People who don’t like football must be wondering how it’s possible for a professional footballer to miss a penalty.
The odds are, after all, heavily stacked in the taker’s favour.
If they hit the spot-kick with enough power or precision, they will score.
However, this doesn’t take into account the dreaded ‘P’ word – pressure.
Taking a penalty in front of thousands of football fans – many of who are jeering you and praying that you miss – against a professional goalkeeper isn’t easy.
And this is the reason why penalties are missed fairly regularly – even by the world’s best players.
Spanish newspaper Marca have published the all-time penalty stats of 10 of the world’s current best players to see who handles pressure the best when it comes to taking spot-kicks.
From the worst to the best, let’s begin…
10. Antoine Griezmann
Record: 17 scored, 8 missed
Success rate: 68 per cent
Antoine Griezmann can forget about taking Barcelona’s penalties with that record.
9. Lionel Messi
Record: 89 scored, 26 missed
Success rate: 77 per cent
Penalty taking is probably the weakest aspect of Lionel Messi’s game. In fact, considering he doesn’t have any other weaknesses, you can ignore the word ‘probably’.
8. Sergio Aguero
Record: 46 scored, 13 missed
Success rate: 78 per cent
Messi’s international teammate and close friend Sergio Aguero is also not the most reliable when it comes to taking penalties, which may come as a surprise.
Record: 51 scored, 13 missed
Success rate: 80 per cent
Neymar has missed one in every five of his penalties throughout his career so far.
6. Mohamed Salah
Record: 13 scored, 3 missed
Success rate: 81 per cent
Mohamed Salah doesn’t always take penalties for Liverpool – James Milner also takes them – but the Egyptian’s record for club and country isn’t bad.
5. Luis Suarez
Record: 40 scored, 9 missed
Success rate: 82 per cent
Luis Suarez is one of the best forwards of his generation, so it’s no surprise to see that he’s only missed nine of his 49 penalties.
4. Harry Kane
Record: 37 scored, 7 missed
Success rate: 84 per cent
There aren’t many more reliable penalty takers than Harry Kane.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Record: 121 scored, 22 missed
Success rate: 85 per cent
One hundred and twenty-one penalties scored – phenomenal. Yes, he’s missed 22, but that’s still an outstanding record that Cristiano Ronaldo boasts.
2. Karim Benzema
Record: 15 scored, 2 missed
Success rate: 88 per cent
Karim Benzema hasn’t had many chances to take penalties during his career, but he tends to score whenever the opportunity arises.
1. Eden Hazard
Record: 49 scored, 7 missed
Success rate: 88 per cent
But in first place, by virtue of the fact he has taken and scored more penalties than Benzema, we have Eden Hazard.
When it comes to spot-kicks, Hazard is currently world football’s main man.
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