Ronaldo, Lewandowski & the 15 most prolific penalty-takers in Europe

Comments()
Thanks to our friends at Opta, Goal runs through the players who have converted the most league spot-kicks since August 2014

  1. Getty Images

    #15 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 18

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 15

    CONVERSION RATE: 83.3%

    He may have left European football for MLS in 2018, but Zlatan is still fondly remembered for his exploits across the continent. Among his many other talents, the Swedish striker was a dab hand from the penalty spot.

    Since the start of 2014-15 season, Ibrahimovic missed just three spot-kicks in league football, while netting for Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United in that period.

    He also boasts a perfect record in the United States, converting all four of his attempts to date for LA Galaxy.

  2. Getty Images

    #14 Neymar

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 17

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 15

    CONVERSION RATE: 88.2%

    The Brazil star has not always had things his own way when it comes to penalties. At Barcelona and PSG alike he has had to battle it out with established takers like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, even holding an on-pitch struggle with the latter over the right to take a spot-kick.

    Statistics suggest, however, that few are better than Neymar. With just two misses in the last four seasons, the PSG forward enjoys one of the best conversion rates in the game.

  3. Getty Images

    #13 Paulo Dybala

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 17

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 15

    CONVERSION RATE: 88.2%

    To see that Cristiano Ronaldo is not Juventus' most lethal penalty-taker may come as something of a surprise. But it is a testament to Dybala's coolness under pressure that he enjoys a better league success rate even than his illustrious new team-mate.

    Dybala has taken 17 Serie A penalties since 2014, missing just twice. None have come this season, however, as the Argentine has handed over duties to Ronaldo.

  4. Getty Images

    #12 Robert Lewandowski

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 16

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 15

    CONVERSION RATE: 94.1%

    A penalty for Bayern Munich is essentially a goal for Bayern Munich, thanks to their unerring Poland striker.

    March 2018's miss against against Hamburg was the first time Lewandowski had failed from the spot in the Bundesliga since 2013, while he was still at Dortmund, and his entire professional career shows 41 conversions and just four saved or missed.

  5. Getty Images

    #11 Daniel Parejo

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 20

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 16

    CONVERSION RATE: 80%

    Valencia's midfield stalwart is another 'Mr Reliable' when it comes to the spot.

    The 29-year-old has already netted two Liga penalties in 2018-19, taking his total tally to an impressive 16.

    Barcelona and Real Madrid have both suffered his spot-kick skills, while his last miss came all the way back in March 2017.

  6. Getty Images

    #10 Paul Verhaegh

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 20

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 16

    CONVERSION RATE: 80%

    When discussing penalty experts, Paul Verhaegh's name may not be the first that comes to mind, but the veteran Wolfsburg defender is famous for his accuracy.

    Eighteen of the Dutchman's 22 Bundesliga goals for Augsburg and Wolfsburg have come from the spot, while another came from the rebound in one of Verhaegh's extremely rare misses, back in February of this year.

  7. Getty Images

    #9 Lionel Messi

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 25

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 17

    CONVERSION RATE: 68%

    The Argentine may well be the greatest player ever to take a football field, but when it comes to the penalty spot he often shows he is just a mere mortal.

    Messi has scored less than three-quarters of his kicks over the last four and a half seasons, the lowest proportion of anyone on this list.

    Given that he has scored 140 Liga goals in the same period, however, it is fair to say that the odd missed penalty has hardly affected his strike-rate.

  8. Getty

    #8 Aritz Aduriz

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 21

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 17

    CONVERSION RATE: 81%

    He is the symbol of Athletic, a grizzled Basque striker still going strong at 37. He is no slouch from 12 yards, either.

    Aduriz's most recent effort broke the deadlock in his side's 1-0 defeat of Girona, a result vital for Athletic as they look to move out of the relegation zone following a disastrous start to the season.

  9. Getty Images

    #7 Mauro Icardi

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 21

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 17

    CONVERSION RATE: 81%

    As Udinese's Juan Musso found out at the weekend, stopping an Icardi penalty is a very tricky prospect.

    The Inter captain's young compatriot was left flailing as he failed to keep out a cheeky Panenka effort, Icardi's 17th successful Serie A kick since the start of the 2014-15 season.

  10. Getty

    #6 Harry Kane

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 20

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 17

    CONVERSION RATE: 85%

    Tottenham and England fans know all about Kane's penalty prowess. The World Cup Golden Boot winner scored six goals in Russia, a full half of which came from the spot.

    This season too the striker shows little sign of making a mistake, putting away his three Premier League attempts so far against Brighton, Huddersfield and Arsenal.

  11. Getty

    #5 Ciro Immobile

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 20

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 17

    CONVERSION RATE: 85%

    Immobile is both the Lazio star's surname and the position in which he usually leaves goalkeepers after executing his habitually perfect penalties.

    One must look all the way back to October 2017 to find the last missed spot-kick from the Italian, an effort against Bologna which luckily for Immobile did not stop Lazio from taking all three points.

  12. Getty Images

    #4 Sergio Aguero

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 20

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 17

    CONVERSION RATE: 85%

    The Argentine stands alongside Kane as the Premier League's current most lethal penalty taker, having netted every one of his kicks since October 2016 in England's top flight.

    Curiously, Aguero has taken just one spot-kick in the whole of 2018, converting past Newcastle's Karl Darlow in a 3-1 victory in January.

  13. Getty Images

    #3 Fabinho

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 17

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 17

    CONVERSION RATE: 100%

    Liverpool's midfielder may not have opened his penalty account for the Anfield club, but he holds a unique record.

    Of 17 efforts from the spot the Brazilian has netted all 17, boasting a conversion rate of a perfect 100%.

    Indeed, Fabinho has only ever missed one spot-kick in any competition, for Monaco a Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund in April 2017.

  14. Getty Images

    #2 Alexandre Lacazette

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 26

    LEAGUE PENALTIES SCORED: 22

    CONVERSION RATE: 84.6%

    The Arsenal forward has a sterling reputation as a penalty-taker, and very rarely misses. Only Ronaldo has netted more in Europe's top-five leagues than Lacazette, whose skill from the spot goes back to his days with Lyon.

    Curiously, he is yet to take a penalty for Arsenal this season. Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have each been called on to share the Gunners' two spot-kicks in 2018-19, with both attempts converted successfully.

  15. Getty Images

    #1 Cristiano Ronaldo

    LEAGUE PENALTIES TAKEN: 36

    LEAGUE ENALTIES SCORED: 28

    CONVERSION RATE: 77.8%

    Nobody in Europe's top-five leagues can match Ronaldo for pure penalty volume, whether it be kicks taken or converted. With 28 successful efforts, the Portuguese lies a full six ahead of nearest challenger Lacazette.

    Interestingly, however, and despite his infallible reputation, Ronaldo's success rate in the league is rather middling. Just over three-quarters of his penalties end in goals, compared to the near-perfect 94% mark set by Lewandowski.