Penalty kicks: A Duty For The Valiant And Not For The Faint Hearted

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Many players have suffered criticism simply because they’ve scored a handful of goals from the spot. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two individuals that have amassed over 60 goals from the 12 yards spot in their respective enviable careers.

Any football personnel: player or coach, shooting the “penalty- arrow” is one that has not benefitted from it at that moment.

Jose Mourinho recently took a swipe at Bruno Fernandes for his manchester United penalty record, joking that the midfielder ” had about 20 to score” in the second half of the season. Mourinho wouldn’t have said that about Harry Kane or Heung- Min Son.

Real Madrid were heavily criticized by opponents for grinding out crucial wins in their last 10 games of the season, when the goals came from the spot.

If taking a penalty was an easy task; why have teams seen titles slipped away simply because a player failed to convert from the spot, or win titles because another player finished past the goalkeeper?.

If taking a penalty was an easy task; why does missing one represents a moment that goes on to haunt the player for a long.. long time?.

In the 2006 world cup, a renowned striker in David Trezeguet’s crashed his effort against the bar and out, with Italy putting away all five spot kicks. This proved costly as it denied France a second consecutive world cup success.

In the 2012 Champions League final, Didier Drogba‘s header forced extra time, but Dutch Talisman, Arjen Robben missed a penalty afterwards. Chelsea ended up Champions after a 4-3 penalty shoot-out.

In the 2005 epic Champions League final, Andriy Shevchenko who was probably the best striker in the world at that time produced a tame effort from the spot to hand Liverpool the Champions League in what was one of the most memorable finals in recent history.

In the 1994 world cup final, Roberto Maggio of Italy handed Brazil the world cup when he missed the target completely with his penalty kick. The “divine Ponytail” had been Italy’s best player, but he turned from hero to villain at the most critical stage of the competition.

Trezeguet, Robben, Shevchenko and Maggio were spectacular players in their days but still managed to miss from the spot in what proved to be fatal as their respective teams gave away big titles.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos amongst others, have also missed title winning penalties.

But today, a player is blindly criticized for being effective from the spot. People easily forgets that taking penalties is a massive duty and only the best and bravest are entrusted with this task.

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Teams have started to utilize the “play for Set piece tactics” more often. In a situation where a team has run out of ideas, they quickly look to supply their best dribblers or the players with blistering pace in order to draw a foul.

In football, a goal is a goal, a win is a win. A team with decisive penalty takers is a lucky team.

Irrespective of mixed opinions about goals scored from the spot: Taking penalties will always remain a duty for the valiant and not for the faint hearted.

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