France was unexpectedly knocked out of the European Championship in the playoffs. In the match against Switzerland, it all came down to the penalty shootout where Kylian Mbappe, with the last shot, failed to hit the opponent’s goal.
The 22-year-old got a lot of criticism for the miss. However, one couldn’t help but remember some of the biggest decisive penalty misses we’ve witnessed in football. So here are six of them.
6. Chris Waddle, 1990 World Cup
England is still haunted by this penalty shootout memory. It all began more than 30 years ago when the English fought for their second final in history. With 10 minutes to go to full-time in the match against Germany, the future star of sports television, Gary Lineker, equalised the score (1:1).
England started the penalty series strong, but Stuart Pearce didn’t score the fourth shot. Chances remained when Chris Waddle got to the ball. The Marseille midfielder shot above the crossbar. In the end, Germany advanced to the final of the tournament, defeated Argentina and won the title.
5. Marco van Basten, Euro-1992
At Euro 1992, Denmark did not play as brilliantly as it had at the current championship, but they had just won their only European title. The Dutch, the reigning cup holders, took the game to a penalty shootout. Nine of the ten players managed to hit the goal.
Only Marco van Basten, the winner of the Golden Ball that year, missed the shot. After this defeat, the Dutchman has played only three times for the national team and didn’t score any more goals.
4. Gareth Southgate, Euro-1996
Another semi-final between England and Germany. This time the Englishmen were in the lead, but the Germans had equalised. The penalty shootout turned out to be very tense. The opponents scored five penalties each.
The sixth shot was performed by Gareth Southgate. German goalkeeper Andreas Köpke had no problems deflecting his bad shot, thanks to which the Germans advanced to the final, where they beat the Czechs. In a recent interview, the current England coach admitted that he is still reflecting on that miss.
3. David Trezeguet, 2006 World Cup
Before Mbappe, the last serious mistake among French players was David Trezeguet in the historic 2006 World Cup final. Zidane was sent off, and the teams played out to a penalty shootout.
Trezeguet, who shot second, hit the crossbar. All the others successfully scored in their attempts. So David was responsible for his team’s defeat from the Italians.
2 Asamoah Gyan, 2010 World Cup
This player is the only one on our list who missed during the game and not in the post-match. However, the tension was exactly the same. The whole continent was rooting for the Ghanaian national team in that tournament. And the team managed to reach the quarterfinals, where they met Uruguay.
The score was 1:1. One hundred twenty-one minutes into the match, Luis Suarez decided to sweep the ball with his hands from an empty net, so the referee suspended him and awarded a penalty. Unfortunately, Asamoah Gyan was unable to lead his team to the semi-finals: he hit the crossbar. The final whistle sounded immediately after the kick, and the happiest man at that moment was Luis Suarez.
Ghana could have become the first African country to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, but it did not happen. In the penalty shootout, the national team never recovered from the failure of their leader. Ghana lost on penalties, and Gyan simply could not stand on his feet from the experience, so his partners had to support him.
1. Roberto Baggio, 1994 World Cup
This miss can definitely be called the biggest one of all time. Italy and Brazil played in the World Cup finals in the United States. In full-time and extra-time, the teams were unable to score, but in the penalty shootout, everyone converted their opportunities flawlessly.
Italy’s best player, Roberto Baggio, was supposed to shoot fifth. He had a huge responsibility because, in the case of a miss, Brazil would have won the title. In the end, Baggio hit the ball above the crossbar.
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