The Tale Of The Panenka

Attacking Instincts


Nowadays, Antonin Panenka’s role in European football is a withdrawn one. Unlike other players of his generation, Panenka has shirked the limelight, making few public appearances, instead focusing on his responsibilities as President of former club Bohemians Praha 1905. But when the Czech legend does appear in front of the media, unfailingly sporting a broad smile and thick moustache, interviewers will always ask him to recall what was going through his mind one night in Belgrade, the night the ‘Panenka’ penalty was born.

Before the Quarter Finals of the 1976 European Championships, the general consensus among players, coaches and media alike was that there were only really 2 possible winners. Reigning World and European champions West Germany, who although not at the same level as in the two previous tournaments, still boasted a squad with an unrivalled depth in talent, headed by Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer, Uli Hoeness, and Cologne’s…

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