Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring for Wales in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Serbia with a Panenka penalty that proved to be an inadvertent tribute in the stadium it was devised.
The 26-year-old put Wales ahead in the 35th minute at the Red Star Stadium after the Dragons were awarded a penalty for a foul on Sam Vokes by Luka Milivojevic. Ramsey chipped his spot-kick in the same fashion Czech attacking-midfielder Antonin Panenka did at the same stadium at Euro 1976.
At the time, his method was revolutionary and would later spawn homages from a host of players in the years that followed and Ramsey is the latest to pay a tribute. Although the Welshman wouldn’t have realised how significant his Panenka penalty was at the time.
After scoring from 12 yards in the 1-1 draw, the Gunners midfielder wheeled away to celebrate to the supporters but social media was abuzz with the incident after catching wind of the relevance to the Euro 1976 game.
Panenka’s original penalty was against German goalkeeper Sepp Maier to help the Czech national team win the European Championships. The Panenka penalty has since been successfully performed by the likes Francesco Totti (Euro 2000), Zinedine Zidane (2006 World Cup), Alexis Sánchez (2015 Copa América).