It is often said that only the brave fail penalties. And surely it is so, to think about the large number of important players who have missed from eleven meters. Footballers with impressive trajectories, who at some point have had a blur from the fateful point. Nerves, pressure and doubts that make shooting a penalty an odyssey at times.
Even one of the greatest in history, Diego Armando Maradona, was the victim of pressure to score from the maximum penalty. It happened in a penalty shootout at the World Cup in Italy 90. With 0-0 on the scoreboard at the end of the match, Argentina and Yugoslavia were playing the pass to the semifinals in the penalty shootout. Maradona sent the leather to the center and the goalkeeper stopped. However, how it seems that luck is with the gods, Argentina and Maradona recovered from the stumble and thanks to the performance of the parapenaltis Goicoechea they got into the top four.
More curious would be the game of the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Mexico 86. No one, but up to three great stars failed from the eleven meters. The Zico nonsense began, that during the match he missed a penalty. As well, and already in the penalty shootout, Socrates, to which the French goalkeeper Bats guessed the intentions and Platini, that sent the leather over the crossbar, failed. Between so much error, would be France, who finally managed to access the semifinals against the disappointment of Canarinha.
But if missing a penalty in the World Cup quarterfinals can be dramatic, not to mention doing it in a final of a World Championship. That was what first happened to Roberto Baggio in the World Cup final 94 against Brazil. The Italian playmaker “gave the World Cup to Brazil by sending the ball to the clouds,. It was the first time, that a World Cup was decided on penalties.
The first, because the second would also be tragic for another star footballer, David Trezeguet. The French Ram, with France and Italy deciding the World Cup 2006 crashed the ball into the post to the delight of a “blue” what was done with his fourth World Cup.
Not only in the World Cups have there been incredible failures. The Eurocopa also leaves us incredible mistakes, like that penalty shootout between Portugal and England in 2004, where Frank Lampard, Steve Gerrard or Jimmy Carragher threw the illusions of the English overboard when they stumbled upon the great Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo. Whims of life, David Beckham would contribute two years later to the English curse with the eleven meters by also failing against the same team and the same round, but this time in the World Cup Germany 2006.
Raul Gonzalez, the 7 from Spain, also has his own black legend with penalties. It was in the Euro 2000 from Holland and Belgium, when I was still wearing the 10 in her back. Raúl had the opportunity to send Spain to the semifinals but with 2-1 against France, failed miserably against Fabian Barthez and threw the ball into the Belgian sky.
Martin Palermo, with three missed penalties in the same Copa América game 99 tops the height of bad performances from the maximum penalty in a fateful night for Argentina that would fall 3-0 against Colombia.
At the level of club football, penalties have also played tricks on players like John Terry who was knocked out of the wrong final by giving Chelsea a Champions League final in the Moscow final against Manchester United in 2008. Equally unlucky was Pelegrino for Valencia in the final of the year 2000 against Bayern, o Shevchenko in the final of 2005 against Liverpool.
Up to two great players, as Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could not take their teams to the final, after failing in the semifinals of the Champions League 2012 against Chelsea and Bayern respectively. The Argentine sending a penalty to the wood during the match; the Portuguese when the keeper Neuer stopped his intentions in a penalty shootout where neither Kaká nor Sergio Ramos were also lucky.
But for bad luck, that of Barcelona in the final of the European Cup of 1986 against Steaua Bucharest. No Blaugrana player could be able to score a single penalty in a round that Steaua took with a scant 2-0.