He missed 3 penalties in one match but never gave up.

He missed 3 penalties playing for Argentina against Colombia. He scored a goal in the next game. He broke his leg while celebrating a goal for Villa Real. He scored a goal from inside his own half. His injuries kept him out of football twice for 6 month periods. His 200th goal for Boca Juniors was a 40 yard header which won the game. He scored the last minute winner to put Argentina into the 2010 World Cup. Though he’s only a sub, this 36 year old came last night and scored. His name, Martin Palermo. Never give up what you really believe in, particularly if you believe in your own ability.

In 1999, Palermo made international headlines when he missed three penalties for Argentina. They lost 3-0 to Columbia in the Copa America.

Next day Palermo gave interviews and promised to get on with his career. Three days later, he scored in the 2-0 win over Uruguay.

He scored from his own half against Independiente something even Pele failed to do in the 1970 World Cup.

His 200th goal for Boca Juniors was a 40 yard header to win the game 3-2 against Velez Sarsfield.

In the lashing rain, last October, he scored the last minute goal against Peru to propel Argentina into the 2010 World Cup. Listen to the commentator roar ‘goaaaal’.

Although he’s stuck on the bench behind Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain, Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero he loves being part of the team. “Diego will decide when I get on the pitch, and it will be when he considers it beneficial for the team. I value greatly being where I am.”

“The problem is that we are talking about a team in which every player is more of a superstar than the one before, in the best way. I am surrounded by monsters!” the Boca Juniors legend joked with Ole on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile Palermo does not rule out a last minute goal in a crucial game like the final! “That would be one hell of a film ending no?! Something incredible. Whatever is coming my way, bring it on. Meanwhile I’ll enjoy this time like nobody else.”

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13 Responses to He missed 3 penalties in one match but never gave up.

  1. Tony Innes June 23, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    What a great story. It gives hope to all the ageing Sunday morning footballers out there who dont know when to stop.

  2. Philip June 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    guys like Palermo keep your faith alive in sportmanship, puts more value in genuine applause from the fans and fellow players rather than cheques from the sponsor

  3. Saulo Valerio June 24, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Nice one, Paul. And yes, great story. (even though he’s Argentinian! :p)

  4. Keyuri Joshi July 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Thanks Paul. Stories like this keep us all on our toes and moving forward in our lives… whether we play sports or not!

  5. Christian Paulsen September 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm #


    What an inspirational story. Sports can be a great motivator when we see someone overcome the odds or bounce back from difficulty. Here’s one about an unbelievable performance when it looked like his career was over:


    Thanks for sharing.

  6. El Felipe July 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Martin Palermo should be coaxed out of retirement, given British citizenship and invited to be next Captain of England for his penalty taking record is better than any others who can make the team even after missing three in one international match

    • prsmith July 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      El Filipe – I agree entirely. He is also an inspiration.

  7. Rhys March 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    fair play to him for taking their penalties

    • prsmith November 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      Fair play to him indeed Rhys. And fair play to him for promising to score in the next game (which he did)!


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