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04th Jul 2016

Simone Zaza has attempted to explain his awful penalty

"I was convinced I would score"

Robert Redmond

He’ll never live it down.

Roberto Baggio blazed the decisive penalty into the California sky during the World Cup final in 1994 against Brazil, and it has become a watershed moment in the former Italian striker’s career.

Baggio was one of the best players of his generation, and scored five goals to bring Italy to the cusp of winning the tournament, but is still widely remembered for missing the target against Brazil.

If he can’t live that down, what hope does Simone Zaza have?

The Juventus forward was brought on in the final minute of extra-time against Germany on Saturday night with the specific purpose of scoring a penalty.

Not only did he also blaze over but his unorthodox run-up style has been mocked mercilessly in the past few days.

Germany v Italy - Quarter Final: UEFA Euro 2016

Zaza has attempted to explain his unique run-up since arriving back in Italy, saying he always takes penalties in that manner, and it was something of a ploy to send German ‘keeper Manuel Neuer the wrong way.

“I’ve always taken penalties that way and I was convinced I would score. I did send Neuer the wrong way, but the ball just went away as it did. It’s tough but I’ll try to lift myself up again.”

Zaza, who appeared to take more steps during the penalty shoot-out than during the game, realises he’s unlikely to ever be allowed forget the miss.

“I’m sorry for letting Italians down. I’ve missed the most important penalty of my life and I’m never going to live it down.