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Only Two Goalkeepers Have Denied Penalties from Both Ronaldo and Messi

Only Two Goalkeepers Have Denied Penalties from Both Ronaldo and Messi

Jan Oblak joined an elite group by denying Cristiano Ronaldo from the penalty spot during Monday’s Euro 2024 last-16 clash between Portugal and Slovenia. Despite this, Portugal advanced to the quarter-finals after a dramatic penalty shootout victory, with Ronaldo making headlines for his emotional reaction during extra time.

Ronaldo’s missed penalty against Oblak was a rare occurrence, but the Portuguese star redeemed himself by confidently scoring in the shootout. The comparisons between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, two of football’s greatest players, extend to their penalty records as well. On the international stage, Messi has an 82.8% penalty conversion rate (24 out of 29), while Ronaldo has a 71.4% success rate (20 out of 28).

Messi is also familiar with missing penalties against Oblak, having been denied by the Atlético Madrid goalkeeper in the 2015 Copa del Rey quarter-final. Though Messi missed, he scored on the rebound. Before his miss on Monday, Ronaldo had a perfect record against Oblak, scoring on three previous occasions.

The only other goalkeeper to save penalties from both Messi and Ronaldo is former Valencia shot-stopper Diego Alves. Alves saved three out of four penalties taken by Ronaldo, with his first save coming in Alves’ debut season and subsequent saves in 2015 and 2017. Alves also denied Messi in the 2012 Copa del Rey semi-final, though Messi’s team advanced to the final and won the tournament.

In the past, Messi has expressed his desire to improve his penalty-taking skills, acknowledging the difficulty of replicating game conditions in practice. “I would like to be more effective from the penalty spot,” Messi told Catalunya Radio in 2018. “But it’s difficult to work on penalties. It’s not the same taking them in training as it is in a game. The goalkeeper has a lot to do with it, too. If they guess right, they save it. But it’s obvious that I’d like to get better at taking penalties.”

Credit: Sport Bible

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