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'I wasn't nervous at all!' - Panenka proud of legendary penalty & reveals player in Paraguay imitates it best

10:15 SAST 2019/10/22
Panenka Lionel Messi
The former midfielder's technique has been imitated by some of the game's biggest stars and he explains when he started to adopt the technique

Czech legend Antonin Panenka says that he is proud of the penalty-kick technique that still bears his name to this day, adding that he wasn't nervous at all when attempting the now-historic shot.

Panenka's infamous penalty came in the Euro 1976 final between Czechoslovakia and West Germany, a match that finished 2-2 after regular time.

In the ensuing shootout, each of Panenka's four team-mates scored their penalties before West Germany's Uli Hoeness missed his shot from the spot.

Panenka stepped up and chipped the ball past goalkeeper Sepp Maier, with many players have replicated that style of penalty ever since.

The likes of Andrea Pirlo, Sergio Ramos and Zinedine Zidane have all famously attempted to chip the goalkeeper from the spot and Panenka, now president of Bohemians, says he remains honoured to have left a legacy on the game.

"A few years ago some TV station from South America came to me and showed me about 50 Panenka penalties from players all around the world," he told Goal. "And the best executor was from someone from the Paraguayan second league!"

He added: "I am proud of it, of course. It makes me happy to hear that all around the world it is called a Panenka."

All these years later, Panenka says that he was never nervous before attempting that famous kick while adding that he never really considered the consequences of what could go wrong.

"In the final game against Germany I was not nervous at all, I knew that this way is the best chance to score," Panenka added. "When it went in I was so happy, not because I scored last, but because we won this amazing trophy as such a small nation.

"It was the best chance to score. I missed it only once in my life before Belgrade 1976 in a friendly match in Southern Bohemia. I invented it like two years before.

"I guess I would have to go to work in a factory for the rest of my life if I failed it!"

He added: "I just figured that every keeper always jumps to one side, so it could be good to kick the ball down the middle.

"After every practice, I competed with our goalkeeper Zdenek Hruska in penalties. He was really good, so I was losing a lot of money, chocolates, etc. Then I started to use my little trick, and suddenly I was winning more often.

"The bad thing was that I was getting fatter because of all the chocolates I'd won!"