Barcelona enters history through the wrong gate. 50 games without finding any goals with penalty kicks. Statistics provided by the Spanish media show how much the Blaugrana club has changed in recent months. The last goal scored with a penalty kick is by Leo Messi, in a match with Valencia.
Once whenever the referee whistled a foul near the opponents’ area, the audience at Camp Nou was exalted, while for the opposing goalkeeper there were moments of terror as the shots were executed by people like Messi, Neymar or Suarez, and to go further in history, Schuster, Maradona, Koeman, Stoichkov, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho or Deko.
In short it was a team historically specialized in penalty kicks. But things have changed, and lately, every penalty kick for Barcelona generates chaos to see who will shoot. On the list, Dembele, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba, Pique, Depay. None is a “sniper”, and the results prove it.
A special one that has not escaped even the opponents who often use the tactical foul in front of the area without much problem, aware that the risks of conceding a goal are smaller. Xavi, only partly to blame for this record which is his anyway, is looking for solutions, but it is not easy, as there are no specialists.
While the coach is also looking for alternatives, there are no specialists for penalty kicks, but there are players capable of utilizing inactive balls. It is no coincidence that many goals have come indirectly from penalty kicks and corner kicks, with Pique, Araujo or Luuk de Jong.