Top 10 Best Penalty Takers In Football


Given that penalties often decide the outcome of a game, the one who takes the shot and the goalkeepers on the other team are, understandably, under immense pressure.

Some players, however, have an edge over others.

For that reason, we compiled a list of the best penalty takers in the world. 

Who is the best penalty taker in football?

We have the answer.

Who Has the Best Penalty Conversion Rate?

Alan Shearer

  • Penalty success rate: 93.5%
  • Penalties scored: 72
  • Penalties missed: 5 
  • Status: Retired

The retired English striker is a Premier League record-holding goal scorer and one of the best penalty takers that the world of football has ever seen.

Although he officially retired nearly two decades ago, he still tops the chart in the English top flight.

During his time in the Premier League, the former England international scored a whopping 260 goals for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. Of those, 72 were scored from the penalty spot.

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  • Penalty success rate: 84.78%
  • Penalties scored: 39
  • Penalties missed: 7
  • Status: Active (Chelsea FC)

Jorge Luiz Frello Filho, better known as Jorginho, is currently a star of The Blues, where he plays as a midfielder.

The Italian national, who won the UEFA Europa League in his first season, joined the team after totalling 160 games with Napoli.

So far, he has added 39 successful penalties to his name and missed only 7. With an overall success rate of nearly 85%, Jorginho is currently the best penalty taker among active players.

Diego Perotti

  • Penalty success rate: 90%
  • Penalties scored: 27
  • Penalties missed: 3
  • Status: Active (Free Agent)

With a 90% penalty success rate, Perrotti who can play with both of his feet, is the best penalty taker of all time as he has the best penalty conversion rate.

The Argentinian national is considered a powerhouse in his attacking midfielder position (though he also plays as a winger).

He spent the better part of his career with Sevilla, where he appeared in 156 competitive games over six La Liga seasons. He has two major titles under his belt, as well as five caps for Argentina. 

Mario Balotelli

  • Penalty success rate: 89.79%
  • Penalties scored: 44
  • Penalties missed: 5
  • Status: Active (FC Sion)

The Sion striker is a well-established name in football. 

The Italian has amassed more than 30 caps in his career and represented his country in the UEFA, FIFA Confederations CUP, and the World Cup.

So far, Balotelli has scored 44 penalties and missed only 5. 

But, his success rate of nearly 90% is not the most impressive number that he has hit; Balotelli managed to keep a 100% penalty conversion rate without a missed penalty shot from 2005 (his debut) up to at least 2013, when he played for AC Milan.

Frank Lampard

  • Penalty success rate: 85.71%
  • Penalties scored: 60
  • Penalties missed: 10
  • Status: Manager (Everton)

Lampard, who currently works as Everton’s manager, has 60 successful penalties to his name, most of which he scored during his time with Chelsea.

The England national holds the record for the most goals by a midfielder in the Premier League and is Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer.

Having only missed 10 from the penalty spot, Lampard boasts a penalty success rate of around 85% and remains one of the few players who could score a goal when his teams needed it the most.

Alessandro Del Piero

  • Penalty success rate: 83.69%
  • Penalties scored: 77 
  • Penalties missed: 15
  • Status: Retired

Piero, who spent the majority of his career with one of the most hated football clubs, Juventus, is one of the top goal scorers in Italian football and the greatest penalty takers of all time, with a nearly 84% penalty success rate.

The retired Italian player was a prolific goal-scorer on the field and is currently the second highest all-time Italian top-scorer in all competitions, with 346 goals under his belt.

He’s also won six awards for gentlemanly conduct in Italy, as well as the Golden Foot, which pertain both to playing ability as well as personality.

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Steven Gerrard

  • Penalty success rate: 83.63%
  • Penalties scored: 46
  • Penalties missed: 9
  • Status: Manager (Aston Villa)

The current manager of Aston Villa, Steven Gerard, has 46 successful and 9 missed penalty shorts in a career that spanned over decades. 

Gerrard spent most of his career as a central midfielder for one of the most successful clubs in Europe, Liverpool. He is best known for his precision and his ability to score long shots from behind the box.

The former captain of the England national team won a total of 114 England caps over 14 years, but despite his success in cup competitions, he has never won the Premier League.

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Penalty success rate: 83.23%
  • Penalties scored: 144
  • Penalties missed: 29
  • Status: Active (Manchester United)

Christiano Ronaldo is undeniably one of the greatest football players to ever step on the pitch and one of the best penalty takers in the world. 

As such, he has plenty of accolades to his name– from Ballon d’Or awards and European Golden Shoes– and a total of 32 trophies in his career.

The GOAT football player has an almost 84% penalty success rate, having scored close to 150 penalties. So far, he has missed only 30 penalties of the penalty kicks he has taken in his entire career.

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Francesco Totti

photo source: bbc
  • Penalty success rate: 81.9%
  • Penalties scored: 86
  • Penalties missed: 19
  • Status: Retired

The famous number 10, Francesco Totti, is a household name in the world of football.

The Italian player, who played only for Roma and Italy, is widely considered one of the best of his generation and  Roma’s greatest player.

Totti is renowned for his technique, vision, and last but not least– his goal-scoring ability.

He has scored more than 80 penalties in his career and missed 19. His success rate may not be high enough to give him the title of best penalty taker in the world, but he still is a top goal scorer in Roma’s history.

Lionel Messi

  • Penalty success rate: 77.61%
  • Penalties scored: 104
  • Penalties missed: 30
  • Status: Active (Paris Saint-Germain)

If you ask any Spaniard, they’ll tell you that as a footballer, Messi is in a class of his own– and they might be right. 

The Argentinian footballer, who currently plays for Paris Saint Germains, after his controversial departure from Barcelona, is the top goal scorer of all time for his home team.

At a club level, Messi has taken 110 penalties and scored 84, and taken a further 22 and scored 18 at an international level from the spot. The combined record shows that he’s missed 30 out of 132, which isn’t exceptional but far from disappointing.

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Bottom Line

So, who is the best penalty taker?

If you’re looking at the penalty success rate, the best one is the Argentinian national Diego Perotti, who boasts a whopping 90% penalty conversion rate. 

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