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Simone Zaza Has Tried His Best To Explain That Penalty Miss

Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly
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Unfortunately for Simone Zaza, he'll forever be 'that guy'. If you do something like that in an Italian Cup final or even a Champions League game, you're 'that guy' for a couple of months or a season at most. However, the nature of yearly cup competitions means that, aside from you're own fans, mistakes are largely forgotten by the general football population.

Major championships are, however, another story entirely. Sure, if you're Zinedine Zidane you can get away with it, but Zaza is never going to have the kind of career that Zidane did. In twenty years time, drunk idiots will see him in a Turin bar and start tip-toeing around the place thinking it's both hilarious and also the first time anyone has ever done it. It will be neither. But that's Zaza's cross to bear now and, to be fair to him, he's not hiding from it.


The Italian squad returned home to Milan airport this weekend and Mediaset were there to ask him the question that every football fan in Europe wanted to hear the answer to. What were you thinking? (To be fair, that's probably a very rough translation of what they actually asked).

The Juventus striker to his credit, fronted up.

I missed the most important penalty of my career and it will be with me for the rest of my life. I'm sorry to have disappointed Italians.

I have always taken my penalties like that and was convinced I would score. I did send Manuel Neuer the wrong way, but unfortunately the ball went too high.

Thankfully, it would appear that Zaza's return to Italy has not been met with rotten fruit at the airport or anything of the sort.


It will be difficult, but I want to get over it. I want the Italians to know that we gave everything.

The fans realised we did all we could and I am happy with the welcome we have had – I knew they would understand. It is a shame about the penalties as we were doing something extraordinary.


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