Penalty maestro Panenka in intensive care

Source: Getty Images

Antonin Panenka, the Czech footballer whose cheeky winning penalty against Germany in the 1976 European Championship final has earned his name an eternal place in the game's lexicon, is in intensive care in hospital, having tested positive for coronavirus.

Panenka, now 71, led the Czechoslovakia national team to their only international title after he softly dinked the decisive penalty past the sprawling German goalkeeper Sepp Maier in the shoot-out of the final.

The shot -- forever known as a Panenka after his audacity -- is a simple technique in which the player gently chips the ball down the centre of the goal assuming the keeper will dive to the right or left.

"Antonin Panenka was taken to an intensive care unit today, in a serious condition. We will not comment more on his state. Tonda, let's go!" Bohemians 1905, his former club, said on Twitter.

The club said that Panenka tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Many of the world's greatest players have attempted Panenka's bravery in big matches. France's Zinedine Zidane gave France a 1-0 lead over Italy in the 2006 World Cup final with the shot while Andrea Pirlo netted one for Italy against England in Euro 2012.

Source AAP