On this day: Panenka penalty was born in Euro 1976
- Czechoslovakian midfielder Antonin Panenka delivered a new kind of penalty in 1976
- In 1976 Euro, the Panenka penalty was born
- This penalty technique was followed by Zinedine Zidane and Andrea Pirlo over the years
The FIFA World Cup is the most popular football tournament in the world, but the European Championship, which is essentially a World Cup for European nations, has made a significant contribution to the sport's history. What makes this tournament historic is the birth of the Panenka penalty.
Czechoslovakian midfielder Antonin Panenka during the final against West Germany grabbed eyeballs and made headlines. It was in 1976 that the Panenka penalty was born when the midfielder faked a strong run-up and sent a delicate chip that looped into the goal, leaving the goalkeeper stunned.
During the game, Czechoslovakia surprised everyone by taking a 2-0 lead in the final after just 25 minutes, but West Germany showed their class by tying it up at 2-2. The Germans equalised in the 89th minute and were favourites going into extra time.
The match was decided in the penalties. The 1976 Euro was a tournament to remember with the Panenka penalty being its crowning glory.
Ever since this penalty technique was followed by Zinedine Zidane and Andrea Pirlo over the years and even the youngsters followed the technique. However, some tasted success and some didn't.
After the game, West Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer said, "Only a true champion would come up with such a solution." Pele and the French football association both praised Panenka, describing him as a 'footballing poet.'
Talking about the penalty, Panenka, in an older interview, told UEFA: "I got the idea and then I started slowly to test it and apply it in practice. As a side effect, I started to gain weight – I was winning the bets! In the end, I chose the penalty in the final because I realised that it was the easiest and simplest way of scoring a goal. It’s a simple recipe."
Have you tried the Panenka technique? Tell us in the comment section.