Taking a penalty kick is one of the most daunting prospects in football. Whether in regulation time in a match or during a penalty shootout in a cup final, there always remains a fear of being the person to miss from the spot. Sometimes, goalkeepers make some jaw-dropping saves and, at other times, the penalty attempt goes horribly wrong. Unfortunate that is the risk of penalty shootouts, although you are more likely to bury your penalty kick beyond the goalkeeper, there always remains the possibility of scuffing a tamed effort which is saved or even using so much power that the ball ends up in the back of the stands. With that in mind, here are four of the worst penalty kicks in the game’s history.
Alessandro del Piero
The Italian striker was a legend for club and country but even one of the greatest strikers in football history can make a meal of something as pedestrian as scoring from the spot. During the 2009 Peace Cup match against Aston Villa, Piero’s spot kick went horribly wrong. The former striker would surely label it as the poorest penalty he took during his long and distinguished career, fortunately he made up for it with plenty of other strikes!
If executed to perfection, the panenka can be a beautiful thing to watch from afar. However, if the execution is shoddy at best, it goes in the category of one of the worst penalty kicks you can see. Back when he was at Santos, Neymar was carving out quite a reputation for himself. The gifted forward had everything in his arsenal to become a great player in Europe.
Neymar always had the confidence to execute some really outrageous tricks in the game. So in a local game in Brazil, he went for a panenka. The only problem was that he placed the shot straight down the middle of the goal into the waiting arms of the grateful opposition goalkeeper.
Thierry Henry & Robert Pires
Johan Cruyff’s penalty pass is one of the most famour penalty kicks of all time and was so iconic that Arsenal legends, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires tried to reconstruct the legendary spot kick. However, Henry may as well have taken the kick on his own, since poor communication saw the two men put on a five-second horror show that eventually led to a free kick being awarded against them. Something the pair have probably stashed away in their minds in the hopes that people will forget all about it.
The Italian legend dealt in goals during an illustrious career. But as we have come to know, being one of the top players does not save even the greatest names in football from embarrassing moments. Back in the 1994 World Cup final against Brazil, Italy put on a great show, but once it turned out that the game would be decided on penalties, it was always clear that there might be a bit of drama.
Baggio stepped up to create football history. Little did the legendary striker know beforehand that he would be on the wrong side of it. He missed his kick and the video of the shootout is still picking up views today. If you happen to see it yourself, you would understand why this is classed as the funniest penalty kick ever.
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