Scoring a penalty may seem easy, but it is far from it. The penalty taker is expected to put the ball in the back of the net, while the goalkeeper cannot really be blamed for taking the penalty. There is a lot of pressure on the penalty taker.
At the highest level of the game, this becomes more difficult as goalkeepers are agile, acrobatic and intelligent enough to pose a greater challenge to the penalty taker. So, outsmarting the goalkeeper and putting the ball in the back of the net becomes a more difficult challenge.
All teams have penalty specialists who step up when the opportunity arises. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the five players with the most penalty goals in all competitions in 2022.
(Note: only footballers playing in the top five European leagues were considered for this list).
#5 Kylian Mbappé (France/Paris Saint-Germain) – 8 goals from the penalty spot
Kylian Mbappé is one of the most prolific scorers on the planet. He is one of the best strikers in the world and had an incredible outing at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Mbappe won the Golden Ball awarded to the World Cup’s top scorer after finding his way to net eight times in the tournament.
Mbappe was Ligue 1’s top scorer in the 2021-22 season and his ability to find the back of the net on a regular basis was crucial as Paris Saint-Germain lifted the Ligue 1 title. The 24-year-old proved also very reliable on the pitch.
In 2022, Mbappe took a total of nine penalties and converted eight.
#4 Vincenzo Grifo (Italy/SC Freiburg) – 9 goals from the penalty spot
SC Freiburg winger Vincenzo Grifo is one of the most reliable penalty shooters in Europe. He converted nine of the ten penalties he took in 2022. Grifo took five penalties and missed just one in the 2022-23 season.
In 23 appearances in all competitions for SC Freiburg, the Italian winger has scored 11 goals since the start of the season. A dynamic footballer, Grifo is capable of playing on the wing and also as an attacking midfielder. He is a formidable ball passer, technically gifted and endowed with an impressive range of passes.
#3 Erling Haaland (Norway/Manchester City) – 9 goals from the penalty spot
Erling Haaland is only 23 years old but he is already a phenomenal marksman. The Norwegian striker has taken the Premier League by storm and proved to be the missing link in Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side. Haaland scores goals for fun.
He is a surface fox and his movements in and around the last third are exceptional. Haaland is also very accurate from corners and is a nightmare for defenders.
He was very good in the penalty shootout. The Norway international converted all nine penalties he took in 2022.
#2 Harry Kane (England/Tottenham Hotspur) – 10 penalty goals
Harry Kane is one of the best strikers of his generation. Also, he is generally reliable with shots on goal. Kane therefore missed his shot on goal in the last 10 minutes of the World Cup quarter-final against France, squandering a good chance to equalise.
Kane is second on this list, but he has the worst conversion record of any player here. The England captain has taken 13 penalties in 2022 but has only converted 10. He has been in fine scoring form this year and has found the back of the net 17 times for Spurs in 26 appearances in all competitions .
#1 Neymar Jr. (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain) – 11 penalty goals
As the summer of 2022 approaches, there seems to be a consensus among some fans and fans that Neymar Jr. is no longer in his prime. But the Brazilian forward has silenced his critics by playing some of the best football of his life this season.
He has been in great form for Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazilian national team. The 30-year-old is one of the most technically gifted strikers of the modern era and his skill set is unique and well-balanced.
He scored 11 of the 12 penalties he took at club and national level in 2022.