Tuesday, 6 May 2014
Czechoslovakia 1976 - No.8 Panenka.
Penalty shootouts are normally associated with nerves and jitters, for both the taker and the keeper. Antonin Panenka’s penalty in the final of Euro 1976 was all the more so, Uli Hoeness had just missed the previous penalty for the reigning champions West Germany – the title would be Czechoslovakia’s if he scored.
Hence all the pressure was on Panenka as he stepped up to take what could be the most important kick in his nation’s history. He took a long run-up, then did the unthinkable – slowed down and chipped the ball into the centre of the net as the keeper, Sepp Maier dived to his left. It was the first time something so audacious had been attempted and this style of penalty became known as "the Panenka."
After the match Panenka revealed "I chose the penalty because I realised it was the easiest and simplest recipe for scoring a goal. It is a simple recipe."
Now many illustrious players like Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo, Sergio Ramos and more have successfully executed this enigmatic skill, but the invention will always immortalise Antonin Panenka.
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