Best Penalty Takers

Watching a player take a penalty is a nail-biting affair. The stakes are high, the crowd is silent, and everyone is waiting for their perfect outcome. A player needs to have nerves of steel and the mental capacity to work well under pressure. 

There is much debate among soccer fans as to who is the best penalty taker of all time. Anyone you ask will probably give you a different answer. To help settle this debate, you need the facts and a little background information. 

Best Penalty Takers

In this article, we are going to discuss the best penalty-takers of all time in no particular order.

The Best Penalty Takers In Soccer

There are so many talented players to choose from but here we will look at a portion of the top penalty scorers around the world. The statistics and information here is current at the time of writing and may be subject to change. 

Mario Balotelli

Although Balotelli is considered a somewhat controversial player. He has played for clubs such as Man City, Liverpool, and AC Milan throughout his career.

The Italian soccer player is a striker(see also: What Is A Striker In Soccer?) in the Swiss Super League club, Sion. His conversion rate is an impressive 88% as he has scored 46 penalties and has only missed 5 times in his career. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo (see also: What Language Does Cristiano Ronaldo Speak?)is a Portuguese soccer player and one of the most famous soccer players of all time. Captain of Portugal’s national team and a forward for the Premier League club Manchester United, Ronaldo has a long list of achievements and titles. 

When it comes to taking penalties, he is one of the best in the sport with a conversion rate of around 84%. He has currently scored around 143 penalty goals and missed 29. 

Matt Le Tissier 

Matthew Le Tissier is a retired English Premier League player known for his professional career at Southampton soccer club. This attacking midfielder has exceptional technical skills and is the first midfielder to score 100 goals in the Premier League. 

Le Tissier has scored a total of 49 penalties and only missed one, during his time in the Premier League he scored 25 out of 26 penalties that he took. His near-perfect record makes him a worthy feature on this list of best penalty-takers. 

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi (see also: How Many Trophies Does Messi Have?)is an Argentinian professional soccer player who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain .C. and is the captain of the Argentina national team. He has won a number of awards including FIFA (see also: What Does FIFA mean?)World Player of the Year and World Soccer Player of the Year. 

There is some debate about the number of penalties that Messi has scored over the years, but it is thought that he has scored 102 out of 132 taken opportunities which gives him a conversion rate of 77%.  

Marco Van Basten

Marco van Basten is a retired Dutch soccer player known for playing for clubs such as Ajax and AC Milan. With a career spanning more than ten years, scoring 276 goals for his respective clubs. 

Scoring a total of 51 penalties and only missing 4 of the chances taken, van Basten has a conversion rate of around 93% which is the sixth-highest record in history. The player, unfortunately, had to retire at 30 years old due to a number of recurring injuries. 

Best Penalty Takers (1)

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer is a retired British soccer player and manager, he is infamous in the soccer world due to his legendary striker status. This is a well-deserved title as he remains the Premier League’s record goalscorer to this day, with a whopping 260 goals spanning his career. 

Along with his impressive goal-scoring record, he also has racked up quite the penalty tally too. Another record he holds is scoring the most penalty goals in the Premier League with 56 successful goals.

Overall, the legend has scored a total of 72 penalties and only missed 5. With a success rate of 94%, he really is one of the greats. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

This center-forward from Sweden is a hugely influential figure in the soccer world. He has played for the likes of Manchester United and is currently a forward for AC Milan. Considered one of the greatest players of his time, the legend has scored a total of 492 goals. 

In terms of penalties, Ibrahimovic has scored 84 penalties and missed 17. As a result, he is considered a reliable and talented player throughout his career.  

Leighton Baines

Leighton Baines is an English former professional football player and currently works as a manager for the under-18s team at Everton. Everton was the last club Baines played at where he was a left back as well as playing for his country. 

Baines has scored 20 out of the 22 penalties he’s taken in his career giving him a 91% conversion rate in the Premier League. 

Alessandro Del Piero

Another Italian player that makes the list is Alessandro Del Piero. During his career, he’s mainly played in the forward position although he is very talented and is suitable to play in many different positions.

Now retired, the Italian has played for the likes of his national team, Juventus, and Sydney FC.

Out of the penalty shots he has taken, he has scored 77 goals and missed 15 during his time as a soccer player. These results make him an impressive and coveted player with a remarkable career spanning two decades. 

Who Is The Best?

It is difficult to answer which is the best penalty taker of all time as there is some conflicting information on the statistics of the players. However, it appears that the person with the best conversion rate is Alan Shearer with 94%. 

The Bottom Line

Penalties are intense moments for football fans and players themselves. These opportunities can be the ultimate opportunity to win a match which is why they come with so much pressure.

Throughout the history of soccer, there have been a few names that stick out most when taking penalties, such as the ones featured here. 

Adrian Turner
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