Ronaldo & Messi: Who has been the most prolific penalty taker in the 21st century?

Cristiano Ronaldo has taken 126 penalties in the 21st century

The art of taking a penalty is one that even the biggest superstars on the planet struggle to master entirely.

No player in the 21st century has missed more times from the spot than Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.

Have a guess who's missed the second most? You got it, Cristiano Ronaldo. 

As such, when analysing the most prolific penalty takers of since the turn of the millennium, neither of the two best players in the world come close to making the top 20.

That's how hard taking a penalty in a professional setting can be, but there are those who appear to have cracked the code when it comes to scoring from the spot.

Ronaldo & Messi

Thanks to an amazing Reddit thread by kazcmot, we can reveal the conversion rates for every player to have taken 30 or more penalties since the year 2000 - enjoy!

*Penalties scored in shoot-outs do not count*

69. Jermain Defoe | 70%

Penalties scored - 21

Penalties missed - 9

68. Carlos Tevez | 70.6%

Penalties scored - 24

Penalties missed - 10

67. Andrea Pirlo | 71.1%

Penalties scored - 27

Penalties missed - 11

66. Luca Toni | 71.9%

Penalties scored - 23

Penalties missed - 9

65. Frederic Kanoute | 73.5%

Penalties scored - 25

Penalties missed - 9

64. Antonio Di Natale | 74.5%

Penalties scored - 41

Penalties missed - 14

63. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | 75%

Penalties scored - 27

Penalties missed - 9

=61. Carlos Bacca | 76.3%

Penalties scored - 29

Penalties missed - 9

=61. Radamel Falaco | 76.3%

Penalties scored - 45

Penalties missed - 14

Falcao in action

60. Klass-Jan Huntelaar | 76.7%

Penalties scored - 33

Penalties missed - 10

=58. Artem Dzyuba | 77.1%

Penalties scored - 27

Penalties missed - 8

=58. Raul Tamudo | 77.1%

Penalties scored - 27

Penalties missed - 8

57. Aritz Aduriz | 77.3%

Penalties scored - 34

Penalties missed - 10

56. Milan Baros | 77.4%

Penalties scored - 24

Penalties missed - 7

55. Dani Parejo | 77.5%

Penalties scored - 31

Penalties missed - 9

=52. Gylfi Sigurdsson | 77.8%

Penalties scored - 28

Penalties missed - 8

=52. Fernando Torres | 77.8%

Penalties scored - 28

Penalties missed - 8

=52. Lionel Messi | 77.8%

Penalties scored - 91

Penalties missed - 26

51. Sergio Aguero | 78%

Penalties scored - 46

Penalties missed - 13

Aguero in action

50. Andrea Belotti | 78.8%

Penalties scored - 26

Penalties missed - 7

49. Thomas Muller | 79.4%

Penalties scored - 27

Penalties missed - 7

48. Adrian Mutu | 79.5%

Penalties scored - 31

Penalties missed - 8

47. Neymar | 79.7%

Penalties scored - 51

Penalties missed - 13

=40. Dries Mertens | 80%

Penalties scored - 24

Penalties missed - 6

=40. Diego Forlan | 80%

Penalties scored - 24

Penalties missed - 6

=40. Vagner Love | 80%

Penalties scored - 36

Penalties missed - 9

=40. Wayne Rooney | 80%

Penalties scored - 48

Penalties missed - 12

=40. Thierry Henry | 80%

Penalties scored - 28

Penalties missed - 7

=40. Samuel Eto'o | 80%

Penalties scored - 48

Penalties missed - 12

Eto'o in action

=40. Ronaldinho | 80%

Penalties scored - 68

Penalties missed - 17

39. Burak Yilmaz | 80.4%

Penalties scored - 37

Penalties missed - 9

38. Edinson Cavani | 80.9%

Penalties scored - 55

Penalties missed - 13

=36. Mauro Icardi | 81.3%

Penalties scored - 26

Penalties missed - 6

=36. Ruud van Nistelrooy | 81.3%

Penalties scored - 52

Penalties missed - 12

=33. Dirk Kuyt | 81.6%

Penalties scored - 40

Penalties missed - 9

=33. Didier Drogba | 81.6%

Penalties scored - 31

Penalties missed - 7

=33. Luis Suarez | 81.6%

Penalties scored - 40

Penalties missed - 9

32. Domenico Berardi | 81.8%

Penalties scored - 27

Penalties missed - 6

31. Francesco Totti | 81.9%

Penalties scored - 86

Penalties missed - 19

Totti in action

30. Alessandro Del Piero | 83.7%

Penalties scored - 77

Penalties missed - 15

29. Alexandre Lacazette | 83.9%

Penalties scored - 26

Penalties missed - 5

28. Cristiano Ronaldo | 84%

Penalties scored - 126

Penalties missed - 24

=26. Harry Kane | 84.1%

Penalties scored - 37

Penalties missed - 7

=26. Alvaro Negredo | 84.1%

Penalties scored - 37

Penalties missed - 7

25. Ciro Immobile | 84.2%

Penalties scored - 48

Penalties missed - 9

24. David Villa | 84.3%

Penalties scored - 70

Penalties missed - 13

=21. Robin van Persie | 84.8%

Penalties scored - 39

Penalties missed - 7

=21. Sejad Salihovic | 84.8%

Penalties scored - 39

Penalties missed - 7

=21. Kaka | 84.8%

Penalties scored - 39

Penalties missed - 7

Kaka in action

20. Steven Gerrard | 85.2%

Penalties scored - 46

Penalties missed - 8

19. Robbie Keane | 85.5%

Penalties scored - 53

Penalties missed - 9

=16. James Milner | 85.7%

Penalties scored - 30

Penalties missed - 5

=16. Diego Milito | 85.7%

Penalties scored - 48

Penalties missed - 8

=16. Frank Lampard | 85.7%

Penalties scored - 60

Penalties missed - 10

=14. Cristiano Lucarelli | 86%

Penalties scored - 49

Penalties missed - 8

=14. Fabio Quagliarella | 86%

Penalties scored - 37

Penalties missed - 6

13. Luis Figo | 86.4%

Penalties scored - 38

Penalties missed - 6

=11. Andrej Kramaric | 86.5%

Penalties scored - 32

Penalties missed - 5

=11. Arturo Vidal | 86.5%

Penalties scored - 32

Penalties missed - 5

Vidal in action

10. Mikel Arteta | 86.7%

Penalties scored - 26

Penalties missed - 4

9. Andriy Shevchenko | 87.2%

Penalties scored - 41

Penalties missed - 6

=7. Giuseppe Rossi | 87.5%

Penalties scored - 35

Penalties missed - 5

=7. Eden Hazard | 87.5%

Penalties scored - 49

Penalties missed - 7

6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | 88%

Penalties scored - 81

Penalties missed - 11

5. Mario Balotelli | 88.4%

Penalties scored - 38

Penalties missed - 5

4. Ronaldo Nazario | 90%

Penalties scored - 45

Penalties missed - 5

3. Rivaldo | 90.2%

Penalties scored - 37

Penalties missed - 4

2. Mark Noble | 90.5%

Penalties scored - 38

Penalties missed - 4

1. Robert Lewandowski | 91.1%

Penalties scored - 51

Penalties missed - 5

Lewandowski in action

Lewandowski's record from the spot is ridiculously good, especially given the amount of penalties he has taken during his illustrious career.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is unlucky to miss out, but the goal scoring centre-back has only taken 29 penalties throughout the course of his career.

He has scored 26 of his 29 efforts and that conversion rate of 89.7% would have put him fifth on the list.

Unlucky, Sergio.

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