It’s not often Sergio Aguero grabs the headlines for the wrong reasons but on Saturday he was left red-faced after his Panenka penalty went horribly wrong in Manchester City’s defeat by Chelsea.
Just moments after City went 1-0 ahead at the Etihad, Aguero had the perfect opportunity to double his side’s lead from the penalty spot but he decided to go for the audacious.
And he was left humiliated after his Panenka spot-kick was comfortably saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy standing in the middle of the goal. He has since apologised for his gaffe, labelling his costly gamble as a ‘bad decision’.
But it’s not one football fans will forget anytime soon and following Aguero’s embarrassing moment, Sportsmail has decided to reflect on the most memorable Panenka penalties from down the years.
Sergio Aguero was left humiliated after he fluffed his lines trying a Panenka penalty vs Chelsea
ANTONIN PANENKA VS WEST GERMANY
There is only one place to start with this, and that’s back to 1976 when the Panenka was coined.
Antonin Panenka had been working on his technique for a while and he took the opportunity at arguably the biggest pressure point possible.
When gifted the chance to win the Euros in 1976 for Czechoslovakia, Panenka gained fame when he feigned shooting to the side before producing the most deft of chips straight down the middle past Sepp Maier to seal the historic triumph for his country.
And when reflecting on how he came up with the Panenka, he revealed: ‘I got the idea that if I delayed the kick and just lightly chipped it, a goalkeeper who dived to the corner of the goal could not jump back up into the air, and this became the basis of my philosophy.’
It certainly paid off, and the rest is history!
ZINEDINE ZIDANE VS ITALY
Arguably the second most famous Panenka football fans have ever witnessed.
Zinedine Zidane dominated the headlines for both the right and then wrong reasons during the 2006 World Cup final.
Before he was dramatically sent off for an infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi, Zidane had put France ahead against Italy in exquisite style.
After Florent Malouda went down in the box under contact from Materazzi, Zidane stepped up to the plate and ever so coolly converted his spot-kick in the seventh minute with a Panenka.
But his heart would have been pumping rapidly after his Panenka glanced off the underside of the crossbar before bouncing just over the goal-line.
There was a very anxious wait for the referee to blow his whistle to signal a goal, but it was finally given. Shame it wasn’t the only talking point of Zidane’s night as French hearts were broken via a penalty shootout.
ANDREA PIRLO VS ENGLAND
How’s this for keeping your cool?
After Joe Hart had done everything in his power to put him off, Andrea Pirlo left the England goalkeeper red-faced with his cheeky attempt.
With England’s quarter-final against Italy at Euro 2012 going to penalties, Pirlo had ice in his veins as he executed the perfect Panenka – leaving Hart in a bundle on the floor.
Pirlo later reflected on his penalty: ‘I made my decision right at the last second, when I saw Joe Hart, the England goalie, doing all sorts on his line.
‘As I began my run up, I still hadn’t decided what I was going to do. And then he moved and my mind was made up. It was all impromptu, not premeditated. The only way I could see pushing my chances of scoring close to 100%.
‘There was absolutely no showboating about it – that’s not my style.’
LIONEL MESSI VS GETAFE
This man can do anything so of course it’s no surprise to see him on this list.
Messi’s penalty against Getafe in 2015 remains one of the best to date.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner beat Getafe’s goalkeeper all ends up after delightfully dinking a Panenka down the middle.
And according to Panenka himself, Messi’s penalty five years ago was his pick of the bunch at the time.
‘The execution was the best I’ve ever seen – not too powerful, central, good elevation,’ Panenka said at the time.
ALEXIS SANCHEZ VS ARGENTINA
This may not be the most perfect Panenka you’ll see but Alexis Sanchez has made this list thanks to the moment he found himself in.
Chile won the Copa America for the first time in their history in 2015 as they beat Argentina 4-1 on penalties, with Sanchez scoring the winning spot-kick.
Then Arsenal forward Sanchez, with the pressure firmly on his shoulders, converted the coolest of spot-kicks.
His Panenka may have not gone as high as he wanted, but he wouldn’t have minded one bit having sealed Copa America glory for Chile.
ADEMOLA LOOKMAN VS WEST HAM
Another one from the Premier League this season, and this time it was Ademola Lookman who was left red-faced in the dying moments.
With Fulham desperately searching for an equaliser against West Ham at the London Stadium, they were given the perfect chance to level proceedings from the penalty spot in injury-time.
But RB Leipzig loanee Lookman thought it was appropriate at the time to try the Panenka, which came back to bite him.
Lookman’s effort was so tame that West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski had enough time to drop to his knees before getting back onto his feet to catch the floating ball.
ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC VS MONTENEGRO
Luckily Aleksandar Mitrovic’s Panenka attempt didn’t come back to haunt him but it’s definitely up there as one of the worst efforts.
Mitrovic had already scored for Serbia against Montenegro but he was given the golden opportunity to double his tally during the 2-1 win in the Nations League clash in November 2018.
After a penalty was awarded to Serbia, Mitrovic stepped up to try and score his second to make it 2-0 but his effort went horribly wrong.
Many of these miscued efforts are saved by goalkeepers but Mitrovic in fact skied his over the crossbar. That takes some doing.
PETER CROUCH VS JAMAICA
It turned out to be a very memorable afternoon for Sportsmail’s very own Peter Crouch as he netted a hat-trick in England’s 6-0 thrashing of Jamaica in an international friendly back in 2006.
But he could have notched one more if it wasn’t for a terrible penalty effort as he went in search of his hat-trick.
Crouch, clearly full of confidence, thought he’d try the Panenka but just like Mitrovic he skied his effort over the crossbar. Head in hand moments for sure.
‘I wanted the ground to swallow me up when I fluffed my lines against Jamaica at Old Trafford in June 2006,’ Crouch told Sportsmail.
‘I was flying in that game. I’d scored two, I’d brought out “The Robot” to celebrate and was loving life. I fancied completing my hat-trick with the Panenka. Instead, I put it into the Stretford End.
‘Though I went on to get my third goal, the only thing anyone said in the dressing room later was about my penalty.’
GARY LINEKER VS BRAZIL
This penalty miss may still haunt Gary Lineker to this day. In pursuit of writing himself into England’s history books, he came up just short due to an awful Panenka effort.
Trailing Sir Bobby Charlton’s England goal-scoring record at the time by just one, Lineker had the perfect chance to draw level when the Three Lions won a penalty against Brazil in a friendly in 1992.
But in his final appearance at the old Wembley, Lineker fluffed his lines with Brazil’s goalkeeper saving with his legs.
And it still sticks in his memory to this day. After Aguero apologised on social media for his attempt, Lineker joked on Match of the Day: ‘There was no Twitter around then so I couldn’t apologise, so I’ll do it now, I’m so sorry to everyone.’
He added: ‘If you take a dink and you score you look great. Just when you miss you look an absolute fool.’
FRANCECSO TOTTI VS LECCE
Roma and Italy legend Francesco Totti usually delivered when it mattered but he didn’t get things right all the time.
And this was evident after he tried an audacious Panenka during Roma’s clash with Lecce during the 2006-07 Serie A campaign.
The Lecce goalkeeper hardly had to move an inch to save the spot-kick, as he stood still before clutching the ball just above head height. It was a stinker from Totti.
But we must mention, he did score a delightful Panenka against Edwin Van Der Sar to help Italy beat Holland at Euro 2000. So don’t worry Totti, we’ve got you covered.