Best Panenka Penalty Takers of All Time
First used in 1976, a Panenka penalty is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, over the years, several football players have mastered the art of the Panenka penalty
In football, scoring from a penalty kick is an extremely tough job. In the eyes of the spectators, it seems an effortless task. However, compared to freekicks and corner shots, a penalty kick is the toughest because of the constant mounting pressure. Therefore, a penalty kick in general is not every player’s cup of tea.
On the other hand, there are some players who are not only good penalty takers but over the years, those players have also mastered the art of the Panenka penalty; a difficult style of a penalty kick. In the following paragraphs, we have listed the best Panenka penalty takers of all time.
The man who invented it
The man who invented the Panenka penalty was Antonín Panenka. It was invented by Panenka during the last match of the UEFA European Championship against West Germany’s goalkeeper, Sepp Maier. After that match, Panenka went on to score several Panenka-styled penalties and that is why the style of penalty bears his name till date.
Praise from the inventor
Who is the second-best Panenka penalty taker? While there are several names to take, the second spot belongs to Sergio Ramos because a few years ago, Panenka himself said that there is no other player as good as Ramos when it comes to scoring Panenka penalties. The former football player also said, “I love it [when Ramos does it] and I think that he has done it several times already, like in the European Championship in 2012.”
Karim Benzema, the late bloomer
Is Benzema really a late bloomer? To be honest, his recent tremendous performances are nothing new, but they have gained the limelight recently because earlier, his performances were never noticed because of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Benzema has scored numerous Panenka penalties in his career.
Andrea Pirlo, Italy’s pride
Italy’s Andrea Pirlo was a legend of the game, who dominated the midfield with his ball controlling prowess. During his prime, his gameplay controlled the tempo of the team and, to some extent, he used to set the rhythm of the match. Before retiring, Pirlo scored several Panenka penalties; the greatest one was against Joe Hart, England at Euro 2012.
Last but not the least, a few other players such as Zidane and Aguero were also known for their Panenka kicks.