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Lionel Messi holds unenvious record for most penalties missed in the 21st century

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Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi has broken many untouchable records across his trophy-laden career in football, but one record he won’t be proud of holding is that of most penalties missed in the 21st century.

After missing a 62nd-minute penalty for PSG against Real Madrid in a UEFA Champions League last-16 encounter, Messi has now failed to convert from the spot 30 times - the most by any player in the modern era.

The Argentine’s penalty miss also saw Leo Messi equal Thierry Henry’s record for most missed penalties in the UEFA Champions League (5).

Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo is the next player on the list for most penalties missed in the 21st century. The Portuguese legend - the record holder for most career goals in football and most goals in international football - has failed to convert 29 spot-kicks.

Ronaldo most recently missed a penalty for Manchester United against Middlesbrough in the 2021-22 FA Cup. In comparison to his eternal rival Leo Messi, Ronaldo has fared marginally better from the spot.

AS Roma icon Francesco Totti missed 18 penalties during his career. Nicknamed Il Capitano (The Captain), Totti served as Roma’s primary penalty scorer and scored 77 goals from a possible 95 attempts in the 21st century.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fourth on the list for most penalties missed in the 21st century with 17 unsuccessful spot-kicks. The 40-year-old Swedish striker is celebrated as one of the most prolific attackers of his generation and served as a first-choice penalty taker for almost all of his teams, including current side AC Milan. Ibrahimovic’s last penalty miss came in a 3-1 win against AS Roma in January 2022.

Udinese legend Antonio Di Natale completes the top-five list for most penalty misses. The Italian forward, who retired from football in 2016, successfully converted 41 spot-kicks and missed 14 times. 

Most penalties missed in the 21st century

Player Penalties scored Penalties missed
Lionel Messi 103 30
Cristiano Ronaldo 143 29
Francesco Totti 77 18
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 84 17
Antonio Di Natale 41 14

Author: William Paul

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Featured photo: AFP / FRANCK FIFE

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