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Who Can Take A Penalty Kick In Soccer?

Who Can Take A Penalty Kick In Soccer?

When a player fouls another in his or her 18-yard box, the referee may award a penalty against the offending team. However, that is not the only reason that may lead to a penalty kick.

During the knockout stages or the finals of a competitive game, a penalty shootout will be used to determine the winner if the scoreline remains the same after the full 90 minutes and an additional 30 minutes of extra time.

In league games, when two teams end in a tie, the game will not go into a penalty kick. Rather, both teams will be awarded one point each.

Watching a team go out of a major tournament or lose a trophy through a penalty shootout is always heartbreaking. Perhaps, you might have noticed that in some teams a particular player always steps up to take almost all penalty kicks.

We often see instances where a player misses a penalty kick and when the team gets another he or she still steps forward to take it. This has left many soccer fans and enthusiasts asking, “Who can take a penalty kick in soccer”.

Is there a hidden law that bars some soccer players from taking penalties? If you are one of those that has been pondering on this question, you will definitely get all the answers you need below.

Who can take a penalty kick in soccer?

Any player on the pitch after kick-off can take a penalty. The goalkeeper of the team that won the penalty can even step up and take the penalty within the game.

The reason why they usually do not do this is that the opponents may capitalize on the open net to score a cheap goal if the goalkeeper fails to score.

However, awarding a penalty within a soccer game is often one of the most controversial decisions that a referee will make in a soccer game.

Referees are often cautious when it comes to awarding a penalty within the game because it can change the dynamics of the game. This is why some referees will overlook some minor infringements within the 18-yard box to avoid giving one team an easy victory over the other.

While any player can take a penalty, most team coaches usually appoint two to four players that will take penalties for the team. This helps to prevent a brawl among the players on who will take a penalty—because some players see it as an opportunity to end their goal drought.

The player is taking the penalty

In fact, there has been a couple of times when soccer players argued on the pitch about who would take the penalty. Below are a few examples of when soccer players argued for who has the right to play the penalty.

Some of the most memorable in 2021 include the one between Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin in Everton and the heated exchange between Tammy Abraham and Jorginho in Chelsea.

There are many more such arguments in the history of soccer. To limit the chances of such brawls ever happening, most team managers have a list of penalty takers during a game.

Like we mentioned earlier, the list often contains 2 to 4 players. These players are ranked in order of the first taker, second taker, and so on.

That is to say, whenever the team wins a penalty kick, the first taker on the team’s list will always be the one to step up and take the penalty kick. The second in ranking can only step up when the first taker has been substituted or is injured.

However, there are instances where the first taker may decide to give up that privilege to a player that is not even on the list.

For example, if a team is winning and a player that is not one of the appointed penalty takers had scored two goals and the team eventually got a penalty, the first taker may decide to give it to the player with the two goals to complete his or her hat trick.

In a game between Chelsea and Newcastle (2021), Reece James fired two thunderous shots into the net putting Chelsea 2-0 up in a short space of time. Chelsea eventually got a penalty which Jorginho converted to make it 3-0.

At the end of the game, Jorginho said that he would have left James to take the penalty and complete his hat trick if he had asked for it.

In the Chelsea team, there are three penalty takers namely Jorginho, Mount, and Werner. You will find the list of all penalty takers for all the Premier League teams and their order here.

Who plays the ball during a penalty shootout?

At the end of 90 minutes of regular time and 30 minutes additional time, if the scores remain the same, the game will head into a penalty shootout. Just before the penalty kicks begin, the teams will be given a short break.

The players usually surround the coach who will list out five players that should take the penalty. Many teams usually prepare for penalties ahead of big games and the coach will usually compile the list and send it to the match officials depending on their assessment of each player’s ability.

While compiling the list, the coach can only choose from the players that are currently on the pitch—that is to say, substitutes cannot be part of this list.

The teams are not mandated to inform the referee of the order or penalty takers. However, if one team ends the game with a fewer number of players (probably due to a red card), the larger team will have to exclude some players to level up with the number of the smaller team.

When the five players chosen by the coaches have played and the game still remains tied, the rest of the players on the team will continue to take turns to take the penalty until the last player has taken a penalty.

If there is still a tie after all the players have taken their turns, it will get to the turn of the goalkeepers.

During in-game penalties, only the kicker and the goalkeeper of the defending team are allowed in the 18-yard box while the other players stand around the box. However, during the penalty shootouts at the end of the game, all other players must remain at the pitch’s centerline.

Who can take a penalty in futsal?

The law of futsal is a little different from that of association football—although the circumstances for giving a penalty within the game are the same. If a penalty is given within the game, any player can step up and take the shot.

During the regular season, if the game ends in a tie both teams will share a point each. However, if the same happens during a playoff, a 10-minute golden goal session consisting of two halves of 5 minutes will be given.

Once any team scores within this time, they win the game. If no team scores, the game will head into penalty shootouts. Like soccer, the coach will be required to select 5 players to take the penalty—this must be a player that was on the court at the end of the extra time.

The selected five players will take turns to take the penalty kick. If there is still a tie after the five of them take the penalty, substitutes who were not previously part of the game will get a chance to step forward and take the penalty kick.

Who can take a penalty in beach soccer?

Beach soccer is divided into three periods of 12 minutes each with a 3-minute break in-between each period. The referee can award a penalty to a team within any of the periods if there was an infringement on one of the players.

Unlike in association football, the fouled player is the one that must take the penalty in beach soccer unless they are not capable of doing so due to injury.

Interestingly, draw is not allowed in beach soccer which means that a winner must emerge. If a team wins a game during the regular period they get 3 points. Teams get 2 points if they win in overtime and 1 point if they win on penalties.

If there is no winner after the three periods, the game will go into the 3 minutes extra time period. If there is no winner at the end of the three minutes, the game will head into penalties.

Each team is expected to select 5 players that will take the shots.

Who can take a penalty in indoor soccer?

The rule about who can take a penalty in indoor soccer is similar to other forms of soccer in some areas but also has its differences in other areas. A referee can award a penalty to a team within the game if there is some kind of infringement on a player in the penalty area.

When a penalty is awarded within the game, any player can step up and take the shot. Likewise, if the game goes into a shootout as a tiebreaker, each team will be allowed to take three shots in an alternating manner.

Any team that has a two-goal advantage over the other at any time is declared the winner. During a shootout, a player can only take a penalty kick once.

However, if there is no winner after a set of five kicks, the players will start all over again. This means that a player can take a penalty kick once in every five kicks.

Apparently, it is only in association football that the goalkeeper is allowed to take a penalty. In futsal, beach soccer, and indoor soccer, only players can take a penalty kick.

Can a substitute take a penalty?

A substitute that has entered the pitch or court can take a penalty kick if the need arises. However, substitutes that are still on the bench are not allowed to take part in the game.

In association football, once the coach senses that a game is heading into penalties, they will usually substitute some players and bring their best penalty takers into the pitch.

In the Euro 2020 where England lost on penalties to Italy, England head coach Gareth Southgate brought in the duo of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho when it was evident that the game was heading into spot-kick.

Sadly, both players missed the penalty kick which made many question the validity of the tactics. But there are times when coaches will make that call and it will work for them.

In an FA Cup tie between Chelsea and Barnsley, Chelsea’s head coach Thomas Tuchel substituted Eduard Mendy (the team’s number one goalkeeper) with Kepa Arrizabalaga in just a minute left to be played in the extra time.

Kepa eventually made two saves during the penalty shootout that helped to give the team a win over their opponent.


In all the different forms of soccer, referees are always cautious when it comes to awarding penalties. This is because it can give a team a cheap victory over their opponent.

When it comes to taking penalties, any player that is on the team or court can take the shot. Some variations of soccer will mandate the fouled player to take the kick while in others the coach decides the player that takes the team’s penalty kicks.

Nevertheless, it is important to mention that no soccer player is a master in penalty kicks. Even the best players in the world like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have missed crucial penalty kicks.

While most soccer players spend time sharpening their dribbling or passing skills, only a few spend time rehearsing how to take penalties. Well, things don’t always go as planned in the training ground.

The best penalty takers usually have a success of over 70 percent. It will interest you to know that the best penalty taker (2021) is Neymar Jr.