We look at all the need-to-know facts around European Championship penalty shootouts ahead of Euro 2024 in Germany this summer.


How Many Penalty Shootouts Have There Been in Euros History?

There have been 22 penalty shootouts in European Championship history, with the first coming in the 1976 final. Following a 2-2 draw, Czechoslovakia defeated West Germany 5-3 in the shootout in Belgrade with the winning penalty arguably one of the most iconic scored in football history.

With the first seven kicks converted in the shootout, Uli Hoeneß missed for the Germans giving Antonín Panenka the chance to win the tournament. Panenka gently chipped the ball into the centre of the goal while German goalkeeper Sepp Maier dived, making his name synonymous with that particular style of penalty kick.

That is one of only two penalty shootouts in European Championship history to have decided the winners of the tournament. The other was the last to be contested in the Euros – the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy in July 2021. Italy won the shootout 3-2 at Wembley Stadium.

Panenka Penalty

Which Country Has the Best Record in Euros Penalty Shootouts?

Czech Republic – including their former guise as Czechoslovakia – have won all three European Championship penalty shootouts they have been involved in. The only other nation to have a 100% success rate are Turkey, who won their only penalty shootout in the Euro 2008 quarter-final against Croatia.

In addition to their 1976 final win via a shootout, Czech Republic won the 1980 third-place play-off on penalties against Italy (9-8) and the 1996 semi-final against France (6-5), before eventually losing at Wembley Stadium to Germany in the final.

Overall, Czech Republic have scored all 20 of their penalties in European Championship shootouts. The only other nation with a 100% success rate in shootouts across Euros history are Turkey, who have scored all three taken.

Italy and Spain have both won four penalty shootouts in European Championship history, the most of any nation. Italy have secured their four wins from seven shootouts, while Spain have won four from six attempts at the Euros.

Which Country Has the Worst Record in Euros Penalty Shootouts?

While Croatia (Euro 2008 quarter-final) and Sweden (Euro 2004 quarter-final) have both lost their only penalty shootouts at the European Championship, England have lost more than any other nation at the Euros.

They have lost four of their five shootouts at the tournament. It started positively, with a 4-2 shootout win over Spain in the 1996 tournament on home soil, but then it went downhill for the Three Lions.

Gareth Southgate’s penalty miss in the semi-final against Germany condemned them to defeat in the same tournament, before further losses in shootouts against Portugal (2004 quarter-final) and Italy. The Azzurri defeated the Three Lions in this manner in both the 2012 quarter-final and Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

The only other nation to have won no more than a quarter of their penalty shootouts in European Championship history are the Netherlands, who have been defeated in three of their four attempts.

Southgate Penalty Miss Euro 96

What Penalty Shootout Has Been the Longest in Euros History?

Two of the 22 European Championship penalty shootouts have seen 18 penalties taken – the longest in the history of the finals.

The 1980 third-place play-off between Italy and Czechoslovakia and the quarter-final between the Italians and Germany both saw 18 taken.

What Penalty Shootout Has Been the Shortest in Euros History?

The Euro 2008 quarter-final tie between Croatia and Turkey saw just seven penalties taken in the shootout, with the Croatian’s failing to score three of their four spot-kicks.

Luka Modric missed the first penalty of that shootout. Darijo Srna did at least get them on the board, but Ivan Rakitic was then unsuccessful. Turkey goalkeeper Rüstü Reçber then saved from Mladen Petric to send his team through to the semi-finals.

What’s the Record Number of Penalties Saved in a Euros Penalty Shootout?

The Euro 2020 final between Italy and England saw four penalties saved in total, with Gianluigi Donnarumma and Jordan Pickford saving two each.

Donnarumma also saved a penalty in the semi-final shootout win over Spain at Wembley Stadium, meaning he is the only goalkeeper to save three penalties in shootouts at the same European Championship tournament.

The Italian goalkeeper and Pickford are two of six goalkeepers to save more than one penalty in a single shootout across European Championship history.

Donnarumma England Euro 2020 Shootout

Which Players Have Been Involved in the Most Euros Penalty Shootouts?

Fabian Schär (Switzerland) and Leonardo Bonucci (Italy) have taken a penalty in three separate European Championship matches, with both players scoring twice and seeing the other saved.

Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) and Yann Sommer (Switzerland) have all also taken part in three different European Championship shootouts as goalkeepers.

Portugal’s Ricardo is the only goalkeeper to have taken a penalty in a Euros shootout, scoring past David James in the shootout win over England in the Euro 2004 quarter-final.

Which Penalty is Most Likely to be Missed in a Penalty Shootout?

Don’t put yourself forward for penalty number eight in a shootout. Across Euros history, this is the only penalty (excluding sudden death) where the conversion rate is below 75%.

Just 47.6% of penalties taken eighth in European Championship shootouts have been scored (10/21).

The average conversion rate of the fourth penalty taken for a team in a shootout is 62.8%, much lower than the first (79.5%), second (79.5%), third (81.8%) or fifth (80.6%).

Some may be surprised to learn that the conversion rate of penalties in sudden death is higher (76.9%) than the success rate of those taken across the first 10 penalties in Euros shootouts (76.7%). Overall, 20 of the 26 sudden death shootout attempts have been scored.

Should You Take the First Penalty in a Euros Penalty Shootout?

Overall, in European Championship history, it’s a 50/50 split. Of the 22 shootouts in the tournament history, 11 teams taking the first penalty have won and the other 11 shootout winners took the second penalty.


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