REMEMBER New Year’s Eve 1999? If you believed what you read in the papers the world was on the brink of a catastrophic computer hitch that would cause technology to fail us and turn the planet into a scene from Mad Max.
Obviously, it didn’t. The planet coped with the date ticking over from 1999 to 2000, but not before Argentine goalkeeper Carlos Roa had retreated to a mountain villa to sit out the end of the world.
Roa was most famous for tending the Argentina goal in the 1998 World Cup and was the ‘keeper that a young Michael Owen scored the wonder goal that announced his name on the world stage past. Back in Argentina though, he is more fondly remembered for saving David Batty’s decisive penalty in the shootout that ended that classic encounter.
After the ’98 World Cup Roa had another storming season at Real Mallorca and was rumoured to be on his way to the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal. This wasn’t to be as he would take a year off to undergo charitable and religious work as a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
When he returned to Spain he refused to discuss a new contract as he had one eye on the pending apocalypse. Maybe his old mate Michael Owen should try that avenue next time Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear try to get him to sign on at Newcastle.
As the millennium approached Roa retired from the game, gave away all his possessions and retreated to a mountain villa, where he would ‘prepare for the end of the world, in a place where He will provide everything we need.’
Roa sheepishly returned to Spain once the world didn’t end and found himself on the fringes of the Mallorca team, so moved to Albacete Balompie. Tragedy then struck the Argentine as he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After spending more than a year fighting the disease he received the all clear and joined Argentinean side Olimpo de Bahia Blanca before retiring in 2006.
See Roa in action below and see how the year was ending for Roa’s nemesis Owen here. Whether you’re off to prepare for the end of the world or out on the lash tonight, have a good night and a happy New Year.