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On the spot: a dozen all-time incredibly poor penalty failures after Zaza shocker

| 04.07.2016

Lee Gormley | July 3, 2016

Worst ever penalties after Zaza miss

Germany booked their place in the semi-finals of Euro 2016 after overcoming Italy 6-5 on penalties, securing their sixth successive shoot-out victory at major international tournaments, but the quality of the spot-kicks on French soil left a lot to be desired.

Germany v Italy - UEFA Euro 2016 - Quarter Final - Stade de Bordeaux

Die Mannschaft may have prevailed, but the likes of skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil were uncharacteristically poor from the spot. Although, Italy were even worse, with Graziano Pelle and Matteo Darmian just two who missed, but the most shocking failure came from Simeone Zaza.

The Juventus forward was brought on deep into extra-time just to take a penalty, but he completely fluffed his chance from 12 yards, sending the ball sailing into the stands after a bizarre run-up.

Following Zaza’s awful spot-kick, among many others in the shoot-out, Coral look at a dozen failed efforts from 12 yards, including the Italian striker’s horrible miss.

Roberto Baggio 1994

One of the most iconic moments in World Cup history, the saviour of Italy Baggio had the chance to salvage any hope for his nation the final, but instead balloons it wide left to gift Brazil the biggest prize in football.

David Beckham 2004

‘Golden Balls’ stepped up to take England’s all-important spot-kick against Portugal, with hopes of a nation resting upon his shoulders.

Though, in familiar Three Lions style, Beckham rifled his penalty wayward into the stands, with the English icon pointing blame towards the apparent dodgy pitch.

Robert Pires 2005

Arsenal’s French duo Pires and Thierry Henry tried, and failed miserably, to recreate the infamous ‘pass penalty’ which was first done by Dutch maestro Johan Cruyff in 1982, leading to a comical Premier League moment. Relive it right here.

John Terry 2008

Who could forget Terry’s woeful slip and miss during the 2008 Champions League final?

Chelsea’s heroic captain and leader had the chance to clinch what would have then been his club’s first European Cup, but somehow managed to end up on his backside instead, much to the delight of the Manchester United, as they went on to triumph.

Dimitar Berbatov 2012

Cool, composed, lazy? Berbatov constantly divided opinion during his time in the Premier League, especially at Old Trafford, where he was praised at times for his exceptional talent but also dismissed as a lethargic forward.

His penalty against Everton in the old Carling Cup final, now the Capital One Cup, typically sums up all of his past flaws with one sluggish swing of his right boot.

Neymar 2012

Before sealing his big-money move to Spanish giants Barcelona, Brazil starlet Neymar was busy lighting up his home country’s top division with his flamboyant tricks and constant flow of goals.

Although, this penalty is one moment he will want to forget, after winning the spot-kick himself, he then failed with his hopeful ‘Panenka’ attempt. Quite miserably too.

Neymar 2012

Neymar? Again? The Barcelona attacker proved he can mess things up from 12 yards for his country as well, sending this incredibly poor effort into the stands. A far-cry from the star we see every week now torturing defences in La Liga.

Sergio Ramos 2012

The Spanish defender is known for popping up with a crucial goal for Real Madrid, having scored the vital equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final, with his header helping the Galacticos towards La Decima.

Although, Ramos became a laughing stock after his sensationally underwhelming penalty against Bayern Munich in the 2012 semi-final.

Fred 2014

Surprisingly another Brazilian in our list, though this time in the form of retired international forward Fred, a player held as one of the reasons the Samba Boys were ungraciously sent packing last summer by Germany on home soil.

Here, another futile miss from the veteran striker, as he sends his attempt from 12 yards high and wide in a Brazilian derby.

Asamoah Gyan 2014

Another enthralling World Cup moment, this time form 2010 in South Africa. Former Premier League forward Gyan is gifted with a last-gasp penalty to make history for Ghana following Luis Suarez’s handball on the line. The rest is, as they say, history.

Jason Puncheon, 2014

In a Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Tottenham, the Eagles’ wideman Puncheon stepped up to take a penalty at White Hart Lane, but what followed was one of the worst spot-kicks in history.

The attacker sent his attempt fizzing into the London crowd after a poor run-up and overall disastrous technique.

Simeone Zaza, 2016

Last but not least, the man of the moment, Zaza. The Italian attacker was sent on by Antonio Conte to take a penalty but failed miserably.

Relive that horrible miss once again below, with Italy’s conquerors Germany now the 11/8 favourites with Coral to triumph in France.


Read our extensive Euro 2016 section.

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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.