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Column #81

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-03-20 15:18:25

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Today, in these lines, I would like to talk about penalties and my thoughts regarding this whole subject from a psychological point of view. After all, this is a subject that, in my view, is quite underrated in terms of comments and how the taken penalties are actually seen, whether they are missed by the footballer or converted into goals.
When I was younger I had a completely different view of penalties. For example, I despised the penalty goal, as I thought they were shallow situations and completely easy to score. As I was, from what little I read of more recent content and football commentary, I see people constantly looking down on players who take a lot of penalties throughout their careers or in certain competitions.
Well, I would like to give my current view on what I think about the scope of penalties. The player's act to take a penalty, trying to be decisive for his team, is already an act of courage and leadership. Put yourself in the shoes of the player who is going to take a penalty, the pressure is very high. Millions upon millions watching you try to convert a situation that looks — and only looks — easy. However, it is not.
I often compare this situation to the analogy of presenting or lecturing something in front of dozens or even hundreds of people. For the vast majority of people it's so easy to talk, isn't it? Why, after all, is such a human aspect so complicated in front of several people? Psychological pressure. Imagine this scenario in a football match in the competitions with thousands of people in the stadium, millions of people watching, with some wanting you to miss the penalty; others needing you to convert the penalty. The penalty gives a player a lot of freedom to score a goal, in fact, but the psychological pressure exerted is so high that it ends up complicating things.
Kylian Mbappé, for example, has taken three penalties in the World Cup final, converting on all three occasions. The pressure of an entire nation on your back; the pressure that when the match was 3:2 for Argentina he had to even the score; the pressure of having to convert the first penalty in the dispute after 120 minutes. Only players with attitude, confident, courageous players are capable of such a feat.
It's easy to make jokes about players who take a lot of penalties. It's easy to stay at home commenting "Penaldo", "Pessi", etc while watching the game on a sofa. However, it is difficult to go from midfield, in a slow walk that seems like an eternity, and, in front of billions and with the weight of a country on your shoulders, to take a penalty.