The course of action:

Captain John Terry had the chance to win the 2007/2008 Champions League final for Chelsea in a direct duel with Edwin van der Sar. As captain, Terry took the responsibility of taking the penalty kick. Terry slipped, however, and hit the outside of the goalpost.

The result:

After Terry’s missed penalty, Edwin van der Sar managed to stop Nicolas Anelka’s penalty kick. Chelsea lost the finals of the Champions League to Manchester United and the captain burst into tears.

In an open letter on the official website of Chelsea FC, John Terry offered his apologies for the missed penalty kick in the Champions League finals against Manchester United.

I am so sorry that I missed the penalty kick and that this meant that I deprived the fans, my team mates, friends and family of the opportunity to win the Champions League”, Terry stated on the site. “Many people have told me that I do not have to apologise, but I don’t agree with them. That’s just how I am. Since the time of the miss I have been reliving every minute. Every day when I wake up I hope that it was only a bad dream. The night in Moscow will haunt me forever”, explains the still shaken captain.

The lesson:

Those who take penalty kicks at decisive moments are actually sports heroes! It takes courage to place the ball on the penalty spot and to shoot while knowing that the “mistake” will continue to haunt you long after you’ve missed. Terry can sympathise with countless other soccer heroes who have missed at crucial moments, including:

1. Clarence Seedorf (the Netherlands).
In the qualifying match for the WC 1998 against Turkey, Seedorf took a penalty kick. He shot too high.
2. Roberto Baggio (Italy).
In the final of the WC 1994 Baggio’s decisive penalty shot hit the bar. This caused Brazil to become world champions.
3. David Beckham (England).
At Euro 2004, Beckham shot his penalty way over the bar. He says this was due to a small clump of grass. England was eliminated by Portugal.
4. Sergio Conceiçao (Standard).
The Portuguese missed a penalty in the last match in the Belgian competition. Because of this Standard did not qualify for any of the major European soccer tournaments.
5. David Trezeguet (France).
Penalty kicks were decisive for the world title in the WC 2006 finals between Italy and France. Trezeguet’s kick hit the bar and France lost.
6. Ronald de Boer and Philip Cocu (the Netherlands).
Oranje played against Brazil in the semi-finals of the WC 1998. The fact that Ronald de Boer and Philip Cocu missed took the Netherlands out of the finals.
7. Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal).
The Argentinean star player was allowed to take a penalty kick against Arsenal in the last minute of the semi-finals of the Champions League. He missed sent Arsenal into the finals.
8. Marco van Basten (the Netherlands).
At Euro 1992, current Dutch coach Van Basten was allowed to take a penalty kick in the semi-finals against Denmark. He missed, and the Netherlands were knocked out of the tournament.

Further:, The newspapaer [The Newspaper (Belgium)]

Published by:
Michael Engel


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