News Live Scores
World Cup

What is Diego Maradona's record in penalties?

07:16 GMT+3 10/04/2022
Maradona Penalty
The Argentine had just missed one penalty in his entire international career...

Diego Maradona remains one of the greatest players to have graced the beautiful game. He became the youngest Argentine to play for the national team when he made his debut at the age of 16 against Hungary on February 27, 1977. His exploits in the 1986 World Cup have become a part of football folklore. His performance against England in the quarterfinals is still regarded as one of the greatest performances in World Cup history.

Maradona's goal-scoring ability from open play is well celebrated. He has scored a total of 338 goals in his career. Out of them 90 have been scored from the spot which accounts for 26.6 per cent.

He was a left-footer and would kick 55 per cent time to his natural side. He would generally prefer to place his penalties rather than opting for power. In of his interviews, Maradona even went on to explain his penalty strategy.

"I used to wait for the goalkeeper. As I’m seeing the goalkeeper, I can’t hit it too hard, as I’m already on top of the ball. The run-up with my foot, it isn’t enough to hit the ball hard. If it goes slowly, it’s knowing if the goalkeeper will move to his right or left. So I extend the leg and watch the goalkeeper. You risk not getting the ball there though, but I usually managed pretty well," he elaborated.

Only 33 per cent of the time the goalkeeper went the right way and dived in the direction that Maradona shot.

However, in the twilight of his career, he missed five consecutive penalty kicks for Boca Juniors. Out of the five, four of them were saved and one hit the woodwork. In the 1990 World Cup, Maradona missed a penalty in a 3-2 win over Yugoslavia.

“Those five curses signalled the end of my football career,” he wrote in his autobiography, Yo soy el Diego de la Gente.

Team

Penalties Taken

Penalties Scored

Conversion

Argentina Junior

25

20

80%

Boca Juniors

20

14

70%

Barcelona

9

8

88.8%

Napoli

48

42

87.5%

Sevilla

3

3

100%

Argentina

4

3

75%

Total

109

90

82.5%