As such, the ‘best’ penalty in the current circumstances is probably the “poker bluff” – trying to outfox the keeper or make him move before striking. Against West Germany in the Euro ‘76 final, Antonin Panenka gave the best example of this. At the turn of the millennium, Gaizka Mendieta seemed to master it. More recently, Mario Balotelli has been emulating it. But even that’s not perfect, as we saw with Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2008 Champions League final and Schweinsteiger in this year’s. Just a few weeks ago, in the Under-17 European Championship final, Schweinsteiger’s young compatriots also lost a shootout. Worse, they were defeated by Netherlands – a country with one of the worst spot-kick records in international football history. These recent aberrations only followed Lukas Podolski’s miss against Serbia in their 2010 World Cup group match. It seems a remarkable record but, in truth, simple physics should have rendered it a routine record because, unless a six-foot-plus goalkeeper is standing right beside the sbobet post, the top corners of any goal are unreachable. Even someone leaping around his line like Petr Cech can, at best, reach only 72% of the area he’s trying to protect. Similarly, in a wide-ranging study of penalty kicks, psychologist Olaf Binsch found that shooters who were focusing on a target – rather than just trying to beat a goalkeeper – had a much higher success rate since they were less distracted. Here, the older maxim of ibcbet “picking your spot and staying with it” also stands true.
If anything, the aura is starting to evaporate. Might it just be the best bet of Euro 2012? Could Germany lose a livescore first shootout in 36 years?