Emre Can names James Milner as best penalty taker he's played with

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When it comes to penalties, there aren't many better at them than the Germans. For years now, the reigning World Cup holders have made converting spot kicks something of an art form.

So, when one of them - in this case Liverpool's Emre Can - names the best penalty taker he's ever played with, you have to think he knows what he is talking about. And you'd expect him to choose a fellow countryman.

Somewhat surprisingly, however, the seven-cap international has spurned any of his Germany teammates or former teammates at Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen to select an Englishman at Anfield.

Having played alongside Steven Gerrard for a season on Merseyside before the Liverpool legend moved to LA Galaxy in 2015, you might think Can would have been wowed by the former England captain's ability to convert from the spot under pressure. He did score 47 penalties for the club after all.

However, it isn't Gerrard that Can has picked out, either. Ahead of Stevie G, Miroslav Klose, Philip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and co. it is midfielder-turned-left-back James Milner who gets the nod.

"I’m young but I haven’t seen in any of my teams so far such a good penalty taker," the German said of his versatile teammate, via the Mirror.

"In training, every ball is in the net. He’s a very, very good penalty taker."

That's some praise when you consider the company Can has kept as teammates in his career to date.


But, looking at Milner's impressive record from the spot in recent times, he might just have a point.

The 30-year-old has already converted four penalties so far this season and, per The Mirror, is currently on a run of 15 made spot kicks in a row since last missing one way back in November 2009 when playing for Aston Villa.

Much like Milner's career in general, that remarkable stat has slipped under the radar somewhat in recent years.

Now, though, with the former Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester City midfielder having taken on the role of Liverpool's first-choice penalty taker, he is starting to be appreciated when it comes to one of the most nerve-wracking things you can be asked to do as a professional footballer.

It isn't just Milner's efficiency from 12 yards out that has earned praise from his Liverpool teammate, either. Can has also been impressed by the way the now retired England international has effortlessly slotted into an unfamiliar role at full-back.

"It has surprised a lot of people because it’s not easy to play at left-back from midfield," he said.

"But Millie did it very well and I think he has scored more goals than last year in this time."

Steven Gerrard
Germany Football
Premier League
James Milner
UEFA Champions League
Daniel Sturridge

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