Looking Closely at Messi – The Player with the Most Missed Penalties?

Lionel Messi has yet to miss a penalty for PSG in the Champions League, scoring all four attempts against Celtic and Bayern Munich this term after converting his shootout strike at Old Trafford during last season’s round of 16.

After his latest spot-kick failure with Barcelona, Messi’s only previous attempt with Paris Saint-Germain was saved by Antonio Adan.

The five goals Messi has scored for PSG account for his only goals in the Champions League this season, with none coming against top-six opposition with Chelsea and Bayern Munich both winning at the Parc des Princes.

Messi’s penalty record is slightly better across all competitions than Ronaldo’s – he has scored 24 of 38 attempts, while Ronaldo is 24 of 52.


Ronaldo in the picture

However, Ronaldo’s conversion rate in the Champions League is better at 28 from 34 compared to Messi’s 23 from 29.

Messi has saved just one penalty in his career – for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid in La Liga last season. He had five attempts at spot kicks last season but failed to score with any of them, seeing his run of six consecutive successful penalties come to an end.

So far this term, Messi has scored nine times on his 16 attempts.

Chelsea’s Willian responded sarcastically to Ronaldo’s claims that he is the most consistent player in world football.

Ronaldo has also missed two, though there were five games in which he did not score.

“I don’t know if we should be happy that Ronaldo says these things about himself, but I think everyone is different,” Willian told ESPN Brazil after Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

“He believes it, you know? We’ll see later who is more consistent throughout the season.

“In my opinion, there’s no one more consistent than Willian.”

Ronaldo told BT Sport: “I try to be a good professional and take advantage of every moment I have on the pitch to help Real Madrid – physically, mentally and strategically – but I still feel fresh, I don’t feel my age. I’m happy for that.”

Lionel Messi has matched Thierry Henry’s record for most missed penalties in Champions League history while surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo for most penalty attempts. He’s missed five of 23 penalty attempts in the competition, with his latest coming in Paris Saint-Germain’s last-16 win over Real Madrid on Tuesday.


Lionel Messi

It seems Messi has always had a problem taking penalties, but not missing them. He took his first penalty at the young age of 17 and scored it successfully. He currently holds the record for most penalties missed with 24, though Ronaldo is closing in on that number quickly. The Barcelona forward also holds the record for most consecutive successful penalties with six.

It seems Messi has always had a problem taking penalties, but not missing them.

He has missed 24 penalties in his career, but he also saved one penalty last season against Atletico Madrid. That means that Messi has scored 66 out of 98 (69.4%) of his penalties for Barcelona and Argentina combined. Ronaldo took 52 penalties while at Real Madrid alone, scoring 28 times (57%). He also took 34 penalties with Manchester United, scoring 17 (50%).

This means that Messi is the player with the most missed penalties in football history. Though Ronaldo has missed more than double of Messi’s penalties, he scores with a higher percentage than Messi does. Despite this, Messi still has a better penalty conversion rate across all competitions than Ronaldo does. However, he has also taken fewer penalties than Ronaldo has.

The Argentine missed five out of six penalties last season, though interestingly none in the Champions League. Messi’s most prolific penalty-scoring season was in 2013-14 when he scored four out of six. However, there were 12 league games that year and in five Messi played as a false nine while Neymar and Suarez were absent. Messi also scored two penalties in the Champions League final against Juventus, which was his most prolific season in Europe’s elite competition.


About penalties

For most of the first leg between European heavyweights, goalscoring chances were rare outside of Messi’s saved penalty, as Real Madrid was mostly content to sit back and defend at the Parc des Princes.

“In these kinds of games, you know that, as a goalkeeper, you’re going to have quite a bit to do,” Courtois told BT Sport.

“I’d studied Messi’s penalties a lot and I tried to play with him when I was on the line. You’ve also got to have that little bit of luck, too.”

Messi has struggled at times in his debut season with PSG, though he recently has had four goal involvements in his past four games. And it was Mbappe who carried the main load on Tuesday, scoring a fine individual goal to win the match in stoppage time.

After his latest spot-kick failure with Barcelona, Messi’s only previous attempt with Paris Saint-Germain was saved by Antonio Adan. The five goals Messi has scored for PSG account for his only goals in the Champions League this season, with none coming against top-six opposition with Chelsea and Bayern Munich both winning at the Parc des Princes.


Takeaway

Messi’s penalty record is slightly better across all competitions than Ronaldo’s – he has scored 24 of 38 attempts, while Ronaldo is 24 of 52. However, Ronaldo’s conversion rate in the Champions League is better at 28 from 34 compared to Messi’s 23 from 29.

Messi has saved just one penalty in his career – for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid in La Liga last season. He had five attempts at spot kicks last season but failed to score with any of them, seeing his run of six consecutive successful penalties come to an end. So far this term, Messi has scored nine times on his 16 attempts.

During the majority of Messi’s career, he has played in an attacking trident alongside Luis Suarez and Neymar, meaning there were fewer penalty opportunities for him at Barcelona than there are with PSG.

His most prolific season was 2013-14 when he scored four out of six spot-kicks, though he also missed from 12 yards against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

Messi’s most recent penalty miss came on December 14, 2017, when he failed to convert a spot-kick against Girona in La Liga. In total, he has converted 66 of 98 attempts in his career, 78%.

While Ronaldo’s penalty record is better in the Champions League, Messi’s record in La Liga is roughly similar to Ronaldo’s.

This is in contrast with his goal-scoring tally which has slowed down, but he recently became Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer so maybe his penalty abilities are improving too?

In conclusion, Messi tends to save more penalties than he misses. This is due to the fact that he saves one penalty a season on average and misses about four or five. Although many people may say that Ronaldo takes much better penalties, it can be seen through his conversion rate over recent seasons that Messi’s record is much the same as Ronaldo’s.