Sergio Ramos took a page out of the Andrea Pirlo penalty book and officially turned the Panenka into a trendy thing this summer. Although the arrogant chip has its uses and formidable factor due to the guts it shows and the way it humiliates the keeper, there are better penalties out there.
Maybe it’s via acrobatics or some other way of trickery, sometimes even illegal moves that go unnoticed. Whatever it may be, there have been quite a few creative penalty takers over the years, and here are some of the best of them.
Joonas Jokinen, The Somersault Penalty
After years of training to be Batman’s new squire, aka Robin, Joonas Jokinen also perfected the art of circus shots in front of helpless goalkeepers. The 17 year old Finnish player, part of the Finaldn U-17 player, has since been targeted by several foreign clubs, eventually signing for Wycombe Wanderers.
Diab Awana, The Backheel Penalty
The rising football star of the United Arab Emirates met a tragic end, just a few months after his 21st birthday, involved in a deadly car accident. Awana rose to a bit of international fame a few months earlier, on July 2011, as the UAE beat Lebanon 6-2 in the match. He was actually taken off by his coach he didn’t like his creativity.
Ezequiel Clavente, the Switch Kick Penalty
The 21 year old winger has yet to top what he did for the U-19 Spanish team during the 2010 UEFA European Football Championship, scoring a penalty against Italy by switching the kicking foot a split second before he took it, completely confusing and angering the Italian keeper, described by a British paper as an altogether higher plane of spot-kick audacity.
Henri Coppens, The Pass Penalty
The man who probably invented the pass penalty was Henri Rik Coppens of Belgium, trying out the rare sight in a match against England. He is often considered the most talented player in the history of Belgium, but was too fond of tricks, dribbling and other antics during his years with Beerschot, never winning a single title for the club.
The Sneak Penalty Kick, Hisato Sato
This one is actually an illegal goal, but was allowed due to the referee not knowing the rule book properly. In a match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Shimizu S-Pulse, Sanfrecce used one player as a decoy before Sato stepped up to take the penalty and score. The rule book clearly states that the kicker must be identified by the keeper and the referee before the spot kick.