Molina made his debut with the selection… Left end!

Molina made his debut with the selection… Left end!
Molina debuted with the Spanish team as a left winger (Photo:

Football offers us endless anecdotes and curious things throughout its history. Today we will remember one of them that happened to Molina, one of the best goalkeepers that Spanish football has given that, curiously, debuted in the Spanish selection acting left winger instead of under the sticks.

It happened 25 April 1996. Spain I was playing a friendly against Norway in Oslo preparatory to the Euro 1996 that was around the corner. The game was running normally in its second half when Juanma Lopez suffered an injury. The team had made 4 changes (as it was a friendly, they had agreed 6), but nevertheless, there were no outfield players left on the bench. The only one available was the substitute goalkeeper, Jose Francisco Molina.

Javier Clemente, Spanish coach at that time, I do not doubt it. Before I play with 10 players what was left of the match, would give entrance to Molina. At first, the doorman didn't believe it, but soon he did not hesitate to dress short and accept the challenge. As a curious fact to say that the Spanish goalkeeper had to put on the shirt with the dorsal number 18 and change it for the number 13 with a little tape. All very spanish.


The improvised leftmost Not only was he not out of tune with his left winger position, but he was about to score a goal that would have meant victory for his team. Definitely, an unforgettable anecdote that was echoed by the main sports newspapers the next day.

Molina Diary Brand
Marca newspaper dedicated the cover to Molina's curious debut with Spain (Photo: Brand)

The Valencian goalkeeper, who stood out for his good footwork and for acting quite forward, practically as I release, finally disputed 9 matches as a senior international, but what is clear is that he will never forget his debut because of how special it was.

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