With the World Cup getting closer, attention has already been focused on the announcement of the provisional list of each Selection facing the competition. The technicians will focus on adding a functional mix of players based on experience and physical condition, but surely the idea of having a stable manager to kick the penalties in a definition or when necessary must have passed through the mind of each selector. .
In World Cups, what is usually a trifle or something unimportant, becomes vital. Many teams have achieved glory for their ability to kick penalties and that is why it is not an irrelevant point when analyzing the possibilities of the 32 classified players. Accurate kickers are essential for those selected with aspirations.
Nobody doubts that Brazil is one of the two top candidates to win the title in Luzhniki. Only Germany is capable of fighting him the nickname of great favorite. The team of Tite has found a performance so reliable that it is even difficult to think that a rival leads to a definition by penalties. Anyway, in that area you also have to be calm. Of course, Neymar is in charge and here without controversy as he had in PSG. It is true that Ney is not infallible (he missed several shots in Barcelona and PSG), but he was able to score the most important with Canarinha, against Chile in the 2014 World Cup and against Germany in the final of the 2016 Olympic Games. Fabinho and Jonas, Europe’s best kickers, they did not even enter the list of 23.
The call of Paulo Dybala was in doubt until recently, but finally Jorge Sampaoli included him in the preliminary list of Argentina. Perhaps, his ability to mark from the twelve steps ended up convincing him. Since arriving in Europe, the Cordovan kicked 22 penalties, of which only three failed and, although two of those three were this season, its effectiveness is one of the best in the world. The Albiceleste knows how important it is to win in this way, as it did in 1990, 1998 and 2014. Anyway, it is clear that the main charge will be, of course, Lionel Messi, who comes from missing a shot in the final of the Copa America Centenario and is thirsty for revenge.
Argentina knows what it is to win on penalties .
Poland does not arrive as one of the candidates, that is clear. However, he has the most accurate striker in Germany on his team. Robert Lewandowski was the scorer of the last Qualifiers and, by number and effectiveness, is the best penalty kicker in the world. Throughout his career, he finished 41 penalties and only missed 4. The Polish team can rest easy if you get a definition of this type, because in addition both Wojciech Szczęsny and Łukasz Fabiański are good attackers.
Another of the kings of the penitentiary is Chelsea’s native of Belgium, Eden Hazard. The striker missed one in the Premier League against Manchester City, but has the impressive record of 39 scored against 6 failed. Hazard is able to go either to the right of the goalkeeper-natural for a right-or to his left. In general, a step-by-step advance is enough to force the goalkeeper to take the first step, resulting in Hazard throwing the ball to the opposite side.
Cristiano and his key penalty at the Euro Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo is not far behind with a very good effectiveness from the penalty point of 90 percent. Although the number does not impress too much, CR7 has been the European player with the highest number of shots. Ronaldo tends to use brute force and precision in his attempts and his approach usually works. In the Euro, he scored the first goal of the series against Polona in the quarterfinals.
Edinson Cavani is one of the most expensive, most coveted and best classified forwards in the world and has been encouraged to dispute the leadership of PSG to Neymar despite its not very good effectiveness. In the last season, he scored 6 and missed 2. Despite his insistence, the manager in Uruguay will be his attacking partner Luis Suarez. The Pistolero does not finish too much from the twelve steps (Messi is the man in Barcelona), however, he fails a little. In fact, the last time he did it was in 2016, just with the celestial shirt against Chile.
To some extent, penalties are a lottery. But for the great players of the planet who will play in Russia, there are many more chances of success. The archers will study the tendencies of their opponents from the penalty point, and it is possible to stop them, but the odds are definitely not on the side of the men guarding the goal.