The penalty kick is one of the most tense moments in all of sports. The spotlight is solely on the taker, who seems to have an easy task ahead of himself when it comes to scoring. I mean he is just 12 yards away with only a goalie between him and glory.
The goalie never has any pressure on him during penalties, as it is understood he is never expected to make a save. On the other hand the kicker has all of the pressure on his shoulders, as he is never expected to miss.
With all of this in mind, there have been some very hilarious endings to some of the worst penalty kicks ever taken.
It was October of 2005 and Robert Pires lined up for his penalty kick in the 73rd minute of the matchup between Arsenal and Manchester City. Hoping to secure the victory by putting his team up 2-0, Pires decided to make this a memorable shot.
In a horrible and unneeded move he attempts a pass, from the penalty spot, to Henry coming up on the left. Instead Pires misses the ball and while standing near it accidentally nudges it, allowing the City defender to run up and kick the ball away, averting a goal.
Martin Palermo, or, El Loco, as he is known in Argentina, is one of Boca Juniors' greatest players ever. Famous for missing penalties, Palermo assured his name in the record books back during the 1999 Copa America in Paraguay when he missed three penalties in one single game.
In the decisive group match versus Colombia, Palermo did the impossible and managed to take three shots from the spot and not convert a single one. It may have been his blonde bangs that got in the way, I just don't know.
Botafogo and Fluminense are two of the biggest teams in Rio de Janeiro, and they have one of the most heated rivalries in the state.
During a 2006 Copa Sulamericana (like the UEFA Cup) match the two sides faced off to see who would advance to the round of 16.
After the game ended in a tie, the two teams began to take penalties to see who would win. William was the fourth taker for Botafogo, and I guess he wanted to showboat a bit.
He kicked the ball so slowly down the middle that the goalie had time to dive to his side, get up, eat a snack, take a nap, and then come back to the middle to save the penalty and secure his team's victory.
Just a few months ago Mehmet Aurelio earned his spot on this list. During a match in the Turkish League he lined up to take the kick just as with any other penalty he previously scored.
Too bad for him it didn't go as planed, and while I would normally not list a simple miss of the goal, this kick was epic. I can only compare it to when punters in the NFL manage to kick the ball backwards.
During the final of the 2009 Peace Cup, Alessandro Del Piero was the fourth kicker for Juventus against Aston Villa.
With the tally at 3-3, Del Piero stepped up in an effort to score and move his team closer to victory. Maybe he changed his mind mid-kick, but he decided to just roll the ball nice and easy on the floor right down the middle. It was the sort of "fake" kick an adult may do with a child, not against a top-flight player.
The announcer says it all.
Neymar is one of the hottest names when it comes to young players worldwide, and he is one of the very top prospects currently playing in the Brazilian domestic league.
During the match last night (July 28th, 2010) in the first leg of the 2010 Copa do Brasil at home, Neymar had the chance to put Santos up 2-0 in the second half when it was his turn to take a shot from the penalty spot.
Until Santos scored the second goal later in the game, the crowd booed him for being so cocky.
During a Serie A match in 2007 versus Lecce, Totti had a chance to tie the match with a goal from the spot.
Too bad when you make such a bad miss, you can't hide on the field in front of the 50,000 people watching you.
Pavol Ďurica is a fairly unknown player from Eastern Europe, but I promise you that from now on you will remember his for a long time to come.
Shortly after joining Hungarian side Videoton FC, Pavol was part of one of the worst own goal moments in history. It was March of 2008, and during a matchup in the Hungarian Cup, Durica's team gave up a penalty opportunity to the opponents while the game was tied and heading into the 90th minute.
Lucky for Videoton FC fans, their goalie managed to stop the strike and secure hope for at least another second or two.
As the goalie saved it, Pavol ran into the box, and in an all out effort to clear the ball from his own box he simply kicked it as hard as he could towards the stands. Clearly the ball didn't make it to the first row.
Days later, Pavol was dropped from the team for failing to show up to practice.
Peter Devine was a player for Lancaster City who was given the chance to score from the spot in the 1992 HFS Northern Premier League Division One Cup Final against Whitley Bay.
I really don't know what to say here; this is perhaps the worst attempt I have ever seen in my life.
Djalminha is a Brazilian-born player who made a big name for himself by playing for some the top clubs in the world. After playing for Flamengo, Palmeiras, and finally Club America in Mexico, he retired from the outdoor game and took up the indoor version for his latter years.
He was a member of the 2006 Brazilian Showbol squad that won the Mundialito de Showbol de 2006, and he was named MVP of the tournament. (Showbol is a variation of indoor soccer where retired players participate for the teams they once played for).
It was in one of these matches where Djalminha, playing for Flamengo, took on the side representing São Paulo. In perhaps the weirdest decision ever at the spot, he felt the need to do a 360 spin six feet from the goalie, and you know it didn't turn out well....