Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is, without a doubt, the best player in the world currently. His left foot is regarded as one the best in the history of the game, while his intelligence and precision are also second to none.
The 29-year-old Argentine playmaker has scored over 500 career goals for club and country. However, the one surprising statistic about Messi is his penalty conversion rate. Out of 92 spot kicks that he has taken so far at the senior level, he has missed an astonishingly high 20. His success rate is just 78.26%.
Also read: Top 5 Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick goals
While some these penalty misses were of little significance as Messi’s side eased past the opponents, few others went on to become the deciding factor in the result of the match. On that note, here we have listed the five biggest penalty misses by the Argentine legend.
#5 2011 Copa Del Rey vs Real Betis
Coming into this match, Barcelona were unbeaten in 28 games. They had already won the first leg of the Copa Del Rey fixture 5-0 against Segunda Divison club Real Betis at home and were expected to ease past the minnows in the second leg.
Although manager Pep Guardiola rested some of the regulars, the likes of Messi, Xavi and Pique were retained in the line-up. Surprisingly, though, Betis were 2-0 up with only seven minutes on the clock. Messi scored an excellent goal but Betis regained their two-goal advantage moments before half-time.
Early, into the second half, Barcelona were presented the opportunity to get one goal back when they were awarded a penalty for a hand-ball incident. Messi, however, skied his poor effort leaving the crowd in disbelief. Barcelona went on to lose the match 3-1.
The error from the best player in the world brought about jeers on the internet while the commentators suggested that the Argentine was human after all. Ironically, only a day before, Adidas had released a new video congratulating Messi on his 2011 Ballon d’Or award.