Stijn Schaars could well be the owner of the greatest penalty ever scored.
The retired Dutch midfielder might not be one of the most glamorous names in European football, but there’s no denying that he enjoyed a professional career that anybody would be proud of.
Rising through the youth ranks at Vitesse Arnhem, Schaars got his big break in the first-team during the 2002/03 season and eventually earned himself a move to AZ Alkmaar two years later.
Schaars’ professional career
There, Schaars won the Eredivisie title under the stewardship of Louis van Gaal, eventually ending his spell at the club in 2011 as club captain with 171 appearances and 12 goals to his name.
Schaars would later go on to play for Sporting CP, PSV Eindhoven and SC Heerenveen before hanging up his boots in 2019, but hold fire, let’s rewind back to 2011 for a second.
Not only did it prove to be a pivotal year in Schaars’ career as he swapped the Eredivisie for Liga Portugal, but it was also the year where he went viral for his penalty to end all penalties.
And it came during one of his 24 caps for the Netherlands across which he appeared in Bert van Marwijk’s 2010 World Cup squad that came a Arjen Robben one-on-one away from conquering the globe.
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Schaars’ ‘Best Penalty Ever’
However, on this particular occasion, the task at hand was winning the Copa Confraternidad title against Uruguay in what was essentially an international friendly in all but name.
The match finished 1-1 after 90 minutes with Luis Suarez breaking the deadlock with just eight minutes to play, only for Dirk Kuyt to take the game all the way to penalties with an injury-time equaliser.
In the end, it was Uruguay who emerged victorious by winning the ensuing shootout 4-3 in which Robin van Persie and Eljero Elia fluffed their lines, but Mr. Schaars himself most certainly didn’t.
That’s because the Oranje midfielder scored a spot-kick so spectacular that it literally got wedged in the top corner and YouTube footage heralding it as the ‘Best Penalty Ever’ has amassed no less than 4.2 million views.
Trust us, it really is that special, so be sure to check out the moment that Schaars took penalties to a whole ‘nother level for yourself down below:
There could have been 17 Fernando Musleras stood on the goal line and they still wouldn’t have gotten within the same post code of Schaars’ extraordinary strike. Take a bow, son.
One of the greatest penalties ever
The crazy thing is that Schaars doesn’t appear to have been that regular of a penalty taker with Transfermarkt only documenting a single spot-kick taken during a game – and that just happened to be a miss!
However, truth be told, it wouldn’t have mattered if Schaars shovelled every other penalty that he took into Row Z, because he’ll be getting free drinks for the rest of his life based on that Uruguay effort alone.
You could queue up 1,000 professional footballers and give them 24 hours to repeat the feat and you can bet your bottom dollar that not one of them would be able to pull it off.