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Audacious penalties

Ezequiel Calvente scored an audacious penalty against Italy for Spain in the Under 19 European Championships on Saturday. Spain were already 2-0 up when the penalty was taken and cruising to victory but it is still a good piece of individual skill from the young Spaniard. The technique reminded me of Thierry Henry’s fake kicking skill.

This triggered the image and memory of a number of other audacious penalty attempts that I have seen. This one from Santos’ young starlet Neymar (just 19 years of age and tipped to be the next Robinho) when facing Ceara in the Brazilian National championships. Santos were losing 1-0 when the opportunity to equalise arose, the kid has balls!

This effort was performed on the training ground, but it is still a lovely piece of skill. Francesco Totti glides towards the penalty spot before spinning and backheeling it into the bottom left corner.

When Robert Pires was still playing for Arsenal he attempted a display of pure arrogance together with Thierry Henry and was left with egg and a whole load of Danny Mills’ saliva all over his face. He fails to strike the ball then touches it again, the referee awards an indirect free kick to Manchester City and Pires walks away in shame.

Many have attempted the training ground routine during games successfully before (I’m not aware of the teams involved in this video). But one of the games greatest innovators has to take credit for the trick. Johan Cruyff shows us how it should be done, even pulling off a one-two before putting the ball away.

I would love to see more examples if you have any.

  • Gaffer

    Nice post. Loved Calvente's penalty! Also some other good penalty taking tekkers on display in the other videos. You can see some more here – or you can go to to find out more about how you can become a penalty taking hero yourself!

  • Fredorrarci

    The Guardian recently flagged up this proto-Cruyff/Olsen penalty from 1957, an effort I'd never even heard of before, let alone seen.

    I think the teams in the other similar example you linked to are Brondby and Vejle, by the way.

  • Rocco

    When I was looking for these I thought that the Totti back heel had been used in a game, but I couldn't find any evidence to suggest that was the case anywhere.

    I hadn't seen the Cruyff one before but it is just beautiful. What a man!

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