Andreas Brehme explains why he took his penalty in the World Cup final with his right foot, after scoring in a shootout at Mexico 86 with his left

Andreas Brehme World Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's a brilliant trivia question - if not a little overused - that asks who are the only two Premier League players to score a penalty with both feet. Answer? Bobby Zamora and Obafemi Martins. 

While impressive, it's not quite on the same level as what Andreas Brehme managed with West Germany at the World Cup

The full-back scored in a quarter-final penalty shootout against Mexico at the 1986 World Cup with his left foot, helping send his nation to the semi-finals of the tournament. Nothing untoward there. 

Four years later, though, with the game 0-0 in the World Cup final against Argentina, Brehme stepped up to take a penalty in the 85th minute with his right foot. He scored the game's only goal, handing West Germany the Jules Rimet trophy as a result. 

Despite changing foot during the four-year intervening period, Brehme claims he didn't even realise he had changed his penalty-taking style. 

"I honestly don’t know [which is his strongest foot]," he told FourFourTwo in the latest issue available to buy. "In 1986, I was asked why I’d taken a penalty with my left foot, as the guy knew I often used my right. I hadn’t even noticed. It makes no difference."

Brehme isn't the only German regarded as an expert in penalties, though. Indeed, as the cliché goes, the entire nation is astutely adept at sticking the ball in the net from 12 yards, regardless of the pressure or the situation. 

The 1990 World Cup winner explains why, suggesting Germans can treat the situation for what it is: just a penalty. 

"You can’t practice. Franz Beckenbauer used to tell us you could, but I said that wasn’t true as taking one in front of 60,000 fans is totally different. I believe Germans are just good at compartmentalising – there’s pressure, but it’s one action that must be treated as such.

"We never really had a first choice [penalty taker]. There was myself, Voller and Matthaus, and we usually played it by ear depending on who felt best about taking it. Lothar didn’t fancy it [in the 1990 World Cup final]. I didn’t mind who took it, so offered. It might surprise people, but I wasn’t nervous at all as I ran up."

At the 1986 World Cup, Brehme was on the cusp of joining Bayern Munich, but left for Inter Milan just two years later. He played for the Italian side over a four-year speel, before enjoying one of the craziest ends to a football career of all-time.

"I was 33 at the time and had spent a year at Real Zaragoza. Kaiserslautern wanted a bit more experience and offered me a one-year contract to help them out. 

"I ended up staying there for five seasons! During that time, we were relegated, won the German Cup, got promoted and won the Bundesliga. It was crazy. At 38, I finally hung up my boots. It was lovely to end my career at the club where it all began. It was a dream come true."

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.