Going to penalties is bad for Flamengo and worse for Palmeiras – The World is a Ball


If the 90 minutes (plus additions) of regular time have elapsed, plus the 30 minutes (plus additions) of extra time and Flamengo x Palmeiras end in a tie, there will be penalty kicks at the Centenário stadium, in Montevideo, to decide the Libertadores champion.

Always exciting, this dispute, which puts 500 kilos on each kicker’s back and leaves the goalkeeper light, with a great chance of becoming the hero of the day, is bad for Flamengo. And even worse for Palmeiras.

A survey of this blog with the performance of 28 major teams from November 26, 2012 until today (November 26, 2021), exactly ten years ago, shows the team alviverde in the penultimate place in the field.

Palmeiras participated in 18 penalty shootouts in that decade and won only six (33% success rate). Out of every three disputes, the team lost one.

Going to penalties was only more traumatic for River Plate. The Argentine club, in 13 successful attempts, only won 4 (31%).

Agustín Rossi, goalkeeper for Boca Juniors, defends a penalty in dispute against arch-rivals River Plate in the round of 16 of the Argentina Cup (Agustin Marcarian – 4.Aug.2021/Reuters)

There is a saying that “penalty is lottery”. If it were, following my understanding of probabilities, all teams should triumph in 50% of matches and fail in 50% of them.

This is not what happened during the survey period, with 24 of the 28 clubs. Only Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Santos registered 50/50.

Considering a margin of 10 percentage points above or below, a deviation that I do not consider exaggerated, 18 fell into this range.

Seven associations showed results above 60%, and three, below 40% Paris Saint-Germain, with 38%, joins Palmeiras and River.

With a 45% success rate in penalty shootouts (5 wins on 11 occasions), Flamengo, in an unhonorable 22nd place in the ranking, would have no reason for optimism if another one happens in Uruguay, except for the fact that the rival from São Paulo to be even more sufferable.

The situation is even more uncomfortable for Abel Ferreira’s men when taking into account the results on penalties this year: no victory in four attempts.

There were setbacks against Al-Ahly (Club World Cup), Flamengo (Brazil Super Cup), Defensa y Justicia (South American Cup) and CRB (Brazil Cup).

The only encouragement for Palmeiras is that, in 1999, the first of the two times that the team lifted the cup in the continental competition, the victory came on penalties: 4-3 against Deportivo Cali, from Colombia.

But, even in penalty shootouts in Libertadores finals, the retrospect is not positive, as in 2000 the team led by Luiz Felipe Scolari lost (4 to 2) to Boca Juniors.

Palmeiras players follow the penalty shootout against Defensa y Justicia, from Argentina, in the decision of the Recopa Sudamericana, in Brasília (Buda Mendes – 14.abr.2021/AFP)

Statistical analysis indicates that it is not inviting to face Manchester City, Arsenal, Vasco (all 67% successful in penalty shootouts), Boca Juniors (64%) and especially Barcelona, ​​almost unbeatable (86%) on penalties.

It should be noted that the number of times Vasco participated in a penalty shootout is only six in the survey interval, or half the average (12) of the clubs surveyed.

Barça also decided little by penalties (seven times), as well as PSG (eight times), and Boca was the one who most saw themselves in the lime brand to define games: 22 times in a decade.

The research, which considered national and international clashes, included the performances of 12 teams from Brazil, six from England, three from Spain, three from Italy, two from Argentina, one from Germany and one from France.

Below is the overall ranking, from the most effective team in penalty shootouts to the least competent.

1) Barcelona – 86% (8 games, 7 wins)

2) Arsenal – 67% (12 games, 8 wins)

Manchester City – 67% (12 games, 8 wins)

Vasco – 67% (6 games, 4 wins)

5) Boca Juniors – 64% (22 games, 14 wins)

6) Atlético de Madrid – 62% (13 games, 8 wins)

7) Chelsea – 61% (18 games, 11 wins)

8) Guild – 60% (15 games, 9 wins)

Atlético-MG – 60% (10 games, 6 wins)

Botafogo 60% (10 games, 6 wins)

Cruise – 60% (10 games, 6 wins)

12) Corinthians – 57% (14 games, 8 wins)

13) Fluminense – 56% (9 games, 5 wins)

Milan – 56% (9 games, 5 wins)

15) Inter Milan – 55% (11 games, 6 wins)

16) Liverpool – 54% (13 games, 7 wins)

17) Bayern – 50% (16 games, 8 wins)

Santos – 50% (12 games, 6 wins)

Manchester United – 50% (10 games, 5 wins)

Real Madrid – 50% (10 games, 5 wins)

21) International – 46% (13 games, 6 wins)

22) Flamengo 45% (11 games, 5 wins)

Juventus – 45% (11 games, 5 wins)

Tottenham – 45% (11 games, 5 wins)

25) São Paulo – 40% (10 games, 4 wins)

26) PSG – 38% (8 games, 3 wins)

27) Palmeiras – 33% (18 games, 6 wins)

28) River Plate – 31% (13 games, 4 wins)

Brazilian national team goalkeeper, Júlio César defends a penalty lost by Alexis Sánchez, from Chile, in the round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup in Belo Horizonte (Francois Xavier – 28.Jun.2014/AFP)

And what about the most renowned teams, who have already been world champions?

How did you fare in penalties decided by penalties in the last ten years, considering your top teams? (The base and Olympic teams are not considered in the account.)

The most successful were the German, who won their only dispute (in 2016, at the Euro, against Italy), and the Brazilian, with 75% success rate (three victories in four attempts) – the defeat occurred in the Copa América in Chile , in 2015, to Paraguay.

On the other hand, the Uruguayan (four setbacks) and French (one) teams did not win once from 2012 to 2021.

1) Germany – 100% (1 game, 1 win)

2) Brazil – 75% (4 games, 3 wins)

3) Italy – 67% (6 games, 4 wins)

4) Spain – 60% (5 games, 3 wins)

5) Argentina – 50% (6 games, 3 wins)

England – 50% (4 games, 2 wins)

7) Uruguay – 0% (4 games, 0 win)

France – 0% (1 game, 0 win)

Also read: In the penalty shootout, is it better to start hitting or not?

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