Best Penalty Takers in the World

Taking a penalty kick gives the penalty taker a chance to put his team ahead and become an instant hero. Standing in the penalty spot to play penalty kicks looks easy for the watchers; however, there is a lot of pressure on the penalty takers. Finding the back of the net from the penalty spot gives a player confidence and credibility from the fans, while losing it can make the penalty taker a villain. 

There are a lot of matches and cup finals that the victorious teams decided through penalty shootouts. Scoring from the penalty spot requires accuracy and composure from the players, and football game has seen a lot of incredible penalty takers such as Frank Lampard in the premier league, Lionel Messi in La Liga, Steven Gerrard of Liverpool, and so on. Below is a complete list of the best penalty-takers in the world;

Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese superstar is a figure everyone would expect on the list; when talking about the most composed and prolific penalty scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo comes to everyone’s mind. Cristiano Ronaldo is the best penalty-taker of all time and has taken his club and country to glory heights by taking and scoring the last penalty of the game. 

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more than 146 penalties and has an 83% conversion rate due to his outstanding ability to perform under pressure. Cristiano Ronaldo is the man for the big occasion, and every Real Madrid fan will remember the last spot kick in the 2016 champions league final, several stoppage-time winners, etc. 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored over 60 penalties for Real Madrid and is the highest spot-kick scorer in La Liga and football history. Cristiano Ronaldo is on the list of penalty-takers of all time because of how many he has scored; however, the Madrid legend has recorded some misses, such as in the 2008 UEFA Champions League final, the 2012 Champions league semi-final, etc. Cristiano Ronaldo has missed more than 28 penalties. 

The Portuguese superstar has also scored several memorable penalties in the world cup. 

Matthew Le Tissier

Le Tissier is a Southampton Legend and one of the best penalty-takers in football history. He scored 49 spot kicks and has a 96% conversion rate from the spot. Le Tissier missed just one penalty throughout his career and is regarded as the best penalty-taker in the history of the premier league. His teammates and football fans sometimes call him Le God because of his goal-scoring ability. 

Steven Gerrard

Here is another Premier League legend, a Liverpool maestro and one of the best midfielders to represent the England national team. Steven Gerrard scored 46 penalties throughout his career and 32 in the premier league, putting him third on the list of the best spot-kick takers in the league. 

Steven Gerrard is used to scoring penalties against Manchester United, and he missed from the spot nine times during his carer. Steven Gerrard has a 92% conversion rate when it comes to penalties and does not shy away from that duty. 

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard is one of the best players to ever play in the Premier League; he is the finest player in Chelsea’s history and an integral part of the Blue’s 2012 Champions league triumph. Frank Lampard is one of the most prolific goal scorers, especially because he is a midfielder. Frank Lampard scored 60 penalties, and 43 out it was for Chelsea; he has an 86% conversion rate from the spot. 

Frank Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time goal scorer with 211 goals and has scored crucial penalties against Arsenal, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. Frank Lampard was Chelsea’s first-choice penalty taker and missed ten spot kicks throughout his career. 

Alan Shearer

The Newcastle legend was one of the best penalty-takers in the Premier League in his playing days. Alan Shearer was prolific in front of goal and is the leading goal scorer in the History of the English league. He converted 56 penalties during his career, missing 11. Shearer will always be on the list of best penalty-takers in football history because he has one of the best penalty conversion rates. 

Shearer had 434 appearances for club and country, and his ability to find the back of the net through penalties contributed to his overall 260 career goals. Alan won the league with Blackburn in 1990 and is one of the most outstanding strikers to have played in the English premier league. 

Marco Van Basten 

Basten is a Netherlands, AC Milan, and Ajax legend; he won three Ballon d’Or awards during his career and was one of the most outstanding penalty-takers ever to kick a soccer ball. Marco has a 94% conversion rate in terms of penalty after scoring 53 out of 57 from the spot. He was a prolific striker and integral to AC Milan’s success in 1980. 

Marco was famous for his volleyed goals and won the Euro 1988 for the Netherlands, their only major international trophy. He retired at 28 due to knee injuries but will always be among the best center forwards in world football history.

Alessandro Del Piero

Del Piero is one the greatest players in world football history to have represented the Italian national team and Juventus. He is a calm striker and a specialist in freekicks and penalties; he scored in the 2006 world cup final against France on their way to becoming champion. Del Piero is so collected in front of the goal that scoring penalties was easy for him. 

He scored 14 penalties throughout his career and had a 94% conversion rate. 

Also Read: List of Football Tournaments in India

Francesco Totti

According to some soccer historians, Totti is one of the most famous figures in Rome and arguably the best player in Italian history. Totti is the greatest player in the history of Roma and a long-time captain of the club; he scored 86 penalties for club and country and is one of the best strikers of his era.

He was the second-best penalty taker in Italian Serie A after scoring 36 from 38 attempts. Totti was part of the squad that won the 2006 FIFA world cup with Italy and missed 19 penalties in his career, with the last one in 2013. Totti retired in 2017. 

Mario Balotelli

Super Mario was one of the unforgettable characters as Manchester City won their first premier league title. He was so formidable in the spot-kick department that he has only missed five penalties in his career. Balotelli has scored 40 free kicks for Italy, Manchester City, Ac Milan, Liverpool, and Inter Milan. 

Mario is one of the most famous Italians in world football history, and one of his most iconic celebrations was the “why always me” one against Manchester United. 


The Italian is one of the best penalty takers in modern days; he reads the goalkeeper’s movement so accurately that sometimes he just kicks the ball into an empty net. The ex-Chelsea midfielder has scored 41 penalties for the club and country with a 94% conversion rate. 

Jorginho has missed a few penalties, such as in the world cup qualifiers, but that does not remove him from the list of best penalty-takers in the world. 

Zinedine Zidane

When it comes to taking penalties, Zidane was one of the best during his time. His confidence in front of the goal makes it difficult for goalkeepers to predict his move. One of his best penalties was the one he scored against Italy in the 2006 world cup final, a match overshadowed by his infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi. 

The penalty he took in the final was one of the bravest penalties ever; the ball hit the bar before going into the net, and he did that in the biggest football game in history with such a risk making it more historic. Till today, that penalty will remain one of the most beautiful in soccer history, as Zidane missed just three penalties in his career. 

Lionel Messi

Messi is another dead-ball specialist on the list; he is one of the greatest footballers in soccer history and one of the best penalty-takers ever. Lionel has scored more than 750 goals since his debut in the 2005 world cup. Messi’s technical ability is second to none, and although he has missed some penalties, he remains one of the best. 

Messi has missed over five penalties in the UEFA Champions League and scored over 103. He has one of the best penalty conversion rate in football history.  Messi is popular for his vision, passes, and over soccer ability. 

Wayne Rooney

Arguably one of the best England Midfielder and a very prolific goal scorer. Rooney is the all-time goal scorer in the history of Manchester United and a penalty specialist during his time. He scored 21 penalties in the EPL, and his number of penalty miss is not much. The Manchester United legend was consistent in front of goal before he retired. 

Michael Ballack

One of the best midfielders in German football history, Ballack was outstanding. During his career, he was known for powerful long and shot range shots combined with top-notch accuracy. Ballack was a dead-ball specialist and an exceptional penalty taker as he almost always found the back of the net. 

Michael Ballack’s skills, strength, vision, and overall soccer ability made him excel as a midfielder. The strength and precision he uses to strike the ball during penalties make it difficult for goalkeepers to predict him. He was an outstanding penalty-taker for Chelsea and Germany. 

Andrea Pirlo

Pirlo is one of the best midfielders in soccer history, and his consistency made him very special. His performance in the 2012 European Championship established him as an undisputable great in world football history. Pirlo faced Joe Hart in his prime and dummied a penalty that surprised the keeper in front of over 64.000 fans. 

His passes, technical ability, and vision made him unique, and he transferred this to the spot whenever he took a penalty kick. Pirlo is a creative genius and one of those footballers that fans love, no matter their club or nationality.

Eric Cantona

Cantona was a penalty specialist; the Man U legend missed just two penalties throughout his English Premier League career. King Cantona recorded an 87.5% conversion rate from the penalty kick after converting 14 out of 16. Eric was popular for his explosive attitude on and off the pitch and remained a game legend.

Cantona was a prolific penalty taker who had the physical ability to bully anyone on the field of play. Eric Cantona’s performance during his time can not be overlooked. 

Dennis Bergkamp

Bergkamp is one of the most sublime finishers in soccer history; in terms of penalty kicks, Dennis was a beast. Bergkamp scored 21 penalties during his illustrious career and never missed on any occasion. He is one of the best penalty-takers because, in the 12-yard, he is calm and collected, and rarely will the keeper predict his move.


Apart from being one of the most skillful players in football history, Ronaldinho was also a maestro in the penalty spot. His tricks on the field were delights to watch, and his role as an attacking midfielder was crucial to the success of Barcelona and Brazil. Ronaldinho had a free-flowing style of play during his career, and everyone loved him.

His record of missed penalties is not much, and he plays most penalty kicks with utmost calmness and skill. 

Gerd Muller

He is one of the greatest strikers in history and one of the most outstanding finishers in history. He was an expert in taking penalties and will always convert on the spot. He plays his penalties with utmost strength, so the ball will already be in the net before the goalkeeper’s move. 

Thierry Henry

The Frenchman will go down in history as the most decorated player in the History of Arsenal. During his time in the Premier League, Henry took 25 penalties and scored 23; he represented the Gunners 258 times, scoring 175 goals and creating 74 assists. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have scored more penalties, and Henry’s conversion rate during penalty kicks is outstanding. 

Didier Drogba

Drogba played 31 penalties during his career, and although the number is not much, his ability to convert the spot kicks to goals on most occasions is sublime. Every Chelsea fan will remember the Champions League final winning penalty at Allianz Arena in 2012. Drogba will forever go down as the greatest penalty-taker in soccer history. 

Eden Hazard

The Belgian is one of the finest talents the game has witnessed and one of the best penalty-takers in history. His boldness in the 12-yard gave him the best penalty conversion rate; besides the penalties, Hazard is an all-around Talent. He has an 87% conversion rate after scoring 47 penalties for his club and country. 

The formal Chelsea winger was part of Belgian’s golden generation that made it to the Semi Final in the 2018 world cup. 


Penalty-taking is nerve-wracking and requires skill, strength, precision, and accuracy. Over the years, the beautiful game has produced some penalty specialists, and here is a complete of those players. 

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