Penalties, is that part of the game that cannot be ignored. The post looks so big, standing from 12 yards but it takes the brave to slot it into the net especially with the pressure that comes with it.
In this article thus,we examine the top penalty takers based on numerical success. Some other variables are also considered in researching style and stakes.
10. Andrea Pirlo
The Italian midfield maestro is known for his gorgeous ball distribution in the midfield that could easily be confused for modern art. The 34-year-old relies on technique rather than speed when he takes his penalties. The midfielder’s spot kick against England during the Euro 2012 will never be forgotten by the fans anytime soon.
9. Michel Platini
Platini is regarded as one of the best French footballers of all time. He could get the job done from the penalty spot by employing his advanced technique. Platini, was efficient at picking his spot and calmly finding the back of the net. He was the main architect of France’s victory in 1984 European Championship. Michel Platini was awarded the best player of that tournament and moreover, he was the top goalscorer with nine goals.
8. Michael Ballack
The German legend was solely capable of dominating the midfield of the pitch. He was a key player for Chelsea as well as Germany. When the penalty opportunities came, Ballack was the go to guy due to his defined accuracy and power with the ball. The former Germany international, who scored 42 goals in 98 appearances for his country, managed to convert his penalty for Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final against Manchester United but his team still lost due to John Terry’s slip up.
7. Steven Gerrard
The Liverpool midfielder is another Englishman who has excelled at taking spot kicks. Gerrard has an amazing penalty conversion rate of 92% and is the fourth highest penalty taker in the Premier League with 25 goals. The Liverpool skipper often employs the same part of his right foot that has made him so deadly over the years from the penalty spot. It has served him quite well in some tense moments.
6. Alexander Del Piero
Legendary striker Alessandro Del Piero, has scored for club and country on numerous occasions. Del Piero is one of the top-scorers in Italian history and leads his former club, Juventus, as the team’s most prolific goalscorer. Del Piero, scored 14 penalties in his entire career and has an incredible conversion rate of 94% , even managing to score his 250th goal with a penalty.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portugese international is known for his prowess from 12 yards and demonstrated it as his penalty easily won Real Madrid the Champions league this year. His sharp eye to the goal and precise shots hardly miss the net. It is quite apparent, that the Portuguese winger seriously deals with penalty and eventually able to dodge the keeper with his powerful kicks.
4. Frank Lampard
The midfield magician is one of the most feared penalty takers in the world and his kicks have got his club and country out of numerous sticky situations over the years. Lampard has a penalty conversion rate of 93% and has scored 53 goals from the spot in his entire career including 43 in the Premier League making him the second most prolific penalty taker in England after Alan Shearer.He finished his attempt against Manchester United in the 2008 UEFA Champions League final. The Englishman also buried a penalty in the semi-final against Liverpool, just days after his mother had passed away.
3. Zinedine Zidane
The legendary Frenchman was one of the most fearless penalty takers in football history.He can fire up in the biggest stage of any game. Zidane was the power house for France for so many years. He was indeed a threat to any great goalkeepers during his time.His performance in the 2006 World Cup final, will forever be remembered for two reasons; his infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi and his ridiculously cheeky penalty that gave France an early lead.
2. Alan Shearer
He is the all-time highest goalscorer in premier league history and was ruthless from the spot scoring 56 penalties. Shearer, was never afraid to hit hard during penalty opportunities, sometimes appearing to be attempting to rip the leather off the ball in his pursuit of a goal.
1. Matt Le Tissier
Matt Le Tissier, is best regarded as the best ever in taking penalties in the history of football.During his 16 years at English Premier League side Southampton, Le Tissier missed just one of his 49 penalty attempts, for just about 98 percent. Cool as ever, Le Tissier was nicknamed “Le God” by Southampton fans.