It is perceived as one of the easiest spots to score from on the football denied as it is just 12 yards away from the goal post but with the record of some of the finest players in world football, putting the ball at the back of the net from the penalty spot may be harder than it looks, You think otherwise ? Ask Lionel Messi who has had his fair share of shortcomings from the penalty spot.
More recently, a certain Brazilian striker , Gabriel Jesus , seems to be following the footsteps of the Argentine legend (not the dazzling runs or the mesmerizing chips) but the penalty misses.
The Brazilian is widely regarded as one of the finest young strikers in world football and Pep’s admiration for the Brazilian should be worst kept secret in world football. He has missed a jaw dropping 5 penalties out of 9 in his career. His first miss came in a 4-1 mauling of Tottenham Hotspur while playing for Manchester City , That was followed with another miss in City colors as he missed from 12 yards as City beat Swansea 5-0, His next miss came in a 5-0 trashing of Peru by Brazil in the Copa America , His luck ran out as the next penalty miss from him cost City the game as they drew 1-1 against Atalanta in the Champions league, The latest penalty miss proved even more costly as Brazil lost 1-0 to Argentina, Gabriel Jesus’ last penalty miss was other media scrutiny considering it was against Brazil’s biggest rivals, Argentina.
In comparison to other attackers on the field against Argentina when Gabriel Jesus missed that penalty , He only seems to have one competitor between Willian Borges and Roberto Firmino for penalty duties in Brazil as long as Neymar and Coutinho are out. That competitor is Willian as he has missed just penalty in s career so far scoring 4 in the process , His first goal from the spot kick was for Shakhtar Donetsk in a game against Anton Yashov which was followed which the other 3 while playing for Chelsea , One against Tottenham Hotspur in a 4-2 win, It was followed by another in the 5-0 mauling of Stoke City by Chelsea in the Premier League , Almost two years later , he scored from the spot again in a 3-0 win over Keiren Westwood in an FA cup game. Another Brazilian attacker who was on the pitch when Gabriel Jesus missed the penalty is Roberto Firmino, The Liverpool man who is part of the famous attacking trio that have been terrorizing defenses in Europe also has a poor penalty conversion rate which is bad or been worse than Gabriel Jesus’. Firmino has missed 4 penalties out of the 9 he has taken in his career so far , That should day a lot about why he doesn’t take penalties for the national team even with the absence of Coutinho and Neymar. He scored 3 penalties while playing for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and 2 goals from the spot for Liverpool, The first in a 3-3 against Watford and later on in a 5-1 win over Arsenal.
Brazil have nothing to worry about from the penalty spot when their first and second choice penalty takers are available as Neymar and Coutinho can be counted on from the spot. Coutinho boats a 100 percent record from the spot after 10 attempts while Neymar has scored a whopping 46 penalties in 58 attempts . It is when those two are absent that there is a cause for concern when it comes to penalties and Gabriel Jesus doesn’t seem to be the answer
By Yusuf Abdulfattah