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Five unorthodox penalty techniques to rival Paul Pogba

Five unorthodox penalty techniques to rival Paul Pogba

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba took 26 steps in his run up to his penalty against Everton on Sunday.

It was pointed out on social media that the run up – for a penalty which was saved, before Pogba scored from the rebound – took longer than Usain Bolt’s 100m record.

Press Association Sport takes a look at other unorthodox penalty techniques.

Simone Zaza, Italy v Germany, Euro 2016

Simone Zaza probably took more steps than Pogba, in a penalty shoot-out against Germany for a place in the semi-finals.

Substituted on as a penalty specialist, Zaza’s penalty not only failed to trouble goalkeeper Manuel Neuer but also has been the subject of a number of jokes since the event.

After putting the ball down on the spot, the Italian striker took a run up which looked like an intense jog on the spot while weaving around before striking the ball high over the bar.

Andrea Pirlo, Italy v England, Euro 2012

Italy’s Andrea Pirlo, playing against England in Euro 2012 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Riccardo Montolivo had already missed his penalty for Italy when Andrea Pirlo walked to the spot against England’s Joe Hart.

Pirlo regained composure throughout his run-up before he casually and calmly chipped the ball over Hart, who had dived early, into the middle of the goal and Italy went on to win.

The style of penalty had originally been pioneered by Czech player Antonin Panenka in the 1976 European Championships.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, Barcelona v Celta Vigo, 2016

Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona – UEFA Champions League – Group B – Wembley Stadium
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, and Luis Suarez (Nick Potts/PA)

Instead of scoring his 300th La Liga goal from the penalty, Lionel Messi passed to team-mate Luis Suarez to allow him to complete his hat-trick.

After placing the ball on the spot, the Argentinian ran up and tapped the ball to his right where Suarez raced in to shoot past a surprised Sergio Alvarez in the Celta goal.

The inspiration came from a 1982 penalty taken by former Barcelona player and coach Johan Cruyff, and its recreation was criticised by many who argued the pair lacked respect and were attempting to embarrass their opponents with the move.

Lionel Messi, Barcelona v AC Milan, 2011

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scores from the penalty spot
Messi scores from the penalty spot (Martin Rickett/PA)

Stepping up to take the penalty, Messi feinted a shot before passing the ball past goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

The forward was then booked for his penalty, known as the ‘paradinha’ or ‘little stop’ in Brazil, and the penalty had to be retaken.

The rule regarding penalties states that players may delay in their run but cannot halt after they have finished their run-up.

Robert Pires and Thierry Henry, Arsenal v Manchester City, 2005

Thierry Henry, right, and Robert Pires, left
Thierry Henry, right, and Robert Pires, left, were thwarted by David James’ Manchester City (Nick Potts/PA)

In an attempt to recreate Cruyff’s 1982 effort, the Arsenal duo were left embarrassed.

In 1982, Cruyff and Jesper Olsen played a one-two before the Dutchman finished. Pires, though, feathered the ball but left it on the spot and as Henry stood waiting, opposing players closed in.

The shambolic attempt ended with an indirect free-kick to City.

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