Jason Puncheon and the 10 Worst Penalties Ever Taken
It's been a fairly bad weekend for Jason Puncheon.
The Crystal Palace midfielder became the first Premier League player to miss a penalty this season, confidently planting his effort at White Hart Lane high and wide of the mark.
To make matters worse, he may now face legal action from former manager Neil Warnock, whom he libelled on Twitter in response to criticism of the penalty.
Puncheon may be reacting badly to his miss, but he is by no means the first man to embarrass himself from the penalty spot. Here are 10 other fine examples...
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) vs. Bayern Munich, 2012
Puncheon isn't the first player to endanger international space stations with his penalty kicks.
In Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final second leg shoot-out with Bayern Munich in April 2012, Sergio Ramos planted his attempt straight into Row Z, denying Los Blancos a shot at "La Decima," their 10th European Cup.
At the 2013 Confederations Cup, Ramos' penalty spot yips continued.
Neymar (Brazil) vs. Colombia, 2012
Also joining Ramos and Puncheon with the kind of kick that looks like an American Football field goal attempt is Neymar.
The precocious Brazilian took a pen during the Selecao's friendly with Colombia in the USA in November 2012. Expressing all the humility you may expect, the Barcelona star blamed the grass when his shot was sent hurtling into the stands.
Neymar also managed to make a pig's ear of a chipped penalty attempt while at Santos.
Pato (Corinthians) vs. Gremio, 2013
Gremio faced Corinthians in the quarter-finals of the 2013 Copa do Brasil and striker Pato needed to score in the shoot0ut to keep Corinthians in the game.
As you can see, the former Milan star opted for some kind of Panenka chip but ended up gently passing the ball to the goalkeeper. Cue mad Gremio celebrations.
Robert Pires (Arsenal) vs. Manchester City, 2005
A classic entry in the annals of embarrassing penalties took place during Manchester City's Premier League visit to Arsenal in 2005.
Bobby Pires had already scored a penalty—the Gunners' 500th goal at Highbury, no less—when he was awarded another and decided to get cocky. His pass to fellow Frenchman Thierry Henry ended with red faces and a free-kick to the opposition.
Pat Nevin (Chelsea) vs. Manchester City, 1984
Poor old Pat Nevin.
The Scottish winger enjoyed a 19-year career with the likes of Everton, Tranmere and Chelsea but will forever be remembered for his awful spot kick against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in November 1984.
The Blues were leading 4-0 in this League Cup tie when Nevin took a fashionable-at-the-time one-step run-up. The result? A shot so weak it barely made the 12-yard distance.
William (Botafogo) vs. Fluminense, 2006
Brazilian striker William—not to be confused with Brazilian winger Willian or Black Eyed Pea Will.i.am—was one kick away from victory in a 2006 Copa Sudamericana game between his Botafogo side and Fluminense.
Unfortunately, that kick was ridiculously soft, giving the goalkeeper enough time to read a book and take a nap before it arrived in his hands.
Amir Sayoud (Al Ahly) vs. Kima Aswan, 2011
The rules of the game suggest that stopping during a penalty run-up constitutes unsportsmanlike conduct and the referee can order the player to re-take his shot.
Al Ahly midfielder Amir Sayoud went one step further with his underhand technique in a 2011 Egyptian Cup game against Kima Aswan by actually taking a false swing at the ball.
In a pleasing stroke of karma, things didn't quite work out.
Mehmet Aurelio (Real Betis) vs. Gimnastic, 2010
During his two-season spate at Real Betis, Turkish-Brazilian midfielder Mehmet Aurelio stepped up to the spot in a league match against relegation-threatened Gimnastic de Tarragona.
He must have felt some kind of sympathy for the plight of the opposition as he stumbled and spliced his shot into the stands.
He was sold to Besiktas shortly afterwards.
Will Smith (Hollywood) vs. Edwin Van Der Saar, 2013
Will Smith is pretty good at battling CGI aliens, extolling the virtues of Miami and irritating Uncle Phil (RIP), but penalties are not his strong suit.
In a shootout at the Champions League Champions Festival in London last summer, Big Willie hammed up his run-up, then proceeded to scuff the ball in the direction of the corner flag.
Smith beats Diana Ross to the terrible-non-match-penalty-from-a-celebrity award due to his sheer bravado.
Peter Devine (Lancaster) vs. Whitley Bay, 1991
Any normal penalty taken in the 1991 HFS Northern Premier League Division One Cup Final would have been long forgotten, but Peter Devine's effort for Lancaster City was no normal penalty.
The hapless winger appears to stumble on his run-up, managing to move the ball only a few yards. This clip ended up on every Danny Baker and Nick Hancock bloopers VHS in the '90s and it will forever live on online.