The penalty kicks in football have evolved over generations. The simple 12-yard shot has seen several innovative tricks from shot takers to confuse the goalkeeper. The trend is not just restricted to the higher echelons of club and country football, where the hop and skip routine has become famous with players such as Jorginho and Bruno Fernandes, and Neymar, who opt for a stuttered run-up to get one into the net. Manchester United star Paul Pogba went one step further by taking an eternity to take his penalty spot kicks with an unusual slow jog up to the ball before taking the shot. But a set-piece routine in a Japanese school game recently may have been the longest/slowest penalty run-up in football history and is so bizarre it’s gone viral.
Earlier this week, the All Japan High School tournament match between Ryutsu Keizai Ogashi and Kindai Wakayama went into a penalty shootout. The match ended 1-1 but things took a bizarre turn when a player from Ryutsu came up to take his spot-kick. He was his side’s second penalty taker and took close to a ridiculous 35 seconds after the referee had blown his whistle prompting him to take the kick. The unnamed player stood still for the first 10 seconds and then decided to take tiny steps for over 30 seconds before he edged forward for a fake jump before finally striking the ball.
Watch the bizarre routine here:
The video clip also served as comic relief and got football fans talking on social media.
“Puts Pogba to shame,” wrote one user.
Puts Pogba to shame!— Thomas Daniel Appleton (@TDAP_Tweet) January 1, 2022
Another user compared the bizarre shot to Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles and wrote, “Obviously takes his lead from Ainsley.”
“Some run up this,” remarked another.
It would have been very embarrassing if the penalty was missed but luckily for him, his routine ended up in a goal with the shot stopper diving the wrong way.