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The Best Penalty Takers of All Time

What follows is a look at the list of best penalty takers ever.
The Best Penalty Takers of All Time

The penalty shot is perhaps the tensest moment in a football game: including a duel between two players, a penalty taker, and a keeper. Throughout the years of soccer history, penalties and missed ones have provided memorable times. Only cold-blooded players should be chosen for such a mission.

The penalty saving by the goalkeeper is a means of identifying the greatest in the business and a turning point of every football match. Any football side has a special penalty taker who is particularly skillful. As a consequence, there are a few world-class penalty takers.

A footballer may often take a penalty as the most nervous point in his career and it is still the greatest challenge of technical ability and mental strength for the player. This article explores some of the greatest penalty takers in soccer history. However, as usual, no rundown is completely accurate and you can help us by providing your own list in the comment section.


The best penalty takers of all time

Here’s a look at the best penalty takers ever.

Steven Gerrard

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Steven George Gerrard
  • Date of birth: May 30, 1980
  • Place of birth: Whiston  England
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 1,83 m
  • Citizenship: England
  • Position: Midfielder - Central Midfield
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired
No explanation is required for the legend of Liverpool. In his 17-year football career in Merseyside, Gerrard defined himself as one of the best footballers ever to play in the Premier League. Gerrard assisted Liverpool to capture several titles such as 2 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, and a Champions League trophy. 
 
He was famous for his flexibility and leadership intelligence. When he was younger, Gerrard displayed tremendous stamina as a box-to-box midfielder in the center of the pitch and also demonstrated specific abilities that allowed him to be comfortably deployed as an attacking midfielder as well.
 
He was recognized for his excellent passing accuracy, fantastic defensive skills, and his strong shots, all of which fans were able to see regularly. Gerrard was also highly regarded for his goal-scoring skills over the course of seventeen years at the club. Gerrard converted  32 out of 41 penalties in the Premier League and that is why he is one of the top penalty takers of all time.
 

Frank Lampard

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Frank James Lampard Junior
  • Date of birth: Jun 20, 1978
  • Place of birth: London  England
  • Age: 42
  • Height: 1,84 m
  • Citizenship: England
  • Position: Midfielder - Central Midfield
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired
Since leaving his boyhood club, West Ham in 2001 in an £11 million deal to Chelsea, Frank Lampard appeared to be one of the most important footballers in the Premier League, perfecting his skills in Chelsea over a course of thirteen years. 
 
He was one of the most skilled central midfielders in the Premier League. Along with his leadership and passing accuracy he had an unparalleled appetite for scoring lots of goals. Lampard was one of his generation's most prolific players, the midfielder is Chelsea's all-time top scorer with 211 and the only footballer in his position to score more than 150 goals in PL.
 
He won 3 Premier League Championships, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, and the Champions League. England was regarded as a successful dead-ball expert particularity from the penalty spot. Lampard is widely considered as one of the best penalty takers of all time. Throughout the 609 local League games, he converted 43 out 50 penalties, certainly establishing himself as the greatest penalty taker for Chelsea ever.
 

Marco Van Basten

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Marcel Marco van Basten
  • Date of birth: Oct 31, 1964
  • Place of birth: Utrecht  Netherlands
  • Age: 55
  • Height: 1,86 m
  • Citizenship: Netherlands
  • Position: Forward - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired
In spite of playing his last soccer game at the age of 28 because of injury, Marco Van Basten has been generally viewed as one of the greatest players ever. By scoring 300 goals in 431 matches for his clubs and nation, the player demonstrated what a goal machine he was.
 
Van Basten is famous for his ball control, soccer IQ, and outstanding headers. In 1992, in a season when AC Milan went unbeaten winning Scudetto, the Dutch forward was named FIFA World Player of the Year.
 
The striker won the 1988 Euro with the Netherlands, netting 5 goals in the competition including the ruthless volley in the final. Van Basten has won the Ballon d'Or thrice in 1988,1989, and 1992. He won 3 Ereverdisie championships with Ajax in addition to 3 Serie A trophies and two European Cups with AC Milan.
 
The Dutchman was a prolific penalty-taker during his stints with Ajax and AC Milan and is widely regarded as one of the best penalty takers of all time. For the Rossoneri, Van Basten was a grandmaster and ended his career with a conversion rate of 94.4 percent.
 
 

Mario Balotelli

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Mario Barwuah Balotelli
  • Date of birth: Aug 12, 1990
  • Place of birth: Palermo  Italy
  • Age: 30
  • Height: 1,89 m
  • Citizenship: Italy
  • Position: Forward - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Brescia Calcio

Respect him or dislike him, Mario Balotelli is definitely a soccer player who gets fans speaking. Since his appearance in the world of football the Italian player has experienced many ups and downs far too frequently to count. Balotelli was well known for different reasons, whether right or wrong, whether on and off the pitch.

Many believe that Balotelli never exceeded his clubs' standards.  Nevertheless, the striker won three Serie A trophies, an FA Cup and Premier League in addition to the Champions League.

The player has scored 161 goals for his clubs and nation throughout his professional career. Balotelli is now a successful penalty expert with an outstanding 88% rate of conversion and is regarded as one of the best penalty takers of all time. As one of the coolest players ever, it's no wonder that Balotelli is one of the top penalty takers ever. No argument is held against the fact.


Francesco Totti

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Date of birth: Sep 27, 1976
  • Place of birth: Roma  Italy
  • Age: 43
  • Height: 1,80 m
  • Citizenship: Italy
  • Position: Forward - Second Striker
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired

Francesco Totti is seen in the streets of Italy's capital as a God. For a period of 14 years, Francesco Totti spent his football at I Giallorossi. He won  2 Coppa Italia trophies, 2 Supercoppa Italiana championship, and one Serie A trophy. 

In 2006, Totti also played an important role in the Italian World Cup-winning team. Golden Boy was a deadly striker during his career, scoring an amazing 307 goals in 785 games for Roma. The Italian goalscorer was also famous for his ability to operate as a playmaker on the pitch, having a magnificent vision, passing ability, and technique.

Totti is the second top goal scorer ever in the history of the Italian league with 250 while becoming the sixth-best Italian finisher of all time with 316 goals. He holds one of the best penalty records in the world of football. Totti was one of the greatest penalty takers of all time, throughout the course of his football he scored an amazing 86 penalties. With 71 goals he also holds the record of the most penalties in Serie A ever.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Zlatan Ibrahimović
  • Date of birth: Oct 3, 1981
  • Place of birth: Malmo  Sweden
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 1,95 m
  • Citizenship: Sweden
  • Position: Forward - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: AC Milan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is among the most influential figures of soccer, and he needs no introduction. The Lion is considered one of the greatest players of his era. Ibrahimovic has been one of the world's most celebrated football stars and has won over 30 titles throughout 4 decades.

Among his outstanding awards are four Series A championships, four League One trophies, one La Liga, and the Europa League. The striker is known as one of the best ever Champions League stars who have never won it. Zlatan is renowned for coolness and dominance both on and off the pitch.

Ibra remains a controversial character in the world of footbath, but nobody can question his goal-scoring ability. From the insane acrobatic goals to his sarcastic remarks and referring to himself in the third person, he gets fans talking. The striker has scored a total of 460 goals at 751 matches at the club level and is Sweden’s top goalscorer with 62 goals.

Zlatan is also an extremely flexible and balanced footballer. He has innate toughness and heading skills combined with an outstanding finishing, vision, and ball control.

He has also a rather good record of penalties, scoring 79 goals in his career making a name for himself as one of the greatest penalty takers of all time. His sense of calmness at intense pressure ensured the striker succeeded while taking penalties. It is unusual for him not to take his chance.


Alessandro Del Piero

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Date of birth: Nov 9, 1974
  • Place of birth: Conegliano  Italy
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 1,73 m
  • Citizenship: Italy
  • Position: Forward - Second Striker
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired
A favorite Italian star, Alessandro Del Piero is the best footballer name ever in Juventus. Thanks to his beautiful and energetic performances on the pitch, he was called Pinturicchio (a renowned Italian Renaissance painter) by the former owner of Juventus, Gianni Agnelli.
 
Del Piero is the all-time top goalscorer of Juventus with 290 goals, beating Giampiero Boniperti's with over 100 goals. The legend won various awards such as 6 Serie A trophies, 4 Italia Super Cups, and the Champions League. He was additionally a member of the Italian World Cup-winning team in 2006. With 27 goals, the forward is the 4th most goal scorer ever for his nation joint with Roberto Baggio.
 
The striker was also known as a dead ball expert, from both the penalties and free kicks to the extent that many consider him as one of the top penalty takers ever. In all competitions, the Italian virtuoso has tallied up 77 goals from the penalties, ending his football with a score ratio of 83.6 percent from the penalty spot.
 

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time

 

  • Full name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
  • Date of birth: Feb 5, 1985
  • Place of birth: Funchal  Portugal
  • Age: 35
  • Height: 1,87 m
  • Citizenship: Portugal
  • Position: Forward - Left Winger
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Juventus FC

Cristiano Ronaldo appears to have done nearly everything this to win football trophies and the only title he is yet to win is the World Cup. Ronaldo has an outstanding trophy cabinet that contains 3 Premier League trophies, 2 La Liga championships, one title of Serie A, and 5 Champions League trophies. He was also the winner of Euro 2016 with Portugal and two years later in 2018 turned out to be Europe's top international goal-scorer.

Ronaldo contended to be one of the best forwards in the history of football. Having scored 627 goals in 839 games is also known as one of the most deadly strikers ever.

Ronaldo is also considered to excel at the highest level of European football and became the first man to win the title 5 times having scored the highest number of goals in the Champions League with 128. Five Ballon d'Or awards were awarded to the Portuguese to make him second best of all time behind Lionel Messi, who owns the all-time record of 6.

Ronaldo has shown to excel under pressure, again, and again, the same assumption is demonstrated explicitly at the penalty positions.

He is also the only player on the rundown who has converted over 100 penalty shots, scoring an amazing 121 goals from the penalty spot, many of those being vital for the club and the nation. Any footballer who approaches the one hundred club must be considered one of the best penalty takers of all time.

 

Alan Shearer

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Date of birth: Aug 13, 1970
  • Place of birth: Newcastle upon Tyne  England
  • Age: 50
  • Height: 183 m
  • Citizenship: England
  • Position: Forward - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

Alan Shearer is always considered to be one of the most dominant forwards in the Premier League history. The Tyneside icon has spent his professional career in the PL most prominently with Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

In 1996, He joined St James' Park with a world record price tag of £15 million at the time. Shearer is the all-time leading goal scorer of the Premier League with 260 goals. The striker lifted the Premier League title in the 1994-95 season with Blackburn Rovers and won three Golden Boots in the Premier League.

The forward has had a successful international tenure, netting 30 goals in 63 games. Shearer was known as a great center forward of England with outstanding toughness, stature, heading skills, and right-footed rocket.

In comparison, Shearer claims the most penalty shots converted in the history of Premier League with scoring 56 out of 62 opportunities. Shearer was a  dead-ball expert who operated effectively from a penalty spot. With a success rate of 94 percent, Alan Shearer has undoubtedly been one of the best penalty takers of all time.


Matt Le Tissier

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Matthew Le Tissier
  • Date of birth: Oct 14, 1968
  • Place of birth: St. Peter Port  Guernsey
  • Age: 51
  • Height: 1,85 m
  • Citizenship: England
  • Position: Midfielder - Attacking Midfield
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

In all of the major leagues, Matt Le Tissier has the best penalty record, the English midfielder just missed a single penalty shot during his seventeen-year career and that is why many consider him as one of the greatest penalty takers of all time.

He netted 109 goals in 304 games for Southampton. The player is Southampton's second best goalscorer of all time behind Mike Channon and the first-ever midfielder who scored over 100 goals in the Premier League.

In the first half of the 1993 season, Le Tissier missed his only penalty shot against Nottingham Forest, Mark Crossley credits the achievement as his best ever save. As far as the Premier League is concerned, Le Tissier holds the best penalty conversion rate, scoring 24 out of 25.

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Rickie Lambert

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Richard Lee Lambert
  • Date of birth: Feb 16, 1982
  • Place of birth: Kirkby  England
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 1,87 m
  • Citizenship: England
  • Position: Forward - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

Rickie Lambert features as one of the best penalty takers of all time. Lambert was awarded two golden boot awards because of his chipping goals again and again.

Lambert's excellent stature has made it possible for analysts to compare his performance and impressive penalty record with former Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier.

His capability in scoring from the penalty spot is apparent in his conversion rate. During his career, Rickie Lambert took 50 penalties, converting all but three.


Michael Ballack

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Date of birth: Sep 26, 1976
  • Place of birth: Gorlitz  DDR
  • Age: 43
  • Height: 188 m
  • Citizenship: Germany
  • Position: Midfielder - Central Midfield
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired

Michael Ballack, the German international, mixed fitness with superior firepower to construct a football capacity to dominate the central third of the pitch.

Ballack was the first penalty specialist for every club he played for as well as his country always used his laces in penalty opportunities to shot the ball with precision and power.

He used to found the back of the net with pace and accuracy most of the time. Michael Ballack is also famous as one of the top penalty takers ever.

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Antonin Panenka

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Antonín Panenka
  • Date of birth: Dec 2, 1948
  • Place of birth: Prag  CSSR
  • Age: 71
  • Height: 1,78 m
  • Citizenship: Czech Republic
  • Position: Midfielder - Attacking Midfield
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

It seems to be odd if you name a player "legend" for winning two League trophies and for 3 domestic Cups. But you've heard of the Panenka penalty without a doubt.

When a player is trying to chip the ball over the goalkeeper to take advantage of the fact that the goalkeeper will dive to either side of the goal, we may discuss if the case is of class or arrogance. Yet one thing's true, the player is a genius if he buries the ball in the back of the net.

Now, Imagine the first man who tries such a penalty shot in the European Championship final. You may lose a two-goal advantage and the game is gone to a penalty shootout against Germany. Never before has the country won an international title.


Zinedine Zidane

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Zinédine Yazid Zidane
  • Date of birth: Jun 23, 1972
  • Place of birth: Marseille  France
  • Age: 48
  • Height: 1,85 m
  • Citizenship: France
  • Position: Midfielder - Attacking Midfield
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired

The final display of Zinedine Zidane at the 2006 World Cup will be fondly remembered for two things, his notorious Marco Materazzi headbutt and his insanely Panenka penalty which led France in the very beginning of the match.

It is a bizarre oversimplification to propose that Zidane's reluctance. That was the greatest stage to take such an extraordinary risk. His penalty is one of the most pleasant ones in football history.


Jari Litmanen

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Jari Olavi Litmanen
  • Date of birth: Feb 20, 1971
  • Place of birth: Lahti  Finland
  • Age: 49
  • Height: 182 m
  • Citizenship: Finland
  • Position: Midfielder - Attacking Midfield
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

It's simple to see Jari Litmanen as a player who never realized his true potential at the point when you consider his football career. His senior career was not perfect due to back to back injuries and, because of his records for most caps and goals in Finland, many consider him as a legend only at the international level.

But once upon a time, he was on the verge of being one of the world's greatest players at the point when he won the Champions League with Ajax and was voted third for the Balon d'Or. The player scored over 200 goals and 28 were penalties, he lost only one chance.

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Cuauhtemoc Blanco

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo
  • Date of birth: Jan 17, 1973
  • Place of birth: Mexiko City  Mexico
  • Age: 47
  • Height: 1,77 m
  • Citizenship: Mexico
  • Position: Forward - Second Striker
  • Foot: both
  • Current club: Retired

Blanco has mostly played in weak sides as he started his career with America in 1992, and had various loan stints with Necaxa, Real Valladolid, and Veracruz.

However, two Gold Cups and a Confederation accomplishment for Mexico is a great club award list. Additionally, he scored more than 200 goals including a lot of penalties at the club level known as one of the best penalty takers ever.


Laszlo Kubala

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Kubala Stecz Laszlo
  • Date of birth: Jun 10, 1927
  • Place of birth: Budapest  Hungary
  • Date of death: 17.05.2002
  • Height: 176 m
  • Citizenship: Hungary  Hungary
  • Position: Forward - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

The colors of Kubala included 10 different clubs, and 4 different national sides, including Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Spain, and Catalonia. His tenure in Barcelona is mainly remembered for spending 13 years winning 13 titles.

He was the Messi of his era, hypnotizing defenders, netting goals, and even being voted as the greatest ever footballer of Barcelona in the late 1990s. Of course, he was also fairly solid on penalties with an amazing record of 96.4% conversion rate. He is well known as one of the best penalty takers of all time.

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Michel Platini

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Michel François Platini
  • Date of birth: Jun 21, 1955
  • Place of birth: Jœuf  France
  • Age: 65
  • Height: 179 m
  • Citizenship: France
  • Position: Midfielder - Attacking Midfield
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

The magnificent passing ability and dead-ball skills of Michel Platini were internationally renowned. Platini led his nation to lift the European Championship in 1984. 

He was appointed the greatest player and the top goal scorer of the competition. Platini might get work done from the point of penalty.

The French player was a reliable penalty taker for his clubs and country and is known as one of the best penalty takers of all time.


Graham Alexander

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Date of birth: Oct 10, 1971
  • Place of birth: Coventry  England
  • Age: 48
  • Height: 1,77 m
  • Citizenship: Scotland
  • Position: Defender - Right-Back
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

Graham Alexander is a player many football fans may not be aware of his outstanding skills in the art of penalty spot. The defender who retired in 2012 played as a right-back and scored 67 goals in 480 matches for his clubs. 

He walked under the radar yet he had unbelievably unique abilities on the pitch and was an accurate penalty taker. The player converted an amazing 56 penalties and missed just 4, making him one of the most prolific defenders of all time in the realm of football. 

Maybe the right-back defender would have scored even more if he had much more popularity and managed to play regularly. All things considered, He is regarded as one of the best penalty takers of all time without a doubt.

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Gerd Muller

The Best Penalty Takers of All Time
  • Name in home country: Gerhard Muller
  • Date of birth: Nov 3, 1945
  • Place of birth: Nördlingen  Germany
  • Age: 74
  • Height: 176 m
  • Citizenship: Germany
  • Position: Forward - Centre-Forward
  • Foot: right
  • Current club: Retired

There are not many score records that Gerd Muller does not already have. Germany's top goal-scoring position is shared by Miroslav Klose, but he achieved the record in far fewer matches.

There's nothing that Muller didn't achieve except the top scorer position in Germany he lost in 2014. Modern-day forwards in Germany can still be compared to him at the international stage with 68 goals in 62 matches. By contrast, his 566 goals make him the top scorer of all time in Bayern Munich, whereas his goals-to-games rate is unobtainable.

In German soccer history, Gerd Muller is a key figure everlastingly. Muller could score easily from the penalty spot and is viewed as one of the best penalty takers of all time. Almost always suitable for trying to defeat a goalkeeper in the middle, Muller often converted his penalties as he was up for everything.
 

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