History

On the spot – Chelsea players in international penalty shoot-outs

With Jorginho converting the winning penalty against Spain on Tuesday to send Italy through to the Euro 2020 final, we revisit the exploits of other Blues who have taken on the huge responsibility of taking spot kicks for their countries at major international tournaments.

Despite the enormous pressure of taking his team’s last penalty in the semi-final at Wembley, the Azzurri midfielder showed the composure he typically displays when he is on the spot for Chelsea, stepping up to the ball with his customary hop and skip before sending goalkeeper Unai Simon the wrong way.

Jorginho’s cool finish made him the second Chelsea player to score in a shoot-out at Euro 2020 although the Italian had more reason to be pleased with his effort than Olivier Giroud, who took France’s second attempt in the last 16 against Switzerland in Bucharest.

The striker made no mistake as he sent Yann Sommer the wrong way but the Swiss goalkeeper kept out Kylian Mbappe’s attempt to condemn the world champions to an unexpected early exit.

The first Chelsea players to be involved in a European Championship penalty shoot-out were club legends Frank Lampard and John Terry, who were called upon at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon after England drew 2-2 with Portugal in the quarter-finals in 2004.

Both Blues were successful as they blasted their efforts past Ricardo but the Portuguese goalkeeper had the last laugh as he stopped Darius Vassell in the seventh round before firing his own opportunity past David James to secure a 6-5 triumph for the host nation.

Lampard was involved in another shoot-out against the Portuguese in a World Cup quarter-final two years later but the future Blues manager was one of three England players who had their penalties saved by Ricardo as the Three Lions were beaten 3-1 at Gelsenkirchen.

Ashley Cole was also on target for England in the 2004 shoot-out against Portugal and the left-back went on to net the most notable spot-kick of his career in Chelsea’s Champions League final triumph at Munich in May 2012.

But just over a month later in Kyiv, he didn’t fare so well in England’s Euro 2012 quarter-final against Italy as his tame effort was kept out by Gianluigi Buffon in the Azzurri’s 4-2 shoot-out victory.

While Didier Drogba never managed to lead Ivory Coast past the group stage of the World Cup, the big striker often found himself on the spot for his country in the Africa Cup of Nations.

He experienced mixed fortunes in the 2006 tournament as he scored twice in a marathon shoot-out against Cameroon in the quarter-finals as the Elephants prevailed 11-10 but missed his country’s opening attempt in the final against Egypt as they went down 4-2 to the host nation.

The Ivorian skipper did make his effort count in the 2012 final against Zambia at Libreville but it proved in vain as his team again finished runners-up after an 8-7 loss.

While Drogba took a few penalties during his time at Chelsea, John Mikel Obi only took one for the Blues, missing in a 5-4 shoot-out loss to Burnley in the League Cup in 2008/09. However, he had more success with Nigeria at the Cup of Nations as he scored in their 6-5 victory over Tunisia in the 2006 quarter-finals and 5-4 triumph against Zambia in 2010.

There were two Blues who stepped up for Brazil in the shoot-out after a 1-1 draw with Chile in the round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup. David Luiz tucked away his attempt but Willian sent his effort wide although it didn’t prove costly as the hosts advanced after a 3-2 win.

Finally, Juan Cuadrado was a Chelsea player when he appeared for Colombia at the 2015 Copa America but although the winger converted his attempt against Argentina in the quarter-finals, it was not enough as his side were eliminated after a 5-4 loss.

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