Five of the worst: Penalty misses

Published 16 Comments

Football News

Brazilian star Neymar is heralded as the best player in the world outside of immovable duo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but failed to live up to his billing with a calamitous penalty miss on Wednesday.

Neymar fired high and horribly over the crossbar when presented with the opportunity to score the winner in Brazil's meeting with Colombia, while a gleeful fan caught the ball a few dozen rows back into the stand.

Players like Matthew Le Tissier and Julian Dicks forged reputations for being formidable from the spot, but others - with Neymar now included in that bracket - will forever be reminded of their embarrassing penalty failures.

But Neymar can take comfort from the fact that he is in rather illustrious company when it comes to peppering Row Z with a strike from 12 yards, with some of the game's most prominent players having failed inexplicably from the spot.

To make Neymar feel slightly more chipper, GMF highlights some of the most memorable penalty misses of recent times…

David Beckham

ENGLAND v Portugal

David Beckham was England's penalty taker of choice for a number of years during the tenure of Sven Goran Eriksson, but will be remembered more for his failures than his successes.

The former Manchester United star's conversion against Argentina in 2002 was one of his most iconic moments for England, but later misses against Turkey, France and Portugal have damaged his credentials as a spot-kick pro.

Beckham's miss versus Portugal in Euro 2004 was probably his worst as England crashed out of a major tournament on penalties once again. Yes, the spot itself was dodgy, but it was a dreadful attempt from Beckham.


Wayne Rooney


Wayne Rooney has missed nine out of 25 penalties since arriving at Manchester United in 2004, and Sir Alex Ferguson recently threatened to remove the striker from spot-kick duty.

Rooney's latest flop came in the 2-1 defeat of Arsenal earlier in November, and the sight of the 27-year-old looking dejected in the box is becoming an all too familiar sight.

Perhaps his most embarrassing miss was in last season's win over Chelsea in the Premier League when, not only did Rooney slip as he stepped up to take the kick, but played the ball onto his standing foot - sending it harmlessly out for a goal kick.


John Terry

Manchester United v CHELSEA

John Terry: England's (former) Lionheart, Chelsea's Captain Fantastic. You'd never catch him crying in public, right? Wrong.

Things all got a bit much for Terry when Chelsea failed to beat Manchester United in the final of the 2008 Champions League, as the Red Devils triumphed by virtue of a shootout.

Terry had the opportunity to win the match for Chelsea with the fifth spot-kick, but saw his strike come off the post as he slipped onto his backside. The Chelsea skipper then broke down in tears after Nicolas Anelka also missed and United claimed glory.

John Terry Penalty Miss Champions League Final... by kokoretsi


Robert Pires and Thierry Henry

ARSENAL v Manchester City

Robert Pires had already scored a penalty for Arsenal against Manchester City in this Highbury encounter when he was tasked with converting from the spot once again.

Call it arrogance, or call it confidence, but Pires and teammate Thierry Henry had hatched a plan to deceive the City defence with the second pen, but things went horribly wrong for the Gunners pair.

The idea was for Pires to lay the ball off for Henry to tap home from close range, rather than take a shot at goal himself, but the former got in a tangle and the ball travelled mere inches before he touched it again to concede a free-kick.

Robert Pires - Thierry_Henry Cocking Up A... by footballove


Andrea Pirlo

Barcelona v AC MILAN

Ah, the Panenka penalty. When it pays off you are hailed as a genius, but when it backfires you could hardly appear more foolish.

Andrea Pirlo, one of the game's finest Panenka exponents, has had to take the rough with the smooth during his career, with successes like his cheeky penalty against England in Euro 2012 preceded by previous calamities.

One of the more embarrassing moments for Pirlo came during a pre-season friendly during his AC Milan days, when the Italian chipped straight into the arms of Barcelona's Jose Pinto at the Camp Nou.


Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

European News
Premier League

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again