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Fw Presents The Panenka

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Penalties are mini-dramas played out 12 yards from the goal line, high stakes games of poker that some cannot bear to watch. These one-on-one battles between goalkeeper and penalty taker are as much a matter of holding your nerve as a triumph of technique. If the goalie saves it - he’s a hero. If the taker misses his penalty, it can be a defining moment for his career: just asked Gareth Southgate.

So, do you place the ball elegantly into the corner, or take a massive run-up and whack it down the middle? And a shimmy or a stutter is one thing - but why would you increase your chances of missing by trying something outrageous? Get it right and you like sublime like Andrea Pirlo. Get it wrong and you look like, well, this.

In this special edition of Football Weekly - the latest of our collaboration with the US soccer quarterly, Howler - Iain Macintosh traces the origins of the Panenka penalty and meets the man who invented it.

Let us know your thoughts on the blog below, and Jimbo and the rest of the Football Weekly pod squad will see you tomorrow, Wednesday 29 December. Woof.

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