The Pioneer of “Panenka Penalty kick” Antonin Panenka is in critical condition

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The originator of the famous “Panenka penalty kick”, Antonin Panenka, is critically ill and currently, at the intensive care unit of a hospital in his home country, Czechoslovakia, his former club Bohemians announced on Wednesday.

After diagnosis, it was discovered that the 71-year-old current chairman of Bohemians Praha has contracted the deadly coronavirus.

“Antonin Panenka was taken to an intensive care unit today, in a serious condition. We will not comment more on his state. Tonda, let’s go!” Bohemians 1905 said on Twitter.

Who is Antonin Panenka?

Who is Antonin Panenka?
Antonin Panenka

Antonin Panenka did not play for any top European club but he is one of the most celebrated footballers in Czechoslovakia. When he was still playing active football, his favorite playing position was the role of an attacking midfielder.

Panenka came to the limelight after helping Czechoslovakia to win UEFA Euro 1976 with a very strange penalty technique which has been named after him “Panenka penalty kick”.

Though West Germany Dieter Müller who scored 4 goals in the competition was the tournament’s highest goalscorer, Panenka’s penalty technique made him the rave of the competition and ended up winning a spot in the UEFA European Football Championship Team of the Tournament in 1976.

Four years after, Antonin Panenka was voted Czechoslovak Footballer of the Year after leading the country to a third-place finish at Euro 1980. He also went on to win 5 domestic titles with an Austrian Bundesliga side Rapid Wien between 1981 to 1985.

The complete history of the Panenka penalty kick technique

Antonin Panenka trying the first Panenka penalty kick.
Antonin Panenka trying the first Panenka penalty kick.

The Panenka penalty kick originated at the final of UEFA Euro 1976. The final of the competition was between Czechoslovakia and West Germany.

The regular time ended 2-2 and both sides failed to score any goal in extra time. Hence, the match ended up in a penalty shootout which was recorded as the first time in the history of European Championships that the final of the competition was decided via penalty shootouts.

At 4-3, West Germany’s Uli Hoeneß stepped up to take the fourth spot-kick but played it over the bar to give Czechoslovakia the advantage. Panenka then stopped up to take Czechoslovakia’s fifth kick and decided to do it stylishly amidst the massive pressure in the entire stadium.

The retired attacking midfielder pretended shooting to the side of the goal, causing German goalkeeper Sepp Maier to leap to his left, and then chipped the ball into the middle of the net. He scored the spot-kick to make it 5-3 and won the Euro for the first time for Czechoslovakia.

This penalty technique which is now termed Panenka penalty kick has been tried by many football legends in the game. Many have tried it successfully while others tried it and failed.

Some of the football greats that have tried the technique successfully include, Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and many others.

Watch some of the top successful attempts of Panenka penalty kick below

Watch some of the top failed attempts of Panenka penalty kick below