Penalty shootouts and World Cups go hand in hand. Most sides practice their spot kicks for years on end in the build-up to the global tournament, but preparation can go out the window when crunch time comes.

While not certain – Spain and France have won the World Cup in recent memory without being involved in a shootout – the likelihood of teams needing to win at spot kicks to reach the final is large enough.

Here are the sides with the best penalty shootout records at men’s World Cups.

Argentina and Germany have the best records in penalty shootouts at the World Cup with four victories apiece.

Argentina have competed in the most WC shootouts – five in total – and have only lost one, back in the 2006 quarter finals when they were defeated 4-2 by Germany after misses from Daniel Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso. Germany themselves have a 100% record, winning all four of their shootouts.

While outfield players like Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthaus, Jose Serrizuela, Jorge Burruchaga and Maxi Rodriguez proved themselves to be excellent penalty takers with two scored each across different tournaments, both sides also needed brilliant goalkeepers.

Sergio Goycochea became an icon for Argentina in 1990, saving penalties in quarter-final and semi-final penalty shootout victories against Yugoslavia and Italy respectively. German legend Harald Schumacher was also on hand for his nation to save two penalty strikes in shootouts against France in 1982 and Mexico in 1986.

Best player scoring records in World Cup penalty shootouts

Taking a penalty at the World Cup is known to be a proper test of a player’s minerals. Some have wilted under the pressure, but a number of stars have stepped up and scored in different shootouts when it mattered.

Modern stars like Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Arjen Robben are among those to have netted in separate penalty shootouts at the same World Cup.


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