Penalty kicks are some of the most thrilling and high-pressure moments in football. They can make or break a team’s chances of winning a match. However, some goalkeepers have managed to save seemingly impossible penalty kicks, becoming legends in the process. In this article, we will explore some of the most incredible penalty saves in football history.
One of the most famous penalty saves occurred during the 1994 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals. The match between Brazil and the Netherlands was tied 2-2 when the Dutch were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes of the game. Dutch star Dennis Bergkamp stepped up to take the spot-kick, but Brazilian goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel made a spectacular save, diving to his right and getting his hand to the ball. Brazil went on to win the match in a penalty shootout.
Another incredible penalty save happened during the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan. Liverpool’s goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek made an amazing double save in the penalty shootout, first stopping a shot from Andrea Pirlo and then quickly recovering to block a shot from Andriy Shevchenko. Dudek’s heroics helped Liverpool win the Champions League for the fifth time.
In the 2018 World Cup, Croatia’s Danijel Subasic made a crucial penalty save in the quarter-final match against Russia. With the scores tied at 1-1 in extra time, Russia was awarded a penalty. Subasic managed to block the initial shot, but the rebound fell to the feet of Russia’s striker. Subasic quickly got up and made another save, securing Croatia’s place in the semi-finals.
Another remarkable penalty save was made by Manchester United’s Peter Schmeichel during the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. With the scores tied at 1-1 in injury time, Bayern were awarded a corner kick. Bayern’s Mario Basler swung in the corner, and it fell to the feet of Carsten Jancker, who blasted the ball towards goal. Schmeichel made a stunning save to deny Jancker, keeping Manchester United in the game. United went on to win the match 2-1, completing a historic treble.