Atletico Madrid legend Milinko Pantic has offered advice on penalties to his old club following Guilherme Siqueira’s miss against Valencia.
The champions were beaten 3-1 by Los Che with Siqueira having a spot kick saved by Diego Alves.
Pantic, a regular penalty scorer in his playing days, was asked by AS what it’s like to step up from 12 yards.
“I took a few and I always say it’s a lottery. You have a lot to lose and the goalkeeper has a lot to gain. It’s a trap,” he said.
“It was an important psychological moment on Saturday. If Siqueira had scored, maybe Atletico would have won.
“I took a lot of penalties but I have to say, I was always terrified.
“You’re obliged to score and if the goalkeeper saves it, he’s a god. The pressure is uneven. There’s a lot of goal to aim at but sometimes you can only see the goalkeeper.
“You can study videos of goalkeepers. But as a rule I always tell players to go to the right of a left-handed ‘keeper, which is what happened.
“Siqueira did that and he failed. He was brave. Cristiano Ronaldo failed against Ludogorets and he has a success rate of more than 90%.
“There are only three ways to take a penalty: close your eyes and shoot with all your strength, choose a side and shoot there whatever happens, or wait to see what the goalkeeper does. It’s a lottery.”
Alves had a word with Siqueira before the left-back took the penalty and Pantic knew what sort of thing the goalkeeper would have said.
“They get into your head. ‘Are you really going to put it there?’ They ask that. It’s a psychological war,” Pantic added.
“I don’t know the internals of Atletico but Siqueira is a specialist like Mario Mandzukic. I saw him score a lot of penalties for Granada.
“Diego Simeone knows how to protect his players. There’s no trauma. You fail and it’s done.
“I missed two for Atleti. I decided not to take any more before that Champions League game against Ajax. After I took the next, I freaked out because of the public reaction.
“But I don’t think that will happen with Siqueira. Many of the greats have failed – Baggio, Platini, Messi. He failed and continues to score.”