Penalties are among the most nerve-racking parts of any football game. Standing 12 yards away from the net in a high-pressure situation can make any player nervous, so it’s essential to find someone who can take them well.
Luckily, there are some very good penalty takers out there. Here are 10 of the best.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese superstar has scored 143 penalties over his career. His elite mentality and ability to deliver in pressure situations is second to none.
Neymar is a set-piece specialist capable of taking corners, free kicks and, of course, penalties. The mercurial number 10 ranks as the best penalty taker in the world at the moment.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a legend of the game, but his 83% conversion rate doesn’t quite make him top of this list. He still scores plenty of penalties though, especially for PSG.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a knack of scoring from the penalty spot. The Swede has taken and scored many penalties in his illustrious career. He was also a reliable player from set pieces during his time at Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.
The former Southampton midfielder Matt Le Tissier is one of the most underrated penalty takers of his time. He rarely missed from 12 yards and was a cool customer when taking penalties under pressure.
3. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is considered the biggest rival to Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or. He is very good from the penalty spot and is also a great free kick taker.
Le Tissier is famous for his penalty prowess and even won a trophy for this skill during his time at Southampton. He is one of the most reliable penalty takers in history.
Fabinho is known for his goal scoring abilities. He is also very good from the penalty spot and has a very high conversion rate. He is the third most accurate penalty taker in world football.
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4. Zlatan Van Basten
Penalties are always the biggest moments of big football games and it takes steel nerves to kick a penalty under pressure. These players make the difficult task look easy when they step up to take a penalty.
Chelsea legend Frank Lampard was a beast from the spot and scored plenty of them throughout his career. The midfielder also netted two in a Champions League shootout.
Ligue 1 star Olivier Giroud doesn’t get much recognition for his penalty taking ability but the striker is consistent from 12 yards out. He hasn’t missed a penalty this season.
5. Gianluigi Buffon
Penalties are one of the most nerve-racking parts of a football match. They require steel nerves and a lion’s heart to score from the spot.
Matt Le Tissier may surprise some people for a spot in this list, but his penalty instincts were unrivalled in England. The former Southampton star was so good from the spot that he was christened ‘Le God’ by fans.
Van Basten had a brilliant penalty-taking career with a conversion rate of 94%. He was often AC Milan’s go-to guy when it came to spot kicks.
6. Frank Lampard
Taking penalties is one of the most important moments during a football match and it can be tense for both the penalty taker and goalkeeper. However, there are some players who can keep their cool and convert a spot kick easily.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is one of the best penalty-takers in the world and can blast the ball into the net with ease.
Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier is also a great penalty taker and he even helped his nation with their only international trophy in 1988.
7. Alessandro Del Piero
The Italy specialist is known for his calm kicks and is very accurate from the spot. He has converted many penalties in his career and even scored a crucial one in the 2006 World Cup final.
Frank Lampard is another English legend who has been perfect from the penalty spot during his career. He never missed a single penalty in the Premier League and also excelled for club and country.
Neymar is the set-piece master for both Brazil and PSG. He is very reliable from corner kicks and penalties and can be a vital asset in any penalty shoot-out.
8. Gianluigi Buffon
The retired Italian goalkeeper is an excellent penalty taker and has saved many penalties in high-pressure situations, including in major tournaments.
Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard is another top penalty taker. The box-to-box midfielder rarely misses from the spot and was also good at bending free kicks.
Alessandro Del Piero was a dead-ball specialist for Juventus and Italy and was lethal from 12 yards out. His unique technique made him one of the best penalty scorers in football history. Jorginho is an expert when it comes to taking penalties and has scored a lot at the highest level for both Arsenal and Chelsea.