Missed penalties never have been a pleasant memory but how many ever do come back to haunt the fans and players back ?
Here's my pick for the top 5 haunting penalty misses which the footballing world could never forget!
On world football’s biggest and grandest stage, and the first World Cup ever to be decided on penalties, no better man than Roberto Baggio could have been selected to take the final penalty—as he had dazzled the world with his scintillating performance in the tournament. It was a dream end to the World Cup, and Baggio’s performance, but the dream turned into the most haunting nightmare as he fired the shot over the bar!
On club football’s biggest and grandest stage, the European Champions League final, with Chelsea in front thanks to Ronaldo’s missed penalty, Chelsea skipper John Terry had the opportunity to lead his team to its first European title. It would have been a fitting tribute to the charismatic and resilient Blues leader, but he lost his footing and shot agonizingly wide off the right hand post. Manchester United capitalized and went on to win the trophy for a third time but since then, this has been a traumatizing memory for Terry.
The golden boy of English football, David Beckham was losing his sheen. In Euro 2004, after having missed two penalties in consecutive matches—against Turkey (he fell over) and against France (Fabien Barthez made the save)—he had a shot at redemption in the third match, the quarterfinals, against Portugal.
He was the chosen one to take the first of the penalties in the shoot-out and redeem himself in the eyes of his fans, but destiny wasn’t kind to him as his shot fired high and wide over the bar as England tumbled out of the Euros.
How much worse could it get in a single match? Ask Martin Palermo! Poor guy missed three penalties in a single game against Colombia as Argentina crashed out of the Copa America, Latin America’s premier national tournament. One penalty miss...bad...two misses...worse...three misses...haunting experience really! No more comments!
In the group stage encounter of Euro 2008, Romania and Italy were tied at 1-1 when Pannucci fouled Niculae late into the game. Adrian Mutu stepped up to the challenge as a win would not only have taken Romania into the quarterfinals but also have knocked Italy out of the tournament. But Buffon was up to the task and dived left to stop Mutu’s shot with a combination of his hands and legs.
The game ended as a draw but Romania lost to the Netherlands and were knocked out as Italy made it to the quarterfinals. Mutu even offered an apology to his nation for the debacle, though his teammates and coach were very supportive of him.
These were my top 5 picks and I would to clarify my decision to include Mutu in this list for the fact that he offered an apology to the entire nation of Romania, which shows how much the missed penalty has affected his psyche and he is actually haunted by that disaster!
But these were my views and now it's up to the readers to offer their opinion!