Czechoslovakia’s fairy-tale run and triumph paved way to one of the most iconic images of an international football tournament and gave birth to an infamous penalty-kick, the Panenka Penalty, which was named after a gifted midfielder playing for Czechoslovakia, Antonín Panenka. Here are some of the best Panenka Penalties in the Euros:
EURO 1976 (Antonín Panenka vs West Germany): the Czechs started the tournament as underdogs with Netherlands and West Germany as top favourites to win. During that time, only four countries are qualified in the final tournament, with the tournament consisting of the semi-finals, a third place play-off, and the final. This was also the last tournament in which the hosts had to qualify for the final stage.
During the penalties, the first seven tries converted into a goal until Uli Hoeness halted West Germany’s fourth attempt. The Czechs fate was in the hands of Antonin Panenka. This was the first time that a penalty was taken but eventually it became famous. Panenka stepped up to take the decisive spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out and chip the ball down the middle of the goal.The rest is history.
EURO 2012 (Andrea Pirlo vs England): the Euro 2012 quarterfinal between Italy and England was not considered as a classic match, but the highlight of that battle was given to Italy’s midfielder, Andre Pirlo. The scoreboard remained unchanged at 0-0, and the game would go to penalties.Following a missed from Rooney England has three chances left.
With three penalties left apiece, it was England’s match to lose. Pirlo steps forward. The referee blew his whistle and Andrea Pirlo began his run-up until just few seconds later, a stunned Joe Hart scrambled to find his feet next to the left post as Pirlo jogged back to the circle, and the ball slowly out of the middle of the net – a perfect Panenka. England was out.
EURO 2012 (Sergio Ramos vs Portugal): In the semifinalsagainst Portugal, Ramos’ goal put Spain up 3-2 in the shootout, which they went on to win 4-2. Ramos has established himself as the Panenka king, and it all started in this match against Portugal. During the semifinals match, both sides finished 0-0 after extra-time with neither side doing enough to win.
The first two attempts from both sides didn’t go through the goal. Following another missed from Portugal’s Alves, Spain’s Sergio Ramos casually steps up to hit yet another perfect Panenka that put him in the list of best Panenka in the Euro history. The match was left to Fabregas to send Spain into the final and he did not disappoint.