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Champions League

Real Madrid: Panenka "surprised" by Sergio Ramos penalties

The man who invented the famous spot-kick often used by the Real Madrid defender spoke to AS in Prague ahead of the visit of Barcelona.

Real Madrid: Panenka "surprised" by Sergio Ramos penalties
Rodolfo Molina

Antonín Panenka’s name has entered the annals of the game for his audacious penalty in the 1976 Eurpoean Championship final against Germany in the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade, dinking the decisive kick in the shoot-out over the disbelieving Sepp Maier to hand Czechoslovakia the title against the reigning World Cup holders.

That penalty has often been imitated, to sometimes hilarious effect when a keeper simply stands there and catches the ball, but one of the most effective imitators of Panenka’s innovative technique is Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, who often uses it for club and country, most famously against Portugal in the semi-finals of the 2012 European Championship. 

Panenka: "Ramos is one of the best in the world"

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It surprised me greatly that Ramos used my style of penalty taking because he’s a defender and I didn’t expect that it would be him who would try it. So my admiration for him and his skill is even greater. If I was a coach, I would always want to have a player like him in my team. He is one of the best defenders, if not the best, in the world,” the Bohemians president told AS in Prague ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League fixture against Sparta on Wednesday.

The 70-year-old also discussed Barcelona and Real Madrid: “I am a big fan of both. They are two huge clubs with a long history. For me what makes them a cut above is that, even when they lose, there are aspects of their game that stand out and that are fun to watch.”