5 of the world's best penalty takers right now
Taking a penalty is considered as one of the easiest things to do in football. However, the facts and statistics says otherwise. Even some of the best footballers in the world like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have missed a lot of important penalties in their respective careers and their conversion rate is well below others in comparison.
Taking spot-kicks is a skill and no matter how good a goalscorer you may be in open play, it does not make you an expert here. Nowadays, teams have designated spot-kick takers and it takes practice and persistence to master the art itself.
More than that, anxiety can often become a factor and how well players manage to cope with their nerves is a good barometer of whether they'll be successful from the spot.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five of the world's best from the spot right now.
Note: All statistics taken from TransferMarkt.
#5: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
Coversion Percentage: 87.34%
The legendary striker asserted himself as one of the all-time greats during an illustrious career, which still is yet to be completed. Featuring for world-class sides such as Barcelona, Juventus, PSG and the two Milan rivals, Ibrahimovic has scored goals everywhere across Europe. Only the aforementioned Messi and Ronaldo can boast a more impressive goal-scoring record at a continuous rate.
In his professional career to date, Zlatan has stepped up to take 79 spot-kicks. From those, he has only missed on ten occasions and has the world's highest conversion rate among players who have attempted 75+ penalties.
Unlike others, he has a tendency to take a short run-up. Looking up before he begins while keeping his eye on the ball, he strikes with power and precision, making it tough for the goalkeeper to predict even if they correctly guess the direction of his effort. This is why he continues to be a goalkeeper's nightmare, especially from close-range.