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Panenka (penalty kick)
In association football, the Panenka is a technique used in penalty kick-taking in which the taker, instead of kicking the ball to the left or right of the goalkeeper, gives a subtle touch underneath the ball, causing it to rise and fall within the centre of the goal, deceiving the goalkeeper who is counted on by the taker to have guessed a side and committed a dive away from the centre. It was first used by Czech player Antonín Panenka, who presented this technique to the world in the 1976 UEFA European Championship final, when he beat West German goalkeeper Sepp Maier to claim the title for the Czechoslovakian national team. After its sensational debut in the tournament, the Panenka kick has been used on rare occasions and mostly by highly respected players who can deal with the consequences of missing such an attempt. This style of penalty kick is also called Il cucchiaio ("the spoon") in the Italian-speaking world, cavadinha ("little dig") in Brazil and penal picado ("poked penalty kick") in Argentina.
The aim of the technique is not to chip the ball over the goalkeeper, but to take advantage of the fact that many goalkeepers will dive to either side of the goal in anticipation, rather than waiting to see in which direction the ball is going. It is a very risky technique, because the subtle touch on the ball gives it a very slow speed, thus allowing the goalkeeper to move back from where they jumped, or even to simply remain in the same spot and wait for the ball to fall easily into their hands. In addition, the subtle touch is most easily applied by a taker who slows down as he/she is about to strike the ball, making it possible for the goalkeeper to recognize what the taker is intending. The move is known for only being used by confident penalty takers who dare to risk missing the kick. Some players that have used the Panenka kick have been criticized by the specialized media or their team's members and supporters.
Panenka in 2013. His original penalty technique has been imitated by many other players.
The original penalty
Antonín Panenka came to international prominence playing for Czechoslovakia in the 1976 European Championship; Czechoslovakia reached the final, where they faced West Germany. After extra time, the result was 2–2, and so the first penalty shootout in a European Championships final ensued. The first seven kicks were converted, until West Germany's fourth penalty taker, Uli Hoeneß, ballooned his shot over the bar. With the score 4–3, Panenka stepped up to take the fifth Czechoslovakian penalty, to win the match under immense pressure. He feigned shooting to the side of the goal, causing West German goalkeeperSepp Maier to dive to his left, and then gently chipped the ball into the middle of the net. The perceived impudence of the shot, in addition to its success, led a watching French journalist to dub Panenka "a poet", and his winning kick is one of the most famous ever, making Panenka's name synonymous with that particular style of penalty kick.
As well as winning the 1976 European Championship, Panenka helped Czechoslovakia come third in the 1980 tournament, after scoring once again in a 9–8 penalty shootout win. In the finals of the 1982 World Cup, Panenka scored twice with penalties, but these were the only Czechoslovakian goals, and the team did not progress beyond the first group stage.