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Best penalty scorers of 21st century

Thu 17 December 2020 | 10:30

Since beginning of the 21st century, many legends of football have been introduced to football fans all over the world. Read on to find out about some of these legends with most penalties scored.

We are going to introduce you the best penalty scorers of 21st century but first let's have some information about ‘penalty’!

What is meant by penalty in football? a penalty kick or commonly known as penalty or a PK, is a method of restarting play in football, in which a player is allowed to take a single shot on the goal when it's defended by the opposing team's goalkeeper.

Penalties are rewarded when a player commits a foul in their own goal area. The shot is taken from the penalty mark which is 11m (12 yards) from the goal line and centered between the touch lines.

Penalty kick can be a gift for a team because it's much easier to score a goal when it’s only the goalkeeper in front of you; however, it doesn't mean that penalty kick is going to be a goal for one hundred percent; many football legends have missed their penalties in important matches.

Roberto Baggio was one of the best players in the world in 90's In 1994 World Cup he managed to take Italy to the final match against Brazil. In 90 minutes the match ended in a draw.

In penalty kicks, he took fifth shot but he couldn't score and Italy lost the match. This may be remembered as the most famous penalty shot miss between football fans.

Let's get back to the best penalty scorers of 21st century:

It should be mentioned that aside from Baggio, many other legends have missed penalty shoots even

Cristiano Ronaldo

and

Lionel Messi

Sergio Agüero-41 penalties scored

Sergio Leonel Agüero del Castillo known as

Sergio Agüero

born 2 June 1998, is an argentine professional footballer who plays as a center forward for English club

Manchester City

, and Argentine national team.

He is one of the best strikers of his generation and scored many crucial goals for his teams, and also he is known as one of the best forwards in history of Barclays

Premier League

which is top level of professional football in England.

Agüero began his career in Argentinian club Independiente. He became the youngest player to play in Argentina's first football division on his debut he was just 15! In 2006 he moved to Spain to play for

Atletico Madrid

.

During his years in Madrid he found himself as one of the best young players in Europe He won awards like World Soccer Young player of the year.

He could score101 goals in 234 matches and won UEFA Europa League in 2009-10 season. After five seasons playing for Atletico, it was time to move to a better club. In 2011 he joined to English club Manchester City the club he's still playing for until this day.

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In ten seasons playing for Manchester City, Aguero has become to one of the best strikers in history of the league. He has won league title for 4 times in 2012, 2014, 2018 and 2019. In 264 matches he's scored 180 goals which makes him all-time best goal scorer of Manchester City.

Currently he is the fourth highest goal scorer in Premier League history, but aside from this wonderful record, he has scored 41 goals from penalty spot, which puts him on the list of the best penalty scorers ever.

Agüero has scored 11 goals from the penalty spot in UEFA Champions League which makes him fifth between players with most penalties scored in these competitions. That’s why he is among the

best penalty scorers of 21st century

.

As you know he's still playing in first class of European football and maybe with 32 years of age he's not in best shape but until retirement he will score more penalties for sure.

Ronaldinho-44 penalties scored

Ronaldo de Assis Moriera  commonly known as Ronaldinho born 21March 1980 is a Brazilian retired professional footballer. He mostly played as an attacking midfielder but he also played as a winger or forward. He is a football legend and by many he's regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

Ronaldinho  will be remembered for his pure techniques and his dribbles in the pitch. During his career he managed to achieve great honors. He won two FIFA World Player of the year awards and a Ballon d'Or. He was renowned for his use of tricks, overhead kicks, no-look passes and accuracy from free kicks.

Ronaldinho made his career debut for Brazilian club

Gremio

. In 2001, he moved to

Paris Saint-Germain

in France. After two seasons he signed for FC

Barcelona

where he was named the best player in the world in 2005.

He won La Liga trophy for two times and became champion of Europe in 2005-06 season. After reaching his best shape in Barcelona, in 2009 he moved to

A.C Milan

. After two seasons in Italy and wining

Serie A

he moved back to Brazil and played until 2015.

He also became champion of the world in 2002 World Cup beside other Brazilian football legend, Ronaldo Nazario.

As one of the best penalty scorers of 21st century, this football legend has scored 44 goals from penalty spot and is among the players with most goals scored from penalty kick.

Alessandro Del Piero-44 penalties scored

Alessandro Del Piero born 9November 1974 is an Italian former professional footballer who mainly played as a shadow striker in his career. He is widely regarded by many players and managers as one of the best Italian players of all time. Alessandro was a technically gifted and creative supporting forward.

Also, he was a free-kick specialist. This prolific goal scorer is currently the second highest all-time Italian top-scorer in all competitions, with 346 goals, behind only Silvio Piola with 390 goals; he is also the joint ninth highest goal scorer in Serie A history, with 188 goals, alongside Giuseppe Signori and Alberto Gilardino.

After beginning his career with Italian club Padova in Serie B in 1991, he moved to

Juventus

in 1993 where he played for 19 seasons and he was the first captain of the team for 11 seasons. He holds the club records for most goals (290) and appearances (705).

During his time at Juventus, he won 6 Serie A titles and won UEFA Champions League in 1995-96 season. He is currently Italy's joint fourth all-time leading scorer, along with Roberto Baggio, with 27 goals. He played for Italy national team between 1995 to 2008.with 91 appearances he's also his nation's 11th most capped player of all time.

Del Piero has represented the Italian national team at three FIFA World Cups and four UEFA European Football Championships, most notably winning the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In semi-finals of that tournament he scored second goal of Italy against Germany and led his team to the final match.

Del Piero was a free-kick and penalty specialist. During his career he scored 52 goals from free-kicks and scored 44 goals from the spot.

Steven Gerrard-46 penalties scored

Steven George Gerrard (born30 May 1980) is an English professional football manager and former player. He spent majority of his playing career as a central midfielder for Liverpool, with most of that time spent as club first captain. Widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation and one of Liverpool's greatest ever players.

Gerrard made his senior debut for

Liverpool

in 1998.he was given the captaincy in 2003.In 2005 Gerrard led Liverpool to a fifth European title, being named man of the match as Liverpool came from 3-0 down to defeat Milan in what became known as the Miracle of Istanbul.

Despite collective and individual success, Gerrard never won the Premier League, finishing runner up with Liverpool in three occasions. Gerrard is the only player to score in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup final, a UEFA Cup Final and a UEFA Champions League Final, winning on each occasion.

At international level, Gerrard is the 4th most capped player in the history of the England national football team with 114 caps, scoring 21 goals. He made his international debut in 2000, and represented his country at three European Football Championships and three World Cups. He's currently manager of Scottish club Rangers.

During his playing career he scored a total of 146 goals for his clubs and country which 46 of them was from the penalty spot. This record makes him one of the best penalty scorers of 21st century.

Edinson Cavani-48 penalties scored

Edinson Roberto Cavani Gomez

(born 14 February 1987) is a Uruguayan professional footballer who currently plays as a striker for Premier League club

Manchester United

and the Uruguay national team.

Cavani began his career playing for Danubio in Montevideo, where he played for two seasons, before moving to Italian side Palermo in 2007. He spent four seasons at the club and managed to score 34 goals in 109 appearances. In 2010 he signed for Napoli.

In the 2011-12 season, he won his first club honor, the Coppa Italia, in which he was top scorer with Napoli. In 2012-13 season, Cavani scored 29 league goals and finished as Serie A top scorer.

On 16 July 2013, Cavani was transferred to Paris Saint Germain for a reported €64 million, at the time the most expensive signing in French football history. He spent seven seasons in P.S.G. and scored 138 goals in 200 matches to be ranked as the club's all-time top goal scorer.

In 2020 he signed with Manchester United and till this day he's scored three goals for red devils. Edinson Cavani has scored 48 goals from the penalty spot till this day and is among the

best penalty scorers of 21st century

.

Frank Lampard-50 penalties scored

Frank James Lampard (born 20 June 1978) is an English professional manager and former player who is the head coach of Premier League club

Chelsea

. As a player, he is widely considered to be one of Chelsea's greatest ever players and one of the best midfielders of his generation.

A creative and technically gifted box-to-box midfielder, Lampard began his career in 1995 at West Ham United, the club where his father, Frank Lampard Sr., also played. He singed for London rivals Chelsea in 2001 for £11 million.

In chelsea, he won three Premier League titles, a UEFA Europa League title, a UEFA Champions league title, four FA Cups and two Football League Cups. In 2005 he finished runner-up for both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the year awards.

During 13 seasons playing for Chelsea he played 429 matches and scored 211 goals in all competitions and established himself as a prolific scorer from midfield. Lampard played for league rivals Manchester City and MLS club New York City before retiring in 2017. He is one of the players with most penalties scored.

At international level he made his debut in 1999 and capped 106 times for England. He's scored 29 goals for his country. He's also England's most prolific penalty taker, with 9goals scored from the spot. He represented his country at three FIFA World Cups and in UEFA Euro 2004.

In his playing career Lampard could score 50 goals from the penalty spot that’s why he is one of the best penalty scorers of 21st century.

Zlatan Ibrahimović-64penalties scored

Zlatan Ibrahimović

(born 3 October 1981) is a Swedish professional football player who plays as a striker for Serie A club A.C Milan. He is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of all time.

He is one of the most decorated active footballers in the world, having won 31 trophies in his career. He has scored over 560 career goals and even with 39 years of age he's still a prolific goal scorer.

Ibrahimović began his career in Swedish club Malmo in 1999 and played three seasons for the club. He managed to score sixteen goals in forty matches which caused European clubs pay attention to him and finally in 2001 he signed for Dutch club

F.C Ajax

.

In Ajax Ibrahimovic gained a reputation as one of the most promising forwards in Europe. He played four seasons for Ajax and scored 48 goals in 110 matches. In 2004 he joined to Juventus in Serie A.

In 2006 he joined domestic rivals Inter Milan, where he won three consecutive Serie A titles and became the top scorer of the league in 2008-09 season. In the summer of 2009, he moved to Barcelona in one of the world's most expensive transfers, before returning to Italy the following season, joining Milan.

With Milan, Ibrahimović won another Serie A title in the 2010-11 season, before joining PSG in in July 2012. During his four season playing in France won a number of trophies and was the top scorer in League 1 for three seasons.

In 2016, he joined Manchester United on a free transfer and won UEFA Europa League in his first season. Ibrahimović joined American club L.A Galaxy in 2018. Two years later he rejoined Milan and still playing in Italian club.

Ibrahimovic capped 116 times over a fifteen year international career. He scored 62 goals for Sweden and is the country's all-time leading goal scorer. His bicycle kick goal for Sweden against England won the 2013 FIFA Puskas Award.

Off the field Ibrahimović is known for his brash persona and outspoken comments. He's managed to score 64 goals from the penalty spot and is among

players with most penalties scored

.

Lionel Messi-75 penalties scored

Lionel Andréas Messi (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both Spanish club Barcelona and Argentina national team. He's a football legend without a doubt and often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

Messi has won a record 6 Ballon d'Or awards and a record six European Golden Shoes. He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona where he has won a club record 34 trophies. He has scored over 700 senior career goals for club and country.

Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi relocated to Spain at age 13, for whom he made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. In his first uninterrupted season in 2008-09 he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football; that year, aged 22, Messi won his first Ballon d'Or.

Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning four consecutive Ballons d'Or, making him the first player to win the award four times and in a row. He's the Barcelona's all-time top scorer.

Since winning the last UEFA Champions League title in 2014-15, Barcelona never could road to the final match and win the title. Key players of the team such as Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta were aged and left the team so, Messi left without support in the field and took a lot of pressure from fans media and everyone.

Messi was alone and the main formation of the team aged and couldn't play like the past years to repeat honors that achieved in the past years. In August 2020, Messi expressed his desire to leave the club. The announcement garnered a significant media response, including from current and former teammates.

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On August 26, Barcelona's sporting director Ramon Planes iterated the club's desire to "build a team around the most important player in the world and affirmed Messi will only be able to leave should a buyer pay his €700 million buyout clause.

On 30 August, Messi announced in an interview with Goal that he would continue at Barcelona for the final year of his contract. In the interview, Messi claimed to have informed Barcelona of his desire to leave multiple times, and club president Josep Bartomeu said Messi could decide at the end of every season if he could stay or leave, only for Bartomeu to refer to the release clause.

This left Messi with two options: to stay or go to court against the club, with the player saying "I would never go to court against the club of my life".

Messi made his senior debut for Argentina in 2005 aged 18. He represented his country at four FIFA World cups from 2006 to 2018. In FIFA World Cup 2014 he managed to take Argentina to the final match against Germany.

People of his country hoped with Lionel Messi on the pitch they can win the match and become the champion of the world after 28 years. The expectations were high on the best player of the world, he had to win the title in order to become a hero in his country like what Diego Armando Maradona did in 1986.

The final match ended in a draw in 90 minutes and in extra time German's head coach, Joachim Lowe, did his best job. In 113th minute his golden substitution, Mario Gotze scored the winning goal and they won the trophy. Messi has the record of the

most penalty goals by a player

.

As one of the greatest penalty scorers of all time, Lionel Messi has managed to score 75 goals from the penalty spot, and will score more penalties for sure. His conversion rate of 78% is the lowest between top 10.

Francesco Totti-75 penalties scored

Francesco Totti (born 27 September 1976) is an Italian former professional footballer who played solely for Roma and the Italy national team primarily as an attacking midfielder or second striker, but could also play as a lone striker or winger.

He is often referred to as Il Capitano (The Captain), and Il Gladiatore (The Gladiator) by the Italian sports media. A creative offensive playmaker renowned for his vision, technique, and goalscoring ability, Totti is considered to be one of the greatest Italian players of all time and Roma's greatest ever player.

Totti spent his entire career at Roma, winning a Serie A title, two Coppa Italia titles, and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. He is the second-highest scorer of all time in Italian league history with 250 goals, and is the sixth-highest scoring Italian in all competitions with 316 goals.

Totti is the top goal scorer and the most capped player in Roma's history, holds the record for the most goals scored in Serie A while playing for a single club, and also holds the record for the youngest club captain in the history of Serie A. He is one of the

best penalty scorers ever

.

In November 2014, Totti extended his record as the oldest goal scorer in UEFA Champions League history, aged 38 years and 59 days.

A 2006 FIFA World Cup winner and UEFA Euro 2000 finalist with Italy, Totti was selected in the All-Star team for both tournaments; he also represented his country at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004.

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In 2007, Totti announced his international retirement due to recurring physical problems and in order to focus solely on club play with Roma.

Totti won a record eleven Oscar del Calcio awards from the Italian Footballers' Association: five Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year awards, two Serie A Footballer of the Year awards, two Serie A Goal of the Year awards, one Serie A Goal scorer of the Year award, and one Serie A Young Footballer of the Year award.

He also won the 2007 European Golden Shoe and the 2010 Golden Foot. Totti was selected in the European Sports Media team of the season three times. In 2004, he was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the world's greatest living players as selected by Pelé, as part of FIFA's centenary celebrations.

In 2011, Totti was recognized by IFFHS as the most popular footballer in Europe. In 2015, France Football rated him as one of the ten-best footballers in the world who are over age 36.

Following his retirement in 2017, Totti was awarded the Player's Career Award and the UEFA President's Award. During his career, he scored 75 penalty goals, which puts him on the list of the

best penalty scorers of 21st century

.

Cristiano Ronaldo-114 penalties scored

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team.

Often considered the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Or awards and four European Golden Shoes, both of which are records for a European player.

Ronaldo has won 30 major trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League title. Ronaldo holds the records for the most goals (132) and assists (41) in the history of the UEFA Champions League.

He is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,000 professional career appearances and has scored over 750 senior career goals for club and country. He is also the second player to score 100 international goals, and the first European to achieve the feat. Moreover, Ronaldo is one of the greatest penalty scorers of all time.

Born and raised in Madeira, Ronaldo began his senior club career playing for Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United in 2003, aged 18.

After winning the FA Cup in his first season, he helped Manchester United win three successive Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup; at age 23, he won his first Ballon d'Or.

In 2009, Ronaldo was the subject of the then-most expensive association football transfer when signed for

Real Madrid

in a transfer worth €94 million (£80 million). There, he won 15 trophies, including two

La Liga

titles, two Copas del Rey, and four UEFA Champions League titles, and became the club's all-time top goal scorer.

After joining Madrid, Ronaldo finished runner-up for the Ballon d'Or three times, behind Lionel Messi—his perceived career rival—before winning back-to-back Ballons d'Or from 2013–2014 and again from 2016–2017.

After winning a third consecutive Champions League title in 2018, Ronaldo became the first player to win the trophy five times. In 2018, he signed for Juventus in a transfer worth an initial €100 million (£88 million), the highest ever paid by an Italian club and the highest ever paid for a player over 30 years old. He won the Serie A title in his first two seasons with the club.

Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation in 2015. He made his senior debut in 2003 at age 18, and has since earned over 160 caps, including appearing and scoring in ten major tournaments, becoming Portugal's most capped player and his country's all-time top goal scorer. He has the record of the most penalty goals by a player.

He scored his first international goal at Euro 2004 where he helped Portugal reach the final. He assumed full captaincy in July 2008, leading Portugal to their first-ever triumph in a major tournament by winning Euro 2016, and received the Silver Boot as the second-highest goal scorer of the tournament.

One of the most marketable and famous athletes in the world, Ronaldo was ranked the world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017 and the world's most famous athlete by ESPN from 2016 to 2019.

Time included him on their list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. Ronaldo is the first footballer, as well as only the third sportsman, to earn $1 billion in their career. Ronaldo has scored 36 more penalties than any other player since 2000. He is definitely one of the best penalty scorers ever.

While his haters may call him ‘Penaldo’, Cristiano deserves nothing but praise for his remarkable record from the spot. During his career, he scored 114 penalty goals to be one of the

greatest penalty scorers of all time

.

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