’s a glimpse into 6 footballers who encountered the need to use the restroom during a game.
1. Sergio Ramos
This was back in 2018 when Ramos was still captain of Real Madrid. Nature’s call came in the thick of the second half of a league game against Eibar. The game was still 1-1, and in the 73rd minute, Ramos ran to the ref, whispered something to him, and jogged off the pitch immediately.
But he was back on the pitch in the 78th minute, just in time to witness Cristiano Ronaldo clinch the winner for Madrid. In the post-match interview, Madrid’s manager at the time, Zinedine Zidane, was asked about his captain’s brief timeout; he just started laughing, after which he simply replied “he went for a shit”.
Ramos himself went on Twitter to post a picture of him celebrating the winner with Ronaldo with the caption “Nature calls…out and back in”.
Hopefully, he didn’t forget to wash his hands while he was hurrying to get back on the pitch. Of course, he washed his hands. Come on! He’s not Savage. But if you’re bothered about Ramos washing his hands, then you’re probably not ready for this next one.
2. Gary Lineker
It was the World Cup in Italy back in 1990, and Gary Lineker was not feeling too well going into England’s opening game. But he decided he was going to soldier on and play anyway. He didn’t tell the manager about his health because he didn’t want to be dropped. He wanted to represent his country that badly. But that soon turned out to be a not very good idea.
20 minutes into the game, he started cramping. But he managed to make it to halftime and he thought he was going to be all right from then on. But about 10 or 15 minutes into the second half, the cramping started again, and this time, he knew he was in trouble. He stretched to try to block a ball and then fell to the ground. He wanted to use that opportunity to relax a bit, but nature called right there in the middle of the pitch.
His teammate, Gary Stevens, went to him and asked him what was wrong and Gary told him he had just shit himself. He was dragging himself across the pitch trying to wipe himself on the pitch. He also wiped his hands on the grass and tried to continue playing, but the stench was so bad that he had to be taken off.
Now, to make matters worse for him, the tunnel was not beside the dugout like you see in most stadiums these days. So, he had to remain on the bench until the game was over. And of course, no one wanted to sit beside him.
This happened over 3 decades ago now, but the internet just cannot stop reminding Gary Lineker of his stinker against the Republic of Ireland at the World Cup. And they don’t care that Gary scored 4 goals in that tournament and helped England get to the semi-finals. That’s how much a shit can leave a stain on you.
3. Eric Dier
In 2020, Eric Dier jogged off the pitch in the second half of an EFL Cup game against Chelsea. And considering Spurs were a goal down at that point, his manager at the time, Jose Mourinho, wasn’t having it. He followed him down the tunnel to try to get him back on the pitch. But there’s nothing anyone can do when nature calls. Even if you’re the Special One.
Anyway, Dier was out and back in in a moment to help his side win the game on penalties after Lamela equalized in the 83rd minute. Dier was named Man of the Match after the game, but he made sure he handed the award to the real man of the match – the toilet.
And by the way, Gary Lineker seized that opportunity to poke fun at himself before anybody tried to do it for him.
“Players just don’t shit on the pitch anymore. What’s wrong with them?”
he jokingly said in a tweet.
4. Jens Lehmann
Outfield players appear to have the luxury of being able to run out of the pitch to relieve themselves and then run back in without disturbing the game. But as a goalkeeper, you just can’t do that. It’s either you’re subbed off or the entire game will be halted for you, and we have never seen the latter being done before.
Anyway, when former Arsenal goalie, Jens Lehmann was faced with this difficult situation, he handled it rather expertly. At least, that was what his club’s director of sports said.
The German shot stopper who was playing for Stuttgart at the time, quickly jumped over the advertising board behind the goal and appeared to be urinating while the game was going on.
His timing seemed to be perfect, though, because the moment he jumped back onto the pitch, he was facing an attacking move from the opponents. Perhaps that’s why his club director said he handled it perfectly.
The club’s management, however, told him that he was only lucky to have escaped a booking for what he did.
Well, the question remains: what else could he have done? What would you have done if you were Lehmann?
5. Ronaldo Nazario
In his prime, Ronaldo was the greatest player on the planet and the deadliest striker the world had ever seen. The lad could do whatever with the ball and nobody could stop him.
And he proved that yet again in an Olympic football game between Brazil and Hungary. The Europeans had just grabbed an equalizer, and while they were celebrating, Ronaldo just grabbed the ball, sat in the middle of the pitch, and started taking a leak, using the football as cover.
When we say he could do whatever he wanted with the ball and nobody could stop him, it includes that, too.
The cameras caught him and he was then asked about it in the post-match conference, and the 3-time FIFA World Player of the Year didn’t even deny anything. But what were you going to do about it? He is Ronaldo!
6. Robbie Savage
This happened back in 2002. Savage was playing for Leicester City and their Premier League game against Aston Villa was just about to start when he had to quickly go number 2. So, this one happened just before kick-off and not during a game like the rest of the entries, but it was just so iconic that we couldn’t leave it out.
He was suffering from diarrhea as a result of the antibiotics he was taking for an injury on his leg, so he had to go badly. The nearest toilet was the one assigned to the ref, but he didn’t care. He went in anyway.
We hear that, when he was done, he left the door open and didn’t flush. So, Graham Poll, the center referee for that game, reported Savage to the FA and they slapped a 10,000-pound-fine on the former Leicester man.
Honestly, for not flushing, Robbie Savage surely deserved that fine. But after revealing in his 2010 autobiography that he also didn’t wash his hands after that visit to the toilet, he surely deserves to be slapped with another fine.
Have you found yourself needing to use the restroom during a crucial or time-sensitive situation, such as during an exam or a job interview? How did you handle it? Share your story with us in the comments. As you know, this is a safe space so you can feel free to share.