8
Aug

Giggs saves Man United Class of 1992’s dignity in friendly vs non-league Salford City

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Manchester United’s Class of 1992 - featuring Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers and Nicky Butt (David Beckham was busy doing David Beckham things) - were thrashed 5-1 in a friendly against Salford City, the semi-pro club that the players listed above are part owners of.

Despite the heavy defeat, there was one moment that did invoke memories of the United legends’ glory days. Having only retired last season, Giggs showed he’s still got that touch of genius in him, scoring a lovely Panenka penalty for his side’s only goal:

30
May

This is either the best or worst penalty ever (definitely best)

It’s not easy to come up with a new routine for penalty kick. Aside from those who venture to try a Panenka or a stutter step, kicks from the spot tend to be pretty straightforward.

But now, thanks to Ashad Ali Adubarey, we have a new technique: the flop.

At first glance it seems like Adubarey screwed up royally. But then you watch it again (and again and again) and it’s clear this was totally on purpose.

And not only was this purposeful, it was incredibly bold. Adubarey didn’t try out this new technique in just any old match. This was during the AFC Challenge Cup third-place match. His side, Maldives, would end up defeating Afghanistan 8-7 on penalties to secure third in the tournament.

It’s a good thing this worked for Adubarey, or he’d have some very annoyed teammates. And we’re guessing he won’t try this one again.

(H/T Guardian)

25
Mar

Is this the worst penalty attempt ever?

When the Panenka penalty is done right, it’s a thing of beauty. A seemingly effortless flick of the boot that floats into the back of the net whilst the keeper dives aside.

When the Panenka penalty is done wrong, it’s also a thing of beauty — but for an entirely different reason.

Behold, in an amateur match between Swords Celtic and Lorcan Celtic, as Swords forward Mark O’Brien gives this bit of skill a whirl to disastrous effect.

With his side already up 4-0, O’Brien walks up to the spot and dinks a ball with about as much force as a kitten sneeze. It one-hops right into the arms of the Lorcan keeper, who remained statuesque in goal.

Of course, now that the clip has hit the internet, O’Brien has opted for some damage control. He took to Twitter to claim his teammate won the penalty on a dive, so O’Brien muffed the penalty on purpose in a show of sportsmanship.

Hmm, not sure we’re convinced.

(h/t Pies)

24
Oct

Brazil’s Alexandre Pato tries Panenka, fails miserably

There aren’t many players in the world who can pull off a Panenka. Alexandre Pato is not one of those players.

But unfortunately for the 24-year-old Brazilian, he thought it was a good idea to try against Corinthians on Wednesday night, and it costs his side a spot in the Brazilian Cup semifinals.

Gremio goalkeeper Dida saved his former AC Milan teammates’ poor Panenka attempt, and clinched a 3-2 penalty shootout win over Corinthians.

"I expected him to hit it in the middle, I just waited for it," 40-year-old Dida said after the match.

The World Cup veteran Dida had the young striker all figured out — experience trumped trickery. We’re guessing Pato will not get cute on penalty kicks any time in the near future.

Unless of course he gets specific training from Italian maestro Andrea Pirlo:

30
May

We’ve seen just how awful some celebrities can be at taking penalty kicks (coughcoughWillSmithcough) but fortunately, there are some outside the soccer realm who are quite comfortable from the spot, some might even say a little cocky!

Fernando Alonso, two-time Formula 1 racing champ, is admittedly a much bigger soccer junkie than Mr. Smith, but we are still surprised at how deftly Alonso just buried this penalty kick Panenka style in what is clearly some type of bogus all-star soccer match. As coool as the other side of the pillow.

And yes, that is Gianluigi Lentini in goal, the once upon a time most expensive player in the world!