Mauro Icardi’s shocking penalty miss is one of the worst spot-kicks EVER but how does it compare to the likes of Henry and Pires’ Arsenal mishap, Gyan’s crossbar-rattler, and Lookman’s disastrous panenka?
- Thierry Henry and Robert Pires made a famous penalty routine blunder in 2005
- Roberto Baggio’s miss in the 1994 World Cup final handed Brazil a fourth title
- Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here
Mauro Icardi has played – and scored heaps of goals for – some of the biggest teams in Europe, but the Argentine striker managed to pull out one of the worst ever penalty misses on Tuesday night.
With the scores still locked at 0-0 against Istanbulspor in the Turkish Super Lig, Galatasaray were handed the opportunity to take the lead from 12 yards, Icardi handing the ball to team-mate Kerem Akturkoglu.
However, rather than tuck the ball away, Akturkoglu decided to lay it off for Icardi from the spot in a planned routine, deceiving David Jensen and sending him sprawling to his left.
But with the goal gaping at his disposal as he charged into the box, Icardi managed to somehow smash the ball past the outside of the post, spurning the most golden of golden opportunities.
In lieu of the forward’s shocking miss, Mail Sport’s Dominic Hogan takes you through some of the worst penalty misses in football history.
Mauro Icardi (left) and Kerem Akturkoglu (right) produced a pass penalty against Istanbulspor
Icardi was left embarrassed after firing wide of the target – missing a wide-open goal
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ROBERTO BAGGIO VS BRAZIL (1994)
We all had a similar dream when we were kids playing football in the garden or out on the street; scoring the winning penalty in the World Cup final.
There are precious few that ever get given that opportunity, and if there’s one person you do want it to fall to, it’s probably the World Player of the Year. As such, missing such a crucial penalty was the last thing you’d expect Roberto Baggio to do in 1994.
The Italian legend – with a haircut almost as iconic – had dragged the Azzurri to the final, and had one of the all-time great tournaments, scoring five goals in the knockout stages of the competition and was Brazil’s key man to watch in the final.
The Selecao kept him at bay throughout the 90 minutes and extra-time period, but when the Italian attacker stepped up to take the all-important fifth and final penalty, everything went wrong.
Baggio blazed over the bar and Italy immediately lost the final. The Italian was such a skilled player throughout his career, but his name will always be associated with that moment.
Roberto Baggio was one of the best players in the world but missed the decisive penalty at the 1994 World Cup
Baggio skied his shootout effort over to give the World Cup to Brazil in the United States
ADEMOLA LOOKMAN VS WEST HAM (2020)
Fulham suffered Premier League relegation in fairly comprehensive fashion in 2020-21, finishing 11 points from safety come the end of the campaign, so it would be pretty harsh to lump all the blame at Ademola Lookman’s feet.
That being said, his awful panenka attempted in November 2020 against West Ham might be one of the worst ever attempted in Premier League history.
A fairly forgettable London derby between the Hammers and Fulham suddenly came to life in stoppage time, when Tomas Soucek gave David Moyes’ side a 91st-minute lead at the London Stadium.
But Fulham showed heart in the little time that remained and won a penalty after Said Benrahma fouled Tom Cairney inside the box.
Up stepped Fulham’s Lookman in the eighth minute of added time, but rather than fire the Cottagers back level, his woeful attempt at a panenka – a bold move at any point in the game let alone deep into added time – spooned straight into Lukasz Fabianski’s gloves.
That effort ended up being the last kick of the game and Fulham came away from West Ham empty-handed.
Ademola Lookman tried a 98th-minute panenka penalty with Fulham 1-0 down at West Ham
Lookman scooped the effort into the hands of grateful West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi
DAVID BECKHAM VS TURKEY (2003)
Before 2018, England were awful at penalty shootouts. Really awful. And despite being one of his country’s best to ever look at a football, let alone kick one, David Beckham summed up how bad the Three Lions were at spot-kicks back in 2003.
England were drawn against Turkey in the Euro 2004 qualifiers and had already played out a tense 2-0 win for the Three Lions at the Stadium of Light, with Beckham scoring from the spot before netting England’s 1800th goal in the second half.
But in Istanbul, the United and Real Madrid legend got his lines hopelessly wrong.
After Tugay Kerimoglu upended Steven Gerrard in the box in the first half, the skipper placed the ball 12 yards down and prepared to take the kick in the face of, shall we say, extremely distracting whistles from the home crowd.
Up stepped Beckham, but at the last minute his usually ever-so reliable feet let him down, and his left boot gave way to send him sprawling, and the ball careening off into the stratosphere.
It proved to be one of his worst ever taken penalties, marginally eclipsing his miss in the quarter-finals of Euro 2004, as England lost out on penalties to Portugal, with Darius Vassell also missing.
David Beckham skied over an awful effort as England beat Turkey 2-0 in Istanbul in 2003
THIERRY HENRY AND ROBERT PIRES VS MAN CITY (2005)
Penalty shootout routines are fairly common.
Johan Cruyff and Jesper Olsen were the first pair to exchange passes at a penalty kick for Ajax against Helmond Sport in 1982, while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez repeated the same trick for Barcelona against Celta Vigo in February 2016.
But there have been times where it has gone wrong. Just ask Arsenal’s French duo Thierry Henry and Robert Pires.
The Gunners’ home clash against Manchester City in October 2005 was a day of celebration as it was Premier League icon Henry’s first Premier League match after overtaking Ian Wright’s goalscoring record for Arsenal.
Pires had put Arsenal 1-0 up with a penalty of his own and Henry was expected to take a second spot-kick awarded to the Gunners just minutes later, but Pires stood up again – and then tried to pass the ball to Henry. Arsenal’s No 7 didn’t connect with the ball and Henry just ran past and City were given a free-kick.
Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners in the end, but that could have been even more uglier than it was for two of the greatest ever to play for the Gunners.
Robert Pires (left) and Thierry Henry (middle) tried to combine for a penalty in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Man City in 2005
SIMONE ZAZA VS GERMANY (2016)
Another strange modern theme in penalties is a special stuttered run-up that seemed to surface around the 2016 mark.
There are some who’ve made it work, such as Harry Kane and Bruno Fernandes, but rule No 1 if you have a special run-up: make sure you score. Because if you don’t, you look silly.
Take Italy’s Simone Zaza as a great example. Italy had held 2014 World Cup winners Germany to a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2016 quarter-final, so penalties ensued.
With the scores level at 1-1, striker Zaza stepped up and revealed to the world his penalty trick. The Italian took several steps on the spot as he slowly stepped up to the ball, only to blast over.
In fairness to Zaza, he wasn’t the only Italian to miss in that shootout as Manuel Neuer guided Germany to a 6-5 shootout victory to send Antonio Conte’s side crashing out. But that spot-kick set the tone with regards to Italy’s exit.
Simone Zaza took a painful run-up before blazing over in Italy’s Euro 2016 exit to German
BERSANT CELINA VS WEST BROM (2019)
Everyone seems to have their own penalty routine unique to their own approach, but one thing is generally consistent – actually connecting properly with the ball.
If you thought Henry and Pires’ mix up was bad enough, then you’ll want to hear about this one.
After the Baggies took the lead through Chris Brunt’s free-kick, Swansea were awarded a penalty just five minutes before half-time to level the game, and Kosovo international Bersant Celina stood up to draw Swansea level after West Brom stalwart Chris Brunt had put the hosts in front.
Whether he took his eye off the ball or the occasion got the best of him in the Championship clash, but Celina managed to completely mis-hit the ball, which slid off the outside of his right boot, bobbling once or twice on a trajectory perpendicular to the goal.
That miss was costly for Swansea, who were thrashed 3-0 after half-time in the end, but Celina finding the net in that instance, instead of falling over his own feet, could have changed that outcome.
Swansea’s Bersant Celina slipped while taking a penalty at West Brom and the effort went backwards
JOHN TERRY VS MANCHESTER UNITED (2008)
Everyone remembers where they were for John Terry’s crucial Champions League final miss for Chelsea back in 2008.
The first all-English European final between Manchester United and Chelsea was set up as a memorable occasion and it certainly delivered.
Talismen Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard scored for either side to take the game into extra-time, while Didier Drogba was sent off in the additional period to set up penalties.
Ronaldo then saw his spot-kick saved by Petr Cech, leaving Chelsea just a few kicks from their first ever European title.
Club captain Terry, ever the reliable figure for the Blues, had the chance to win the final for Chelsea by simply scoring his penalty. Terry stepped up, slipped, hit the post and United were spared.
Later in the shootout, Edwin van der Sar saved a sudden death penalty from Nicolas Anelka to seal glory for United. Terry was seen sobbing in the Moscow rain, in one of football’s most iconic images.
John Terry was reduced to tears after missing a crucial Champions League final penalty
The Chelsea captain could have won the final if he scored but slipped and hit the post
EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR VS BASEL (2013)
Emmanuel Adebayor – who only hung up his boots in March having turned out for Togolese outfit AC Semassi FC – made a career grabbing the headlines.
Whether it was his celebration against former club Arsenal for Tottenham, a bizarre move to Real Madrid or complaining of black magic affecting his performances, Adebayor certainly knew how to make his mark on football.
Against Basel, though, for Spurs in the Europa League quarter-finals, he endured one of his worst moments in a Tottenham shirt, as he joined Tom Huddlestone in missing from the spot to send the Premier League side out of the competition.
Tottenham’s No 10 stepped up in the shoot-out, after a Clint Dempsey double had rescued a draw with one Mohammed Salah scoring in the first half for the hosts, but will surely wish he hadn’t.
After a slow and deliberate approach, Adebayor strutted towards the ball, only to lean back at the crucial moment and send his effort careening over the bar at an agonising speed.
Togo’s record scorer then turned towards the camera and gave the sort of smile that suggested he knew exactly how badly he’d messed up.
Emmanuel Adebayor’s penalty miss put Spurs out of the Europa League quarter-finals in 2013
ASAMOAH GYAN VS URUGUAY (2010)
For football fans of a certain generation, there are not many World Cup moments bigger than the quarter-final clash between Uruguay and Ghana in South Africa in 2010.
Before he was tearing it up in a red shirt at Anfield, Luis Suarez was a 23-year-old striker terrifying World Cup defences on the way to making himself public enemy No 1 in Ghana.
This penalty might not be the worst technical attempt, but the drama of the situation means that it has to take a spot on this list.
Asamoah Gyan sent his 120th-minute penalty crashing into the cross bar at the 2010 World Cup
Suarez made himself a country’s worth of enemies with his handball off the line for Uruguay
With Ghana looking to become the first ever African side to make the last-four of the competition, they were handed a golden opportunity to do so in the 120th minute after Suarez punched the ball off the line, barely looking to disguise the fact he was denying the underdogs a goal at the death.
After seeing red, the forward was then escorted off the pitch in tears, to take up his place on the touchline and watch on as Ghana’s star man Asamoah Gyan stood over the ball.
It seemed to take him an age to finally run up, but once he did, the man that had already scored three times at the tournament sent his effort crashing into the crossbar, and legend has it the woodwork is still shaking today.
Suarez erupted in celebration on the sidelines, shamelessly running back to celebrate with his side having cruelly denied Ghana a place in the history books while they mourned a loss which – perhaps rightly so – felt like daylight robbery.
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