There are occasions that absolutely must not be missed, like your marriage, or your driver’s license. But that still at the limit who cares, you can always find another wife / husband or retake your license, WHILE taking a penalty in the World Cup, you will not be able to do it. Is this comparison far-fetched? It’s quite possible… in the meantime if these players hadn’t failed on these great occasions, I won’t be here looking for crazy examples to back up my point.
1. Asamoah Gyan against Uruguay in the 2010 World Cup
How not to start this top with this horrible “incident” which could have really changed the course of history? To briefly return to the facts, this cheat of Suarez prevents a Ghanaian goal from entering by blocking it with his hand, a goal which could have given victory to Ghana.
So Ghana gets a penalty for this foul but Asamoah Gyan misses it…
If this penalty had been successful, maybe Ghana would have been the first African team to go to the semi-finals of a World Cup, so yes it’s tragic.
2. Lionel Messi v Chile, Copa America 2016
The 2016 Copa America final was between Chile and Argentina and, as Argentine hero Messi is about to take his penalty in the penalty shootout, he misses, sealing his team’s fate.
It was after this match that Messi announced his international retirement (even if he would eventually continue to play), because it must be said that Argentina was a bit cursed: three finals played three years in a row (2014 in the Cup du Monde, Copa America 2015 and 2016) and three failures…
If he had scored that goal, maybe Messi would have delivered his team and broken the spell of the losing finals that Argentina was experiencing.
3. Griezmann against Real Madrid in the Champions League final in 2016
The Champions League, the great grail of Europe that all clubs dream of winning, in short there is no time to miss a penalty, and yet our national Griezmann did it.
In the 46th minute of the match, Atlético were trailing 1-0. Shortly after Pepe commits a foul in the area, which leads to the penalty. A goal, which at this time of the match could have been decisive, but Griezmann misses it and sends a powerful strike on the bar.
Finally Atletico manages to equalize, but loses on penalties. Later, when Griezmann speaks about this failed final, he says it himself, he thinks that his failure is what caused his team to lose in this final, weighing heavily on general morale.
Poor little Grizou, we don’t blame you.
4. Robben against Chelsea in the Champions League final in 2012
Another Champions League final that could have happened quite differently.
Chelsea won the first Champions League in its history in 2012 on penalties against Bayern, while the match was taking place in Munich. And it is in particular because Robben, a big star of Bayern, did not know how to put the ball in the back of the cages and sealed the fate of his team.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo against Iran (1-1) at the 2018 World Cup
We know it, to shine in the World Cup is really what is missing from the beautiful track record of CR7.
And it happened again in the 2018 World Cup, where Ronaldo missed out on his match against Iran, to everyone’s surprise.
A missed penalty from Ronaldo concedes a draw against Iran, supposed to be a much weaker team than Portugal, which will let Spain take the lead of the group in the knockout stages of the World Cup. For a guy of Ronaldo’s stature, it’s a bit of a shame.
6. Mahrez against Zambia (0-1) in 2018 World Cup qualifying
It was a big hard cup for the Algerian team which had not qualified for the 2018 World Cup, dead last in their group.
Unfortunately, we remember the missed penalty from the star Mahrez in the 16th minute of play, which could still have made the difference. Present in South Africa in 2010 and in Brazil in 2014, the fennecs will not repeat their feat in 2018 (and neither in 2022 oupsi), especially without this goal from Mahrez which could have given a breath of hope to the team.
7. Ibrahimovic v Manchester City in the 2016 Champions League quarter-final
Zlatan, the former PSG star, will not have been able to advance his favorite club in the Champions League, especially not in the quarter-finals against Manchester City in the 2016 edition.
It was during the first leg that in the 14th minute he missed a penalty and some time later he missed another scoring opportunity. These opportunities will be very expensive: De Bruyne opens the scoring for City in the 38th and finally PSG will snatch the draw (2-2) putting themselves in great difficulty for the return match.
In short, Zlatan will not have (at all) been able to make the difference in this very important match and unfortunately PSG is eliminated…
8. Mbappé against Switzerland at Euro 2021
The little darling of the French had disappointed us a little (a lot) during the match France vs Switzerland on the occasion of Euro 2021.
After a more than complicated and unpredictable match, the blues finally go to penalties against Switzerland, and Kylian Mbappé misses the decisive goal, thus leading to the defeat and the elimination of France. What frustration for the young player and the French supporters…
9. Messi against Iceland (1-1) at the 2018 World Cup
Messi is criticized for never having really shone in the national team and unfortunately it is rather true. During the eliminatory phases of the 2018 World Cup, Messi (and his team, it’s not just him anyway), conceded a draw against Iceland (1-1), in particular by missing a penalty which could well have serve the Argentines.
Because yes this victory against Iceland could have been the first victory for Argentina in this competition, which is still quite symbolic, in short it must be said what is: Messi messed up his match.
10. Kepa against Liverpool in the 2022 League Cup final
We talked about it a lot and it’s a shame for him, but Kepa has the right to his place in this top.
With his failures, he literally offers victory to Liverpool in the League Cup final.
No stoppage on the eleven strikes taken by Liverpool and a miss which gave victory to the Reds, a heavy record for the Chelsea substitute goalkeeper who precipitated the defeat of his team.
11. Cardozo against Spain (0-1) – in the 2010 World Cup
It was a tight game against Paraguay, which could have gone very differently if Cardozo hadn’t missed his penalty. Because it is partly “thanks” to this failure that Spain subsequently qualifies from the competition in the semi-finals (yes it’s not nothing). Oscar Cardozo was also inconsolable after this match and it is thanks to a goal (with a bit of luck too) that David Villa offers his place in the semi-finals to Spain.
A match which, if it had happened otherwise, could have changed the destiny of the future 2010 world champions.
12. Messi against Chelsea (2-2) in the Champions League semi-final in 2012
Finally, a last miss from Messi, which once again could have changed the course of the match.
The Barcelona striker misses a penalty that hits Petr Cech’s crossbar and at the same time prevents him from becoming top scorer in the Champions League.
In the end it will be a draw against Chelsea, but this goal could have been decisive and would have led Barça to beat their opponents in such an important moment as a Champions League semi-final.