Antonin Panenka’s penalty gave Czechoslovakia victory over West Germany in Euro 1976. Photograph: Getty

Euro 1976: Czechoslovakia 2 West Germany 2 AET (Czechoslovakia win 5-3 on penalties) Taking a penalty at any level of football takes a certain amount(...)

Andrea Pirlo dinks the ball down the middle as the momentum swings Italy’s way in their Euro 2012 shootout with England. Photograph: Getty

Euro 2012: England 0 Italy 0 (Italy win 4-2 on penalties) June 24th 2012 As he approached the twilight of his career in Europe - before he signed fo(...)

 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his penalty in the Primera Division match against Getafe at the Nou Camp. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Lionel Messi’s ‘Panenka’ penalty against Getafe has been hailed as the best ever – by the man himself.Antonin Panenka originated the chipped spot-kick(...)

West German goalkeeper Toni Schumacher (right) jumps past the ball as he gets ready to collide with French defender Patrick Battiston during the 1982 World Cup semi-final in Stockholm. Battiston was carried off the field on a stretcher while Schumacher, unpunished,  resumed play with a goal-kick. Photograph: AFP

The semi-final stage of the World Cup has, on balance, not been particularly kind to France. In 1958, the free-scoring team of Just Fontaine and Raymo(...)