Antonin Panenka names best panenka-taker
What's the story?
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has been named the best panenka-taker ahead of Lionel Messi and Andrea Pirlo.
In case you didn't know...
The 'Panenka', as the football world knows it now, is a technique in which a player chips a penalty right down the middle with a subtle touch underneath the ball so that it rises and falls over the goalkeeper.
The technique was named after Czech midfielder Antonin Panenka, and is more difficult than it sounds. Only a handful of players like Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane and Andrea Pirlo have successfully pulled off a Panenka.
The term came into being when Antonin produced a chipped penalty during the finals of the UEFA Euro 1976.
The heart of the matter
The man himself Antonin Panenka has now given his verdict on which player he thinks imitates the famous technique best.
Speaking exclusively to Goal, Panenka said, "Yeah, he [Ramos] had already done that twice, right? So I guess he could be the best imitator, because he made it more than once."
"People know it about him, and he still makes it, so that is great for him."
The Czech innovator also revealed his love for Spanish football, stating that he almost played in Spain during his career. "I really enjoy watching Spanish football."
"Even if there is lack of goals, I always find some interesting things in every game in La Liga.
"And maybe you don't know, that I almost played in Spain! I think Real Murcia wanted me, but it just did not happen."
Panenka also opened up about how he came up with such a complex technique saying, "I practised it for two years before Euro 1976."
"I just figured that every keeper always jumps to one side, so it could be good to kick it in the middle."
"After every practice I competed with our goalkeeper (Zdenek) Hruska in penalties."
"He was really good, so I was losing a lot of money, chocolates, etc."
"Then I started to use my little trick, and suddenly I was winning often."
"The bad thing was, that I was getting fatter because of all the chocolates I won!"
The fact that Panenka himself has named Ramos the best is the ultimate compliment for the Los Blancos captain.
Ramos' Real Madrid is set to go head-to-head against Celta Vigo in a La Liga clash on Monday.