Friday, June 29, 2012


Andrea Pirlo and Sergio Ramos have reignited Europe’s love for a Panenka penalty. This is not a strange name as the term first came into existence in the the fourth edition of the European championships

The technique is named after Antonin Panenka, who secured the 1976 European Championship for Czechoslovakia with this technique.

An attacking midfielder known for the quality of his passing and his free kicks, Panenka played for Bohemians Prague for most of his career, joining the club as a youth in 1959. 

In 1981 Panenka left Bohemians for Austrian club Rapid Vienna, where he won two Bundesliga titles and an Austrian Cup. In 1985 Rapid reached the Cup Winners' Cup final; Panenka played as a substitute, but his side lost 3–1 to Everton. 

Later that year Panenka moved to VSE St. Pölten, and played two more seasons before moving into the lower leagues in Austria, playing from 1987–89 for Slovan Vienna, from 1989–91 for ASV Hohenau and from 1991–93 for Kleinwiesendorf. 

Panenka Penalty

He came to international prominence playing for Czechoslovakia in the 1976 European Championship; Czechoslovakia reached the final, where they faced West Germany. After extra time, the result was 2–2, and so the first penalty shootout in a European Championships final ensued.

The first seven kicks were converted, until West Germany's fourth penalty taker, Uli Hoeneß, ballooned his shot over the bar. 

With the score 4–3, Panenka stepped up to take the fifth Czechoslovakian penalty, to win the match under immense pressure. German goalkeeper Sepp Maier dived to his left, while Panenka chipped the ball straight in the middle of the net.

The sheer cheek of the goal led a watching French journalist to dub Panenka "a poet", and to this day his winning kick is one of the most famous ever, making Panenka's name synonymous with that particular style of penalty kick.
Antonin Panenka himself says that he came up with the idea on the training ground of the Prague club Bohemians, where he plied his trade for many years

Even to this day, many football commentators are amazed at how Panenka managed to hold his nerve to take a shot like that, especially as he would have looked extremely silly had the keeper not dived. The player himself says he never had any doubt that he would score.

It is important to point out that Antonin Panenka produced this daring penalty at the most crucial time – what turned out to be the final and winning kick against Germany in the final – who at that time were world champions and had never lost a shoot-out.

Also, one of the most intriguing aspects of both the Pirlo and Ramos Panenka penalties is that both ended up as winners with the Italian maestro undoubtedly engineering a turnaround in fortunes for the Azzurri.

Reference from, and

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