In the past, football games will be decided via a coin toss or a replay if both teams unable to find any winner even after extra time. But in the 1972 European Championship between West Germany and Czechoslovakia the penalty shootout had been introduced and since then this is the ultimate decider when both team unable to broke the deadlock even after the extra time. Penalty shootout works where each player will need to take 5 penalties each and if the score is still leveled then it will be sudden death penalties. The team whom scored the most penalties will be the winner. Since 1972 , the penalty shootout had provided drama and excitement even in a boring game, player and goalkeeper technical abilities in the shootout, some player become the hero or villains, and it is one of the worst ways to lose football games and the best way to win a football game for the winner. The players who had been selected to be the penalty taker must be able to control the high adrenalin charged emotion and the nervy moment that had been associated with it.

Like the football games, penalty shootout also had provided some of the best and worst moment and today we will look at the some of the best penalty shootout that had been played.

The first is the debut of the penalty shootout between the West Germany and Czechoslovakia team in 1976 Euro final. The West Germany is one the best team at that time where they are the winner of 1972 Euro and 1974 World Cup (the first team to ever achieved this). They are on course to be the first team to win 3 consecutive major international tournaments. After trailing the Czech team 2-1, Bernd Hölzenbein had scored the equalizing goal in the last minute and the game went to extra time. Even after the extra time both are leveled and it comes to the penalty shootout. Everything went well for both teams with both had converted their first 3 penalties. In the 4th penalties, Uli Hoeness had missed the penalties and if the Czech had scored the next penalties they will be the Euro winner. Step in Antonio Panenka and scored the penalties to make the Czech as the champions. Panenka had chipped the ball in the middle of the goal to create the now famous Panenka Penalties that had been emulated by many of the players in the penalties shootout. The moment that had been replayed repeatedly and if any player had scored the penalties by lob or chipping in the middle it will be known as the Panenka penalty. For the German, this is their only lost in penalties as since this game they had won all the penalties in the Euro and World Cup.

Antonio Panenka chipping the ball in the middle to gave birth the Panenka Penalty

The next penalties are all about the goalkeeper mind games and it happens in the 1984 UEFA European Club Championship between AS Roma and Liverpool. Played in the Stadio Olimpico Rome which is the home ground for AS Roma and with Liverpool want to become the second team after Real Madrid that has the most European trophy things look against the wall for Liverpool with AS Roma had the home advantage. Liverpool had played a great defensive game to held Roma 1-1 until the extra time. In the penalty shootout Liverpool Zimbabwe goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar had to  make some classic mind game like biting the net and also the famous wobbly leg or spaghetti leg to affect the AS Roma players which he had been successful as AS Roma Bruno Conti and Francesco Graziani had missed the penalties and with Liverpool had converted all their penalties except for the first one , Liverpool had won their 4th European title and become the second team to have the most European trophy after Real Madrid and the first English team to win the most European trophies.

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Like Liverpool in 1984 where they need to play the home team, Chelsea also had the similar challenges in 2012 UEFA Champion League final. Played in the Allianz Arena in Munich Germany which the home ground for the Bayern Munich, the final had been contested between both of this team. Bayern Munich had many chances to win the games in the normal time only to denied by Chelsea defense, Peter Cech the Chelsea goalkeeper and poor finishing from them. When Thomas Muller had given Bayern the lead, the trophy looks to be won by Bayern but Didier Drogba had spoiled the party by scoring the equalizer with the powerful header from Juan Mata corner. The game went to extra time and again Bayern had a chance to win it in the extra time but Arjen Robben penalty had been saved by Peter Cech and the game went to down to penalties shootout.With the German playing in their home ground and have a superb record in the penalties shootout and when Juan Mata misses the first penalty , it look like the German will win the games but Ivica Olic had missed the 4th penalties and that makes the scores level in shootout as Chelsea had converted all their penalties after Juan Mata miss and the next penalty will be taken by Bastian Schweinsteiger for the German but he had missed it when his penalties had hit the post. Didier Drogba had sealed the decisive penalties with a composed penalties to give Chelsea their first UEFA Champion League title. Won in the German via a penalty shootout it is something that English will be proud as they had been denied by the German in the major international tournament and this is like sweet revenge for the English against the Germans.

Didier Drogba had sealed it for Chelsea in 2012 final.

The 2012 Chelsea win is reminiscent of what the German did to England in 1996 Euro Semi Final. Hosted by England they had been in the semi-final for the first time since 1968 in the Euro competition and had an excellent team. England wishes to gain some revenge for their penalties shootout defeat in 1990 World Cup semi-final against the German and wish to win the Euro in Wembley to emulate the class of 1966 that had won the World Cup in Wembley. Things started quite well when Alan Shearer had scored in 3rd minute to give England the lead but German had leveled the score with Stefan Kuntz. England had hit the post and Paul Gascoigne had missed a glorious chance to win it for England in the extra time with a golden goal rule. The games went to penalties and England had converted their first 5 penalties but so the German. Both had have converted their penalties superbly until Gareth Southgate had missed 6th sudden death penalty. German Andreas Moller had scored the decisive penalties to give England another penalty loss in the major tournament. The German penalties were perfect and high in the technical as the England goalkeeper David Seaman had no chance of saving all of them.

Andreas Moeller celebration after scoring the crucial penalty to knock out England in the semi-final of Euro 1996

In 1996 and beyond the German had been efficient in the penalty shootout but they are not so efficient in the 2016 Euro Quarter Final against Italy. In the major international tournament, the German had never beaten the Italy but things look to be changed when Met Ozil had given the German the lead in the 68th minute only to be equalized by Leonardo Bonnici in the 78th minute via a penalty. The game had been level in the extra time and it went to the penalty shootout. The German is expected to be efficient in the penalty but surprising they had missed 3 penalties in their first 5 but unfortunately the something happens to Italian as they also missed 3 penalties. The penalty shootout now went to sudden death and this time the German did not miss any of the team until Matteo Damian misses it for the Italian. The German for the first time had beaten the Italian in a major tournament and via their favorites penalty shootout although they are not efficient as the past German teams.

The penalty shootout is one the most dreaded way to lost a football and the most exciting way to win a game. The penalty shootout will always be the ultimate decider and it a test of the player character, technical ability, focus, goalkeeper mind games and much more. The player can be a hero or villain in an instant via this penalties shootout. They are more best penalty shootout in the second part of it in the next articles.



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