Here Are The Worst Penalties Ever Taken in the History of FIFA World Cup


Posted: June 7, 2018

Updated: October 31, 2023

Penalty shootouts are definitely the most exciting part of a football match in the knockout stages, but we can also comment a lot when a penalty is being awarded during the game. They can become quite memorable, especially the missed ones. Let’s take a look at the worst penalties ever taken in a World Cup match!

Online sportsbook news sites in Russia are always impressed when it comes to the worst penalties ever taken in football because such events give source to topics for years to come. We hope to see at least a few moments to remember during the upcoming World Cup as well, but before that, let1s try to recall some of the worst penalties ever taken in the history of FIFA World Cup.

5. Wesley Sneijder against Argentina in 2014

The Netherlands were World Cup runner ups in 2010, only Spain could prove superior to them that year. That’s one of the reasons why the Oranje expected the Brazilian tournament with great ambitions. They were also getting more and more hopeful as the tournament went on. They were already in the semi finals where they were to face Lionel Messi and Argentina.

The game was pretty boring as it ended in a goalless draw. However, that meant it became exciting in the end at least as it went on to a penalty shootout. The Netherlands missed their very first penalty, so Argentina were ahead from the very beginning. Team captain Wesley Snejder missed again in the third round, giving a 3-1 lead to Argentina as Kun Agüero scored. Argentina reached the World Cup final without missing a single penalty in the shootout.

4. Esteban Cambiasso against Germany in 2006

Something similar happened to Esteban Cambiasso in 2006 to what happened to Wesley Sneijder 8 years later. Cambiasso and his Argentine teammates were facing Germany in the Quarter-finals. Ayala took the lead for Argentina, but that was not enough as the top scorer in the history of FIFA World Cup, Miroslav Klose, equalized in the 80th minute.

The first penalty was missed by Argentinian goal scorer Ayala in the second round. Nobody can blame him, he helped his team reach this point… Germany scored all, so it was 4-2 in the 4th round. Cambiasso was going to take a penalty. The former Real Madrid and Inter midfielder missed his penalty and put Germany into the World Cup semi finals.

3. Asamoah Gyan against Uruguay in 2010

One of the most memorable matches at World Cup 2010 was definitely the battle between Ghana and Uruguay. These two teams were the biggest overachievers in World Cup 2010 and they faced each other in Quarter Final to play a memorable game. Luis Suarez went big that night, and he didn’t even bite anyone!

Two great goals game in 90 minutes: Forlán equalized from a terrific free kick after Muntari’s perfect shot from far away. The game went on to extra time and Ghana took a dangerous free kick, which ended in a clear cut chance in the 120th minute. If it’s a goal, Uruguay is out. Suarez knew that, so he handballed on the goal line to keep his team in game for a little longer.

It was not a bad decision after all. The referee saw what happened so he obviously sent Suarez off with an instant red card and awarded Ghana a penalty in the 121th minute. If it’s a goal, Ghana are in the World Cup semi-finals, if it’s missed, penalty shootout is coming. Asamoah Gyan hit the post and the rest is history: Uruguay beat Ghana in the penalty shootout.

2. David Trezeguet against Italy in 2006

2006 was a memorable year for all football fans. It was the year Zinedine Zidane retired from football. He played his very last La Liga game as a player shortly before joining the France squad in Germany to participate in his very last tournament. He was going to retire at the top which he almost managed: Zidane lead France to World Cup final.

They faced Italy in hopes of sitting in the throne of the football world. However, the Italians had other ideas about who the king of the world is. Zidane1s impressive penalty should definitely not be in the same article as the worst penalties ever taken as it was one of the best of all time. But that was during the game, just before he was sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi.

Italy scored all of their penalties while France weren’t even allowed to take their last penalties because it wouldn’t have mattered anyways: Italy won 5-3, all thanks to David Trezeguet’s off the post penalty in the second round of the penalty shootout.

1. Roberto Baggio against Brazil in 1994

What could be worse than missing a penalty when your team needs a goal the most? The answer is pretty simple: missing a penalty in the penalty shootouts. Especially if your penalty is the one deciding about the fate of your team: are you losing, or are you still in game? Now what adds to the pressure is if you have this situation in the World Cup final, which is the biggest event in football.

Roberto Baggio couldn’t handle the pressure, but we can’t really blame him: not many would be able to cope with so many emotions at such a moment. Baggio helped Italy reach the World Cup final in 1994 and did a good enough game against Brazil. However, he’s the anti-hero thanks to his miss in the penalty shootout. Baggio basically won the World Cup for Brazil.

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