Totti defends Jorginho: ‘Penalties are not easy’

by | Nov 13, 2021 16:37

World Cup winner Francesco Totti stands up for Jorginho and insists it is ‘not easy’ to convert penalties regularly.

The Chelsea midfielder has now failed three times in a row from the spot wearing the Azzurri jersey, including penalty shoot-outs, after last night’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

These errors, after he had converted his first six with a perfect record, has raised questions about whether Jorginho should step aside for a different teammate next time Italy get a spot-kick.

Pundits and fans react | Should Jorginho still take penalties for Italy?

“I think you do feel the pressure when you’ve got that sort of responsibility on your shoulders, especially in the final minute of the game, so it’s not easy to take a penalty,” Totti told Sky Sport Italia.

“I was always told that I scored most of my goals with penalties, but you still have to convert them. It’s not easy.

“Whether you score or miss, it’s all in the mentality: it’s natural that if you miss three in a row, some doubts will creep into your mind, even if you are a champion.

“Jorginho certainly is a champion and when you see him play, it sparks joy.”

The other alternatives in the current Italy squad aren’t much more reliable from the spot, as Lorenzo Insigne missed several for Napoli and Domenico Berardi doesn’t have a perfect record either.

Nonetheless, Totti remains confident Italy will make it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as qualifying group winners.

They need to beat Northern Ireland, or at the very least match the result that Switzerland have against Bulgaria, and remain ahead on goal difference.

The Azzurri currently have +11 compared to +9.

epa05942185 (FILE) Roma's Francesco Totti celebrates after scoring the 3-0 lead from the penalty spot during the Italian Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and AC Chievo Verona at the Olimpico stadium in Rome, Italy, 18 October 2014 (reissued 03 May 2017). Italian Serie A side AS Roma confirmed on 03 May 2017 that Roma legend Francesco Totti will retire at the end of the season. The 40-year-old scored 250 goals in 616 appearances for the Giallorossi since 1993 and won the FIFA World Cup in 2006. EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

6 Comments

  1. Tom

    Well he just cost Italy a spot in World Cup . 2 missed penalties against the Swiss is not acceptable .

  2. a Varsavia

    Ask Robert Lewandowski, pls.

  3. Jarod KNowles

    … has now failed three times in a row

    strike 3 and you’re out

    In fact get him off the team , you’re fired! That’s what Conte would do!

    Get him out of there!

  4. LUIGI

    People are so completely lacking in empathy for penalty takers. When you score, it is taken for granted and people say “Well, he had to score from there.” And when you miss, you are apparently a terrible footballer.

    Fact is, only about 70% of all penalties are scored, at the professional level. Fans need to come to terms with that. Being awarded a penalty is not the same as being awarded an automatic goal.

  5. Vittorio

    @Luigi…

    Yes. Thank you for offering perspective. If penalties were automatic the requirement for a player to ACTUALLY take one would not exist.

    Similar to free throws awarded in basketball.

  6. Naved

    Penalty should be taken by Forwards..

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