The Panenka penalty kick, named after its originator, the Czech forward Antonin Panenka, is a prime method for humiliating goalkeepers. The kicker shapes to go one way or the other but instead clips the ball straight down the middle, leaving the diving goalkeeper to watch on helplessly as it sails into the back of the net.
But things don’t always go to plan. And when they don’t, it is the penalty taker, rather than the goalkeeper, who ends up with his tail between his legs.
Here are 5 of the funniest Panenka fails.
#5 Fernando Tissone
It happened in a friendly and hence there were no lasting consequences. But Fernando Tissone’s penalty in a friendly between Malaga and the Argentinian side San Lorenzo in 2015, nevertheless, remains one of the most easily saved Panenka attempts in history.
If the goalkeeper can read the intentions of the taker, a simple catch often awaits him. But in this case, Tissone’s intentions were so readable that the goalkeeper didn’t even have to get his hands involved. He simply stood still and chested the ball down.
Afterwards, he turned to Tissone and offered some words that were unseen by the camera. His subsequent expression suggested they were something along the lines of: “Come on mate, did you really think I’d fall for that.”
Also read: 7 best Panenkas scored in crucial situations
#4 Alexandre Pato
Sometimes a missed Panenka can be funny simply because of how bad the attempt was. If you try a Panenka and fail to even get lift or central direction on the ball you look even sillier than those who get the right elevation only to find that the goalkeeper has maintained his position.
Alexandre Pato knows how that feels. In the penalty shootout that decided the 2013 Copa do Brasil quarter-final tie between Corinthians and Gremio, he needed to score to prevent Corinthians from getting eliminated but instead saw his trickled effort comfortably saved by Dida, his former teammate at AC Milan.
#3 Jason Cummings
Jason Cummings had the very opposite problem to Pato when he stepped up to take a first-half penalty for Hibernian in their Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United in 2016.
The young striker was in good form coming into the match and his confidence perhaps got the better of him. Instead of going low into one of the corners, he instead tried to pull off a Panenka. He got elevation... lots of elevation. The goalkeeper fell for it but the ball sailed harmlessly over the crossbar, and Cummings was left to curse to himself as he turned away in shame.
“He’s trying to be too clever,” was the verdict of the half-time analysis on BBC. And as my old man used to say, no one likes a clever clog.
#2 Milos Adamovic
Milos Adamovic’s penalty miss for Radnik Surdulica in a Serbian league defeat to Napredak Krusevac earlier this year showed that the Panenka isn’t something that just any old player should be trying to pull off.
His attempt is amusing simply because of the contrast between the confidence of his run-up and the terrible execution of the kick itself. The run-up is strong and purposeful, perfectly hiding his eventual intention, but he then goes on to shank his clipped effort well wide. It comes closer to the ball boy at the side of the goal than to the back of the net.
Unsurprisingly, Adamovic has never been capped by Serbia.
#1 Romario Balde
Romario Balde was part of the Benfica side who reached the final of the UEFA Youth League in the 2013-14 season and then scored three times as they progressed to the last eight the following year.
As a relative veteran of the competition, he seemed a reliable choice of taker when they were awarded a penalty in their quarter-final against Shakhtar Donetsk. That did not, however, prove to be the case.
So badly under-hit was Balde’s attempted Panenka that the goalkeeper Oleh Kudryk had time to get up from his initial dive and scramble back across goal to prevent the ball from crossing the line. Balde was left with a reddened face and his hands on his head.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw. Balde watched on from the bench as Shakhtar won the resulting penalty shootout to progress to the semi-finals at Benfica’s expense.