ANTONIN PANENKA has claimed he got fat from eating too much chocolate following his chipped penalty against Germany in the Euro 1976 final.
The 72-year-old – who has had the technique named after him – won Czechoslovakia the title after deceiving Sepp Maier between the sticks in the shootout.
Antonin Panenka famously chipped the ball down the middle of the goal in the Euro 1976 finalCredit: PA:Press Association
Panenka, 69, has claimed he piled on the pounds following his famous strikeCredit: AFP – Getty
Panenka won two Austrian championships with Rapid Vienna during his four-year spellCredit: AFP or licensors
And the former Rapid Vienna star, who battled Covid-19 last year, joked that following his moment of glory he then piled on the pounds after his famous strike as he scoffed down the treats he won in bets.
He told Goal back in 2018: “I practised it for two years before Euro 1976.
“I just figured that every ‘keeper always jumps to one side, so it could be good to kick it in the middle.
“After every practice I competed with our goalkeeper (Zdenek) Hruska in penalties.
“He was really good, so I was losing a lot of money, chocolates, etc. Then I started to use my little trick, and suddenly I was winning often.
“The bad thing was, that I was getting fatter because of all the chocolates I won.”
Many footballers have followed Panenka’s style and chipped the ball down the middle in a crucial clash – notably Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final and Alexis Sanchez at the 2015 Copa America final.
Panenka believes Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos is his best imitatorCredit: Reuters
The Spanish international first did the Panenka against Portugal in Euro 2012, while he also netted in the same manner during a 4-1 win against Girona.
Speaking about the Spanish icon, he said: “Yeah, he [Ramos] had already done that twice, right?
“So I guess he could be the best imitator, because he made it more than once.
“People know it about him, and he still makes it, so that is great for him.”
Of course, not everybody has been as successful trying to copy the Panenka.
Venezuelan Bendrix Parra was sacked by his Paraguayan club Independiente after fluffing his spot kick and causing elimination from the Copa Sudamericana in 2019.
Being knocked out meant they missed out on £154,000, which they were hoping to pin their financial survival on after slipping to the bottom of their domestic league.
President Heriberto Gamarra said: “He is fired because we want to leave this episode behind us.”
Sergio Aguero blew the chance to be a Manchester City title hero for the second time in April with a crazy Panenka miss and said: “I’m sorry.”
Aguero’s woeful spot-kick against Chelsea spurned the chance to fire Manchester City two-up and on the way to being crowned Premier League champions – although they would eventually go on to seal the crown.
But unlike back in 2012 with his last-gasp winner against QPR, the striker fluffed his lines completely with a shocker of a spot-kick that was easily saved by the keeper.
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