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Lionel Messi penalty kick history: Argentina captain’s record on penalties

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There is no denying that Lionel Messi is one of the greatest players of all time. He has achieved so much success with his clubs and country and dazzled football fans the world over for nearly 20 years with his supreme skill and talent.

Some call him a magician, others laud his football wizardry with the ball, and in his native Argentina he is even lauded as a god.

But, as far as we know, he is still a mortal human, and there just may be one aspect of his game that proves this: his record from the penalty spot.

Scoring from 12 yards is always much easier than it looks, especially in penalty shootouts, but there have been a few ocassions where Messi hasn’t been able to hold his nerve in the crucial moment. But is his record a bad one overall? 

MORE: Everything to know about Lionel Messi: trophies, salary, contract

What is Lionel Messi’s record on penalty kicks?

Throughout his career Lionel Messi has taken 138 penalties (as of December 9), scoring 106 and missing 32, this leaves him with a success rate of 77% when taking penalties for either club or country.

Whilst  his missed numbers are high because of his long career and the amount of penalties he has taken, there is no denying he has missed penalties in some massive moments.

He missed a penalty in the 2016 Copa America Centenario Final against Chile in a shootout that Argentina eventually lost, 4-2, and Messi was so distraught after the match that he announced that he would be retiring from international football (a decision he reversed soon after). 

He has also missed penalties at World Cups, missing in 2018 in a match against Iceland that ended in a draw, and even in the current World Cup where Poland’s Wojicech Szczesny saved his penalty in their final group stage match, though it didn’t affect the result as Argentina won, 2-0.

Lionel Messi penalty record

Team Penalties scored Penalties missed Percentage of penalties scored
Barcelona 82 25 77%
Paris Saint-German 2 1 67%
Argentina 19 5 80%
Argentina U20s 1 0 100%

Is Lionel Messi good at penalties?

Whilst his record is not the worst in world football, it is not one that fans expect when talking about one of the greatest players of all time. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example has scored 146 of his 175 penalties,  giving him a success rate of 83% from the spot.

Messi himself has admitted in the past that his penalty taking record is not up to standard. In 2018 after he had missed four penalties for club and country, he said in an interview with Catalunya Radio that he found it more difficult to work on his penalty taking than other parts of his game.

“I would like to be more effective from the penalty spot, but it’s difficult to work on penalties. It’s not the same taking them in training as it is in a game. You can have an idea in your head or something you have worked on, but it’s more difficult than it seems.

“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.”

Lionel Messi penalties missed

Below is the complete list of penalties that Lionel Messi has lost in his career, including the outcome of the match and which goalkeeper he was facing.

Match Goalkeeper Outcome Minute Score at the time Final score
Barcelona vs. Villareal Diego Lopez Saved 76′ 1-0 1-0
Barcelona vs. Benidorm CD Juan Carlos Caballero Saved 86′ 1-0 1-0
Barcelona vs. Recrativo Huelva Asier Riesgo Saved 81′ 2-0 2-0
Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos Alexandros Tzorvas Saved 55′ 3-1 5-1
Real Betis vs. Barcelona Casto Missed 53′ 3-1 3-1
Barcelona vs. Sevilla Javi Varas Saved 90′ 0-0 0-0
Valenica vs. Barcelona Diego Alves Saved 57′ 1-1 1-1
Barcelona vs. Chelsea Petr Cech Missed 49′ 2-1 2-2
Germany vs. Argentina Marc-Andre ter Stegen Saved 32′ 0-0 1-3
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid Thibaut Courtios Missed 89′ 0-0 0-0
Barcelona vs. Real Betis Antonio Adan Saved 86′ 3-1 3-1
Levante vs. Barcelona Jesus Fernandez Missed 42′ 0-1 0-5
Brazil vs. Argentina Jefferson Saved 40′ 1-0 2-0
Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid Jan Oblak Saved 85′ 0-0 1-0
Manchester City vs Barcelona Joe Hart Saved 90′ 1-2 1-2
Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona Groka Iraizoz Saved 31′ 0-0 0-1
Barcelona vs. Levante Ruben Martinez Missed 75′ 3-1 4-1
Barcelona vs. Celta Vigo Sergio Alvarez Missed 81′ 3-1 6-1
Barcelona vs. Getafe Vicente Guaita Saved 11′ 1-0 6-0
Argentina vs. Chile Claudio Bravo Missed Penalty shootout 0-0 2-4
Barcelona vs. Eibar Yoel Rodriguez Saved 70′ 1-2 4-2
Alaves vs. Barcelona Fernando Pacheco Missed 39′ 0-0 0-2
Barcelona vs. Deportivo Ruben Martinez Saved 70′ 3-0 4-0
Espanyol vs. Barcelona Diego Lopez Saved 62′ 0-0 1-0
Argentina vs. Iceland Hannes Thor Halldorsson Saved 64′ 1-1 1-1
Barcelona vs. Real Valladolid Jordi Masip Saved 85′ 1-0 1-0
Brazil vs. Argentina Alisson Saved 13′ 0-0 0-1
Barcelona vs. Valencia Jaume Domenech Saved 45′ 1-1 2-2
Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-German Keylor Navas Saved 45′ 1-1 1-1
Valencia vs. Barcelona Jasper Cillessen Saved 57′ 1-1 2-3
Paris Saint-German vs. Real Madrid Thibaut Courtios Saved 62′ 0-0 1-0
Poland vs. Argentina Wojiech Szczesny Saved 39′ 0-0 0-2



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