England not so bad at penalties after all, study suggests

Researchers from the German Sport University of Cologne, analysing data from international and club football over four decades, said there is no such thing as England’s “penalty curse”. Looking at the 223 penalties awarded in open play across all World Cups and European Championships, England players in fact boast the highest success rate. They scored around 90% of the time, putting them ahead of players from countries including Germany (75%), Brazil (87.5%), Spain (77%), Holland (75%) and Italy (65%). English footballers converted 75.14% of penalties in that period, marginally lower than their Dutch (77.1%) and Italian (75.61%) counterparts, and ahead of German (69.03%), Spanish (69.41%) and Brazilian (73.2%) players. However, the success rate of England players in these shootouts – 61.32% – was not substantially lower than the international average of around 70%, with the researchers calling this a small deviation “by statistical convention”.