Football

Top five: Best penalty takers

Balotelli makes the cut (©GettyImages)
Balotelli makes the cut (©GettyImages).

If you were in the Champions League final shoot-out and could call upon any player in the world to take the final penalty kick who would you choose?

Penalty taking is considered an art form in the footballing world, with the taker needing to have skill, composure and the guts to take a shot from twelve yards.

Many of the best have missed penalties in high pressure situations, so, if the situation were to arise, who would you choose to take your penalties?

Here are the top five penalty takers in the world.

1. Rickie Lambert

The Southampton forward is absolutely deadly from the penalty spot, having scored 32 goals straight from twelve yards out.

One of those was a last gasp opening day goal against West Brom that saw Southampton beat them in an epic match.

With his consistent record, he would have to be up there on any elite penalty taking list.

2. Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend oozes confidence whenever he steps up to the spot. With a powerful strike that tends to nestle the ball into the corner of the net - Chelsea has trusted Lamps for many years to take their penalties.

One such penalty situation came in the 2008 Champions League final, when Lampard buried away a penalty to give Chelsea the lead in the shoot-out.

How could you not pick this man to take your penalty?

3. David Luiz

Although one might not normally choose a defender to take their penalties, David Luiz is actually a fantastic penalty taker.

He has a long run up to the ball which allows him to put the full force of his leg into the kick.

That run up has led to many penalty goals, including one in the Champions League final where Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

That was probably his most important penalty to date, although he has made more.

The crazy haired Brazilian would certainly be an option on any penalty taking list.

4. Cesc Fabregas

The Spanish international, while not normally the man to step up, has quite a penalty taking record.

In Euro 2008, he scored the game winning penalty against Italy, and in Euro 2012 he scored the penalty in the semi-finals to knock out Portugal and advance Spain to the final.

So while not normally a penalty taker,Fabregas has proved that he has the guts to step up when the team needs him the most.

As well as the ability to justify the faith put into him to take those kind of penalties.

5. Mario Balotelli

Why always him?

It seems like whenever there is penalty to be taken, Mario Balotelli is the one to step up.

Only recently was his 100% professional record broken, but he still has a marvellous ability to put these shots away.

His perfect placement is difficult for any goalkeeper to stop, and even when they guess correctly, it is usually so perfectly placed that they have no chance to get to the ball.

Would you trust Mario Balotelli to score for you in the most important penalty ever?

I would.

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Topics:
Football
David Luiz
Rickie Lambert
Mario Balotelli
Francesc Fabregas

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