The 9 best penalty takers in world football
Penalties are the easiest way to score – or at least some believe so. However, it is easier said than done. If taking penalties was so easy, the conversion rate from penalties would have been much higher than what it is.
Scoring from penalties is more about nerves than anything else. A player could be an extremely great goalscorer from open-play, although, that doesn’t guarantee that he would be an equally great penalty-taker.
In fact, there are only a very few players in the world who can be dubbed as a reliable penalty-taker. And here are 9 of them:
We start off with someone who rarely misses a penalty. Mario Balotelli is known for silly off-field antics and volatile on-field nature. But his success from the penalty spot is also another thing that he is well-known for.
The Ghanaian Italian has taken 30 penalties in his career, scoring an astonishing 28 of them. With a brilliant conversion rate – although he hasn’t taken as many penalties as the other names on this list. One can only wonder what a player he could have been had he the same composure from open-play. He still makes it to the list of the 10 best penalty takers in the world.
Another Liverpool player to make this list, Rickie Lambert is someone who is known for his extremely hard-working temperament despite not being as technically proficient as a Liverpool striker should be. The Liverpool youth product was never touted to make it big with the club, but his diligence made sure that he proved his critics wrong.
There is one thing, apart from dedication, where the Englishman stands out and that is at taking penalties. While playing for Southampton, the forward never missed a single penalty and became the go-to man when the referee blew the whistle and pointed at the spot.
Lambert, in his days as a Saints player, took 34 penalties and scored all of them - making himself renowned as a hitman when it comes to taking penalties.
There is a reason why this man is called ‘Penaldo’ Even though it is a term used for derogative purposes, it properly reflects his efficiency from the spot. With a conversion rate of an amazing 89% and taking 61 penalties – scoring 54 – while at it, the Portuguese displays a surreal talent when it comes to hitting the net from 13 yards.
He might have missed some important penalties – Champions League final with Manchester United and semi-final with Real Madrid – and the last penalty he took might have ended up being saved by the goalkeeper, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is one of the best players when it comes to scoring from penalties.