Why Lewandowski's stutter-step penalty style has stirred controversy at Euro 2024

Why Lewandowski's stutter-step penalty style has stirred controversy at Euro 2024

Festus Chuma 13:55 - 27.06.2024

There is controversy over Lewandowski's penalty style at Euro 2024 criticized by France's goalie Maignan for its excessive stutter-steps.

Robert Lewandowski’s penalty technique has became a focal point of discussion after a contentious moment in the Euro 2024 group stage match between Poland and France, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The match saw tensions flare not just on the field but also in post-match comments, particularly from France's goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

Kylian Mbappe had initially put France ahead, but Lewandowski’s equalizer from the penalty spot was the highlight, or for some, a lowlight of the game.

The Polish striker's initial penalty was saved by Maignan, but a retake was ordered as the French goalkeeper was adjudged to have moved off his line prematurely.

When Lewandowski approached for the second attempt, he employed his characteristic stutter-step technique, a method that involves making multiple feints during the run-up to the ball.

This style, although effective in outfoxing goalkeepers, drew criticism from Maignan.

The goalkeeper later expressed his frustration on social media, posting about Lewandowski's "87th stutter in the run-up" accompanied by exasperated emojis, highlighting his irritation with the tactic.

The debate over the fairness and sportsmanship of such penalty techniques is not new, but Lewandowski’s performance has reignited the discussion.

Critics argue that excessively deceptive run-ups can unfairly disadvantage the goalkeeper, who is already restricted by the rules from moving off the line before the kick.

Poland’s coach, Michel Probierz, defended his star player in the post-match press conference.

"I won’t tell Robert how to score penalties when he has scored almost 600 goals in his career," he stated firmly as per SB Nation.

"I don’t care how he scores them. The most important thing is that he scored."

The controversy touches on broader themes of sportsmanship and the evolving tactics within professional soccer.

As techniques and player strategies become more sophisticated, the rules and their enforcement are scrutinized ever more closely.

The incident has spurred a debate among fans and experts alike about the balance between skill, creativity, and fairness in soccer.

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