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Five of the Best: Penalty Blunders

by Al 8. November 2011 12:01

Having already brought you a collection of great penalties in our 'Five of the Best' series, we now turn our attention to the other end of the spot kick spectrum. We have scoured the web in search of the worst penalties we could find, and these are the five we eventually settled on. Watch them. Laugh. Then watch them again.

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Roberto Baggio

Oh Roberto. The Divine Ponytail gets it all wrong here with one of the most infamous penalty misses of all time. After Italy and Brazil had served up a goalless 120-minute snoozefest at the USA '94 World Cup final, the game went to a penalty shootout. Baggio's dreadful deciding penalty brought to an end a dreadful final. Four years later he became the only Italian player to score at three World Cups, but he ended his career knowing he would never get closer to the trophy than that afternoon at the Rose Bowl.

Henry and Pires

Robert Pires and Thierry Henry's Laurel and Hardy moment. Two of the most skillful and elegant players ever to grace the Premier League combine for this truly embarrassing penalty cock up against Manchester City in 2005. The pair fail spectacularly as they attempt to recreate this classic 1982 Johan Cruyff penalty. Pires, unable to kick the ball forward to the onrushing Henry, shouldered most of the blame. Much to the relief of both parties, however, Arsenal were able to hang on to their slender 1-0 lead. A relieved Arsene Wenger reflected: "I felt disbelief. But Robert is a lucky boy because the team has not been punished." 

Amir Sayoud

Al Ahly's Amir Sayoud made a name for himself in September with this hilarious penalty blunder in an Egyptian Cup tie. Sayoud runs up, stalls, kicks the ground, slips, and scuffs the ball before falling flat on his face. He then receives a booking for his troubles.

Mehmet Aurelio

This could well be the worst penalty ever taken. Blasting a penalty high or wide is one thing, but Mehmet Aurelio - playing for Real Betis in the Spanish second division at the time - couldn't have hit the ball further away from the goal if he'd tried.

Diana Ross

Back to USA '94 for this one, as Motown Diva Diana Ross opens up the occasion in farcical fashion. After dancing her way up the pitch at a cringeworthy opening ceremony emceed, bizarrely, by Oprah Winfrey, Ross drags her penalty kick well wide of the goal. In accordance with the planned stunt, however, the goal spectacularly breaks in two anyway. It's a poor penalty from Ross, lacking power and accuracy and executed with poor technique. Maybe Oprah Winfrey would have done a better job?

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