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Panenka Opens Up On His Famous Penalty At Euros ‘76

Panenka Opens Up On His Famous Penalty At Euros ‘76

Czechoslovakia icon Antonin Panenka has opened up to his penalty style which became famous at the 1976 Euros in Yugoslavia.

The Panenka penalty style is a technique used while taking a penalty-kick in which the taker, instead of kicking the ball to the left or right of the goalkeeper, gives a feign touch underneath the ball, causing it to rise and fall within the centre of the goal, deceiving the goalkeeper.

And it was first done by the former Bohemians Praha man in the final of the Euros where his nation went to the competition’s first penalty shootout against West Germany.

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, Antonin Panenka stepped up under intense pressure to take the fifth Czechoslovakian penalty, to win the match.

The Panenka style has since been replicated by many great players like Zinedine Zidane, Sergio Ramos, Andrea Pirlo and Lionel Messi.

On the 45th anniversary of Panenka’s moment of sheer audacity, the former midfielder reflected on the incident.

“I got the idea some two years before Euro 1976, I practiced it almost daily. Maybe four or five times a week at every training session,” Panenka told talkSPORT.

“At the start, it was quite easy for me as nobody knew about this special penalty kick. Nobody expected it.

“It was easy to convert penalties with this now famous chip goal called Panenka. As time passed, it was more and more difficult for me.

“My psychological task was to get the goalie to think I would shoot the penalty kick in this normal way, not with this chip.

“This was the main task in the later stages of the development of the Panenka penalty kick, it was to make all goalkeepers think the penalty would be converted in the normal way.

“I didn’t see it as a risk as the penalty was really well practiced by me before the tournament in Belgrade in Yugoslavia.

“I was really convinced I couldn’t fail with this sort of penalty. I was convinced it would be okay to convert the penalty in the final against Germany.

Panenka added: “I think the majority of people like the penalty, but I did get some criticism when I did use it in the final in 1976. Even Sepp Maier, the German goalie, said I ridiculed him.

“It wasn’t my task to make a clown out of him.

“For me, it was the effectiveness of the penalty which really paid off.”

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