Worst Panenka ever? Peter Crouch for England vs Jamaica in 2006

Peter Crouch‘s record for England is seriously impressive.

The gangly forward, who represented the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City at club level, was capped 42 times by the Three Lions over the course of five years.

And in that time, Crouch scored an eye-catching 22 goals, which means he averaged better than a strike every two appearances.

As any football fan will know, that’s not easy to achieve on the international stage.

Three of Crouch’s goals in an England shirt came in a match against Jamaica in 2006, when he first broke into the ‘Golden Generation’ squad.

In a warm-up for that year’s World Cup, Crouch bagged a hat-trick at a packed Old Trafford.

He was dangerously close to missing out on a famous treble, though.

Peter Crouch lines up before England game
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 03: (L to R) The England Striker partnership of Michael Owen and Peter Crouch line up prior to the International Friendly between England and Jamaica at Old Trafford on June 3, 2006 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Crouch missed a penalty vs Jamaica

With England 5-0 up and two goals to his name, Crouch was given the responsibility of taking a penalty in front of the Stretford End.

Now, most people would opt to smash the ball as hard they could in the same situation, but Crouch decided against doing that.

Instead, he tried to perform a ‘Panenka’ from the spot and to say it went disastrously wrong would be a bit of an understatement.

The goalkeeper wasn’t even called into action, because the ball was hit way too hard and went sailing over the crossbar into the fans stationed behind the goal.

Video: Crouch’s attempt at a ‘Panenka’ vs Jamaica

Wow! Penalty misses don’t come much worse than that…

Fortunately for Crouch, he scored his hat-trick goal around seven minutes later with a very tidy right-footed finish into the bottom corner.

Check out the match highlights from England’s 6-0 win over Jamaica:

What has Crouch said about his failed ‘Panenka’?

After Sergio Aguero was the victim of a failed ‘Panenka’ during a Manchester City versus Chelsea game in 2021, Crouch spoke spoke about his disastrous attempt 15 years prior.

The striker-turned-pundit wrote in the Daily Mail: “The first thing I’d say, in defence of Sergio Aguero, is that eight times out of 10 he scores that penalty. He hasn’t missed on purpose and, believe me, the criticism he has faced will not hurt as much as the embarrassment he feels.

“I wanted the ground to swallow me up when I fluffed my lines against Jamaica at Old Trafford in June 2006. I was flying in that game. I’d scored two, I’d brought out ‘The Robot’ to celebrate and was loving life. I fancied completing my hat-trick with the Panenka. Instead, I put it into the Stretford End.

“Though I went on to get my third goal, the only thing anyone said in the dressing room later was about my penalty.

Peter Crouch takes a penalty for England
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 03: Peter Crouch of England takes a penalty and misses during the International Friendly between England and Jamaica at Old Trafford on June 3, 2006 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

“I got hammered by the lads. I was also pulled to one side by Steve McClaren. ‘Calm down,’ he told me. ‘You’re representing England’.

“Looking back, you know what? I would have regretted it for the rest of my life if I hadn’t completed my hat-trick.

“How many chances do you get to score three for England? If I’d mucked mine up because of a botched Panenka, I’d never have lived it down.”

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