Top 10 Unforgettable Penalty Misses in Soccer History

A penalty kick is one of the most high pressure situations in all of sport. In a team game, the pressure is suddenly put entirely on the penalty kick taker, facing off against a goalkeeper who has nothing to lose. From 12 yards, a professional soccer player should consistently convert a penalty kick, but as you will see, this is often not the case. Sometimes the pressure is too much for the taker and their nerves get the better of them, sometimes they get too cocky and try something overly complicated to trick the keeper, and sometimes the goalkeeper makes a fine save. Watching the penalty taker and goalkeeper face off often feels like a shootout scene from a Spaghetti western, and this has led to many memorable penalty kicks over the years, with a lot of these being memorable for the woeful attempt by the taker.

A penalty in a regular game will create plenty of drama that could change the match, but a penalty shootout is one of the more tense, nail biting and dramatic moments that you will ever see in sport, which is a large part of what makes soccer so popular. These penalties decide the game, and you will often see inexperienced, clearly shaken penalty takers step up to the spot as the showdown goes on and on. It is the cruellest way to lose a game, with many wanting to abolish the shootout, but for the neutral there is nothing more exciting than it all coming down to spot kicks. There have been plenty of high profile shootouts over the years as they are used in knockout competitions like the World Cup and the Champions League, with some players never quite recovering from a penalty miss that has let down their entire team, fans and sometimes even an entire nation.

Here are 10 of the most unforgettable penalty misses of all time. A few are unforgettable in terms of their shocking technique and comical approach, whilst a few will not be forgotten due to their importance and lasting impact.

Honourable Mention: David Trezeguet v Italy (2006 FIFA World Cup Final)


10 10. Amir Sayoud v Kima Aswan (2011)

9 9. Neymar v Columbia (2012)

8 8. Chris Waddle v West Germany (1990)


7 7. Landon Donovan v Real Salt Lake (2009)

6 6. Peter Devine v Whitley Bay (1992)

5 5. Robert Pires v Manchester City (2006)

4 4. David Beckham v Portugal (2004)


3 3. John Terry v Manchester United (2008)


2 2. Asamoah Gyan v Uruguay (2010)

1 1. Roberto Baggio v Brazil (1994)

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Top 10 Unforgettable Penalty Misses in Soccer History