Ronaldinho and 10 Surprisingly Bad Penalties
There was a time when Ronaldinho produced nothing but magic with every single touch. On his debut for new side Queretaro on Wednesday evening, however, the former World Player of the Year somehow managed to place a penalty into row Z.
Ronaldinho's surprising lack of accuracy inspires this list of penalty-takers who really should have done better...
Neymar vs. Colombia, 2012
Ronaldinho's countryman Neymar rarely puts a foot wrong, but his penalty kick in a friendly against Colombia left a lot to be desired.
The Barcelona superstar placed his penalty somewhere in the top tier of the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, perhaps as an ode to the American football teams who usually play there.
When asked about the kick, Neymar blamed "the grass."
Robert Pires vs. Manchester City, 2005
Highbury witnessed one of the strangest Premier League penalty attempts when Manchester City visited Arsenal in 2005.
Robert Pires, fresh from scoring a penalty earlier in the match, decided to try an audacious routine that saw him pass the penalty to Thierry Henry to score. It went terribly and City were given a free kick.
Jaap Stam vs. Italy, 2000
The Netherlands' penalty shootout against Italy at the semifinal stage of Euro 2000 did not go to plan, with only one of the Dutch attempts finding the back of the net.
The worst miss was surely the attempt of Jaap Stam, who hit a shot so hard and high that it's probably still orbiting the globe 14 years later.
Pat Nevin vs. Manchester City, 1984
Pat Nevin is fondly remembered by Chelsea fans for his time at Stamford Bridge in the 1980s, but his penalty attempt during a League Cup tie with Manchester City in November 1984 does not make his personal highlight reel.
Chelsea were already 4-0 up when the Scottish winger took a cocky short run-up. His shot had an abysmal amount of power behind it.
Jason Puncheon vs. Tottenham, 2014
Crystal Palace left White Hart Lane on 11th January 2014 with a 2-0 defeat, no thanks to Jason Puncheon.
The Eagles winger had the opportunity to pull one back from the spot, but put his effort several yards wide. It was surely one of the most inaccurate penalties in Premier League history.
Puncheon almost landed himself in legal trouble when he reacted badly to criticism of his spot kick.
Sergio Ramos vs. Bayern Munich, 2012
Sergio Ramos' follies don't just involve getting red cards—the Real Madrid defender has also pulled off some spectacular penalty misses.
In Los Blancos Champions League semi-final shoot-out with Bayern Munich in 2012, Ramos helped ease the Bavarians into the final by blasting his effort shockingly high.
It was the kick that launched a thousand memes.
Jonathan Soriano vs. Rapid Vienna, 2012
There have been some bad penalties that sailed over the bar in this list, but Jonathan Soriano might win the award for vertical trajectory from the spot.
In an Austrian league match with Rapid Vienna, the RB Salzburg striker put an unbelievable amount of loft on the ball, sending it high into the stands.
Alexandre Pato vs. Gremio, 2013
Alexandre Pato was once billed as the greatest thing since sliced bread, but during a match for Corinthians last season, the only thing being sliced was his penalty attempt.
In a Copa do Brasil shoot-out against Gremio, the former Milan favourite had to score to keep Corinthians in the tie. That kind of situation might not call for a Panenka attempt, but that's exactly what he did. Quite badly.
Gary Lineker vs. Brazil, 1992
In a 1992 friendly against Brazil, Gary Lineker took a penalty that would have brought him equal with Bobby Charlton's England goalscoring tally of 49, the highest of any Three Lions player.
However, Lineker limply hit the ball to within easy saving distance and ended up retiring on 48 goals—a single strike shy of equalling the all-time record.
Francesco Totti vs. Lecce, 2004
Francesco Totti has successfully converted a few cheeky Panenka penalties in the 400-odd years he has represented Roma, but an attempt against Lecce in 2004 didn't go so well.
The goalkeeper appeared to completely read his intentions and seemed to have plenty of time to compose himself and casually catch the ball.
This wasn't Totti's finest penalty moment—but this was.