Pogba, Balotelli, Ronaldo and 10 strange penalty techniques

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After Paul Pogba’s staggered run-up on Sunday, Goal picks out other examples of players employing a bizarre approach to converting spot-kicks

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    Pogba's 26-step run-up

    Paul Pogba’s missed penalty against Everton was the source of a lot of puzzlement over the weekend.

    The Manchester United midfielder's run-up consisted of 26 steps and took over 10 seconds. It didn't work either, with Jordan Pickford saving the spot-kick.

    Luckily for Pogba, the ball rebounded right into his path, allowing him to slot home.

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    Balotelli's wait-and-see

    Mario Balotelli wasn't the first player to incorporate a stutter into his penalty run-up but he may be the most successful.

    The Italian calmly takes an extra step in his approach as he waits for the keeper to move left or right before – usually – slotting the ball into the opposite corner.

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    Perotti's walk

    Roma winger Diego Perotti has his own unique approach to penalties.

    Rather than running up to the ball, the Argentine walks to the penalty spot before calmly shooting towards either corner with the minimum of back-lift. The Argentine scored in this fashion at Anfield last season during the Champions League semi-final first leg.

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    Berbatov's roll

    Dimitar Berbatov currently has the longest streak of scored penalties in the Premier League without ever missing one. The Bulgarian converted all nine of his Premier League spot-kicks in trademark fashion.

    The former Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham forward would stroll up to the ball, leaving it to the last possible second before deciding where he was going to put it.

    The goalkeeper would go one way whilst Berba would roll the ball into the opposite corner with characteristic nonchalance.

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    One-step Signori

    Pogba’s 26-step technique offered quite the contrast to Giuseppe Signori’s signature style.

    The Lazio legend would only take one step before striking the ball, thus giving the goalkeeper no clue as to where he was going to put his penalty.

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    Ronaldo's volley

    During Real Madrid’s Champions League game against PSG last season, viewers were left baffled as it looked as though the ball mysteriously moved just before Cristiano Ronaldo buried his penalty.

    According to team-mates, though, it was a technique that Ronaldo had practiced in training. He would stamp on the ground next to the spot, causing the ball to jump up into the air, so that he could get extra power on the ball as if it were a volley.

  7. The sneaky pass

    Three legends of the game have tried to pass the ball to a team-mate from the penalty spot.

    Lionel Messi and Johan Cruyff pulled it off with all the grace in the world, showboating at its finest whilst their teams were already 3-1 and 5-0 up respectively.

    However, Robert Pires tried the same trick in 2005 against Manchester City whilst the game was only 1-0. Pires failed to make solid contact with the ball and City were able to clear.

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    Panenka's Chip

    Antonin Panenka will always be remembered for one moment in his career. He had the responsibility of taking the winning penalty in the 1976 European Championship final against West Germany and he produced a sublime bit of skill, chipping his penalty straight down the middle as goalkeeper Sepp Maier was left flapping at thin air.

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    Zaza-day Night Fever

    Italy's Simone Zaza gave an unforgettable demonstration of how to miss a penalty in style with an inexplicabe dancing run-up during Euro 2016. 

    The former West Ham man was second up for his nation against Germany in a shoot-out after their quarter-final had ended in a 1-1 stalemate. 

    But the striker approached the ball with a bizarrely jaunty spring in his step, an unorthodox move that only made his subsequent blast over Manuel Neuer's crossbar look more ridiculous.

    Germany went on to win the shoot-out, and Zaza was moved to issue a public apology for his antics to the distraught Italy support.

  10. The somersault

    He might not be a household name, but Norik Avdalyan and his unique penalty trick have been seen across the world. 

    The Rubin youngster somehow manages to cap his spot-kicks with a somersault, a touch that if nothing else seems to have an extremely disconcerting effect on opposing goalkeepers.

    We don't know how he does it, but it certainly looks very impressive!