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B. Saka

Saka adamant he would be 'happy' to take a World Cup penalty despite decisive Euro 2020 miss

11:59 AM EST 12/5/22
Bukayo Saka press conference
Bukayo Saka has insisted he is over the disappointment of missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final and is ready to take one at the 2022 World Cup.
  • Saka ready for potential shootout
  • Missed in Euro 2020 final
  • Already scored three goals in Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? Some 18 months on from the heartbreak of missing the decisive penalty in the Euro 2020 final, Saka has spoken on the prospect of having to partake in a shootout once again at the World Cup, with England now in the quarter-finals. The Arsenal star says he's relishing the challenge and will not lack for confidence if he is needed to take a spot-kick in Qatar.

WHAT HE SAID: "Obviously I have matured and progressed a lot as a player and a person since that moment (missing in the Euro 2020 final)," he told reporters. "I wouldn’t have stepped up the times I have stepped up for Arsenal if I wasn’t confident. So obviously if the moment comes and I am selected to take it, I will be more than happy to. To be honest, I feel like personally I have tried to move on from that moment. Obviously I know I can never really forget about it. It’s going to be in history. But at the same time, coming out here and scoring those three goals of course lifted me a lot."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saka was brave enough to step up for the decisive spot-kick at Wembley in 2021, and needed to score to keep England's hopes alive. Unfortunately, his penalty was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, confirming Italy as European champions. Since then, though, he's taken up penalty duties at Arsenal and scored all three he has taken. Add that to his three World Cup goals so far, it's fair to say the confidence is flowing.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR SAKA? The Arsenal and England forward will now have all focus on a mammoth quarter-final clash with France on December 10.