There are few moments that carry as much pressure as having every eye on the stadium on you as you step forward to take a penalty. The goal is just 12 yards away from the penalty spot, but because you’re expected to score, the pressure on the striker’s shoulders is immense. Some players have managed to deal with it expertly, with former Newcastle striker and all-time Premiership top scorer Alan Shearer one of many penalty specialists alongside Matt Le Tissier who had an incredible record from the spot for Southampton.
While the pressure is incredibly high, some players still have the confidence to show off their skills and take a somewhat cheeky penalty. Here are some of the current Manchester United squad showboating from the penalty spot:
However, a real game situation is completely different and those players that have taken a ‘cheeky’ penalty have to be applauded. We have picked out 10 of the best for your viewing enjoyment.
10: There’s no better way to start this list than with a chipped penalty. Here’s France legend Zinedine Zidane’s effort in the 2006 World Cup final made even better by the underside of the bar action:
9: Not a particularly cheeky penalty, but audacious nonetheless. Goalkeeper Kevin Pressman steps forward to take a penalty in a shoot-out and this is the incredible result:
8: The chip has become the penalty of choice for many people, including former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke. Here’s Antonin Panenka leading the way in the 1976 Euro Championships for the Czech Republic:
7: German defender Andreas Brehme was known for taking penalties with his left foot, but in the 1990 World Cup final of all places he switched to his right foot:
6: Penalty shootouts are incredibly tense situations. Uruguay’s Sebastian Abreu clearly thinks otherwise as this effort from the 2010 World Cup shows. Arguably the best chip of the lot:
5: Classy effort from former Leeds and Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell. Shame it was in training and not at Elland Road or Anfield:
4: Spanish U19 international Ezequiel Calvente made the headlines earlier this year for this audacious switch-hit penalty. They were 2-0 up at the time:
3: However, Calvente wasn’t the first to try this. Gerardo Reinsos did the same thing in an Argentina friendly in 1991 and has to be ahead of Calvente for sheer originality:
2: This isn’t in a real game situation but it still had to be included. If Totti did this in an actual Serie A match it would definitely be top of the pile:
1: The originality of this penalty has helped it top the list. What Johann Cruyff and Jesper Olsen did for Ajax isn’t easy, just ask former Arsenal pair Thierry Henry and Robert Pires!
So what do you think? Have we missed any cheeky penalties off of our list and would you have the courage to pull off one of these audacious pens?