In football, a panenka is a skill used during a penalty kick. Instead of striking the ball firmly, the player will chip the ball over a diving goalkeeper. Often, the use of this technique had been successful in scoring a goal.
Origin of Panenka
The term panenka is named after Antonin Panenka, who was known for making a goal during a penalty kick by using such a technique. This was during a final game of the 1976 UEFA European Football Championship between Czechoslovakia and West Germany.
During the competition, both countries had a tie score of 2-2. Therefore, a penalty shootout was issued. For the first seven penalty kick, all players managed to score a goal. However, the fourth player from West Germany missed making a goal, making the score 4-3. When it was the turn of Antonin Panenka, he feigned shooting to the side of the goal making the goalkeeper dive sideways in an attempt to catch the ball. Instead, Panenka chipped the ball gently towards the middle of the net, making it his winning kick. This peculiar style stuck in the world of football, and many players, nowadays, are copying this technique when shooting penalty kicks.
How Panenka Works?
Panenka works by taking advantage of goalkeepers who attempted to make a dive on either side of the goal in hopes of preventing the ball from hitting the net. The goal of this technique is to gently chip the ball over the goalkeeper as soon as he makes that dive. To make this work, the player has to feign his move to trick the goalkeeper. This is considered a risky technique, so the player has to learn to do it right. Since the ball is touched gently by the player, it gives off a slow speed. As a result, it will also allow the goalkeeper to recover and wait for the ball to fall into his hands. It is for this reason that only the most confident penalty takers use this kind of technique. If the player is not sure that he will be able to make that goal, he should revert to a technique that gives an assurance of a sure goal.