The dreaded penalty shoot-out. It’s the ultimate pressure moment. But that pressure reaches unprecendented levels if you factor in that you’re taking penalties for your country at the World Cup.
Some people call penalties a lottery. But as you’ll see from the penalty records of teams at the World Cup, some clear patterns certainly emerge.
World Cup Penalty Shootouts
Ahead of the 2022 World Cup, there have been 30 penalty shootouts at the tournaments. But, amazingly, only two have ever reached sudden death (West Germany vs France in 1982 and Sweden vs Romania in 1994).
But which teams have the best World Cup penalty shootout records? Below you can see the records of all of the teams to have taken part in two or more World Cup penalty shootouts.
World Cup Penalty Shootout Records by Team:
|Republic of Ireland||2||1||1||50%|
Teams with One World Cup Penalty Shootout:
Won: Belgium, Bulgaria, Sweden, South Korea, Portugal, Ukraine, Uruguay, Paraguay, Morocco
Lost: Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Ghana, Chile, Greece, Colombia, Denmark.
Team with Best World Cup Penalty Record
Of the 16 teams that have had two or more World Cup penalty shootouts, just two have won 100% of their shootouts, Germany and Croatia. Germany have the best World Cup penalty record having won all four of their shootouts (1982, 1986, 1990, 2006), while Croatia have caught them up in the past two tournaments, winning by penalties twice in 2018 (beating Denmark and Russia), before repeating the feat in 2022 (beating Japan and Brazil.
Which Team Has Won Most World Cup Penalty Shootouts?
Argentina have won the most World Cup penalty shootouts, having won five of the six shootouts they’ve been involved in. Their only lost came against Germany in the 2006 quarter-final.
Team with Worst World Cup Penalty Record
Of the 16 teams to have played in two or more World Cup penalty shootouts, only Mexico (0 for 2), Japan (0 for 2) and Romania (0 for 2) have never won a shootout. Spain, though, have lost the most shootouts, winning just once in five attempts for a lowly 20% success rate.
England World Cup Penalties Record
England have a dismal World Cup penalty record, having won just one of their four World Cup penalty shootouts. The Three Lions won their first World Cup penalty shootout in 2018 after beating Colombia, having lost their first three World Cup penalty shootouts.
|Year||Opponent||Stage||FT Result||Penalties Score|
|1990||West Germany||Semis||1-1||3-4 (L)|
|1998||Argentina||Last 16||2-2||3-4 (L)|
|2018||Colombia||Last 16||1-1||4-3 (W)|
Which Team Has Lost the Most World Cup Penalty Shootouts?
Spain have lost the most World Cup penalty shootouts, losing four out of five attempts. Italy, Netherlands and England also hold poor records winning just one out of four.
More World Cup Facts: