The 2006 FIFA World Cup was a great tournament and one that had featured many different moments throughout the competition.

However, it is arguable that one moment stood out more than any other and that involved the host nation; Germany.

The Germans ultimately went out in the semi-final stage, eventually being crowned third, however it was their match in the quarter-finals with Argentina that certainly left a lasting impression, especially on those awaiting the live score at the time.

After the game went to a penalty shoot-out, Jens Lehmann had the audacity to reveal a piece of paper being hidden in his sock that would go on to be described as the ‘cheat sheet’.

The Arsenal goalkeeper at the time had revealed that the paper had a list of where the Argentine penalty takers would be looking to hit their efforts and it worked!

Lehmann – despite admitting it was hard to read the note because it was written in pencil and had been damp with sweat – managed to ‘guess’ the direction that each attempt went.

He managed to save Esteban Cambiasso’s low effort after keeping out Roberto Ayala poor effort earlier on, thus helping the Germans progress to the next round.

Here’s what those notes looked like:

  • Riquelme left high
  • Crespo long run/right, short run/left
  • Heinze left low
  • Ayala long wait, long run right
  • Messi left
  • Aimar long wait left
  • Rodriguez left

Months after the ‘clean sheet’ incident, someone paid a huge $1.3 million for the piece of paper after Lehmann decided to auction it off for charity.

“I didn’t realise the importance of the note at the time but after the match I saw it lying on the locker room floor next to my socks and thought I should hold on to it,” he told German television, moments after it was sold.

Honestly, why don’t goalkeepers do that more regularly? Admittedly it might be against the ‘sportsman’ element of the game, but it is not like they study each player who might take a penalty in depth prior to the match ahead of the game.

One tip, though, get the piece of paper at the end of the game from one of the coaching staff or perhaps leave it under the towel/water bottle that every shot-stopper has behind their goal.

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