World Cup shootouts in numbers

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According to Maxime Bossis, this was a mistake that could never be made these days. “No one told me he always dived from the same side. It was another world,” the former French defender said in an interview in July. “A coach or a player would come to me today and say, ‘Be careful, he’s always jumping to your right!’

It’s been more than 40 years since Bossis entered the history books as the first player to knock out his country with a successful point kick from an opponent he missed in a World Cup penalty shootout. The first tournament, fulfilled by Fifa’s policy of replaying a tied match for the 1982 tournament in Spain, took place in Seville and – you guessed it – saw West Germany win against France.

“The coach gathered us around him and said, ‘Who wants to take it?’ she asked,” he recalled. “The players are already taking off their boots and saying, ‘Not me!’ they were saying”

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Avoiding a red card for hitting substitute Patrick Battiston hard during regular time, goalkeeper Harald Schumacher dismissed Bossis with the 11th penalty kick after Uli Stielike became the first player to miss West Germany’s third penalty. – and France’s Didier Six had also saved one with seventh (France’s fourth). As Stuart Pearce would say, Six started quite a trend.

In 32 World Cup penalty shootouts to the end of the last 16 games in Qatar, teams were much more likely to miss their fourth penalty shootout, with 22 incidents (36%) so far in 1990 including England’s Stuart Pearce. The dreadful fifth penalty failed for Chris Waddle in that shootout and was only slightly better for David Batty in 1998, with a 35% miss rate.

France's Maxime Bossis barely walked away after West Germany's goalkeeper Harald Schumacher saved the penalty in the 1982 World Cup penalty shootout.

France’s Maxime Bossis barely walked away after West Germany’s goalkeeper Harald Schumacher saved the penalty in the 1982 World Cup penalty shootout. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

But if there is a specific penalty to avoid, it looks like a fourth penalty for the second-placed team. The eighth overall penalty in a penalty shootout was missed 11 of 29 times (38%) – more than the other 10 in the rule. Only 50% of the 11th and 12th place, according to Gracenote’s statistics, despite only one penalty shootout going this far since the first penalty kick in 1982: Romanian Miodrag Belodedici’s failure to score, Henrik Larsson’s transformation and 1994’s When he paved the way for him to send Sweden to the semi-finals.

The overall success rate from penalty shootouts is 69% (294 penalties, of which 203 are scored and 91 missed), but this figure rises to over 70% in the first three rounds (penalties 1 to 6) and then it drops drastically as the pressure increases.


England’s 2018 defeat of Colombia on penalties finally broke their duck on the fourth try in the World Cup penalty shootout. Saturday’s rivals, France, advanced through the World Cup quarterfinals in two penalty shootouts: on their way to becoming champions against Brazil in 1986 and Italy in 1998.

But more recent memories aren’t too good for Didier Deschamps, after Gareth Southgate’s side lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties, as Kylian Mbappé was blamed for his last 16 defeats against Switzerland in the same tournament. And in 2006, David Trezeguet’s miss saw Italy triumph in the World Cup final.

If it lands on penalties on Saturday, winning the draw could be vital given the latest trends. Morocco’s victory over Spain in the last 16 in Qatar made them the only team to win after taking the first penalty in their last eight World Cup penalty shootouts, but 47% overall did.

There may be a few surprises on Southgate’s list of penalty shooters as well. Among the squad members who have scored five or more points in all competitions, including penalty shootouts, since the start of the 2013-14 season, Harry Kane leads with 60 (87%) of 69 successful penalties. Callum Wilson is next with 85% success rate, and defenders Harry Maguire and Eric Dier are in the top five with 83% and 80% respectively.


Raheem Sterling (50%), Kieran Trippier (60%) and Mason Mount (70%) had the lowest success rates, with Marcus Rashford (82%) and Bukayo Saka (75% of four penalties) who suffered racial harassment after losing against Italy last year – can potentially wait to be called back.


But maybe Jordan Pickford is Southgate’s secret weapon. The goalkeeper may not have been able to save a penalty in more than two years in regular play, but he knocked out two of them in the Euro 2020 final and made the decisive point kick against Switzerland in the Nations League third place play-off in June 2019. I’ll buy one on top of it,” he said before the victory over Senegal. Just make sure it’s not number eight.

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