"I'll be more than happy to take a penalty" - Bukayo Saka would relish the chance to make amends for England at World Cup 2022

Bukayo Saka
(Image credit: Getty)

Missing a penalty for England has come to define the careers of many players in the past. From Stuart Pearce to current Three Lions Gaffer Gareth Southgate, the heartbreak of missing on the big stage proved a heavy burden in subsequent years.

And while Pearce and Southgate made amends in their own ways - the former by scoring one against Spain at Euro 96 and the later by leading England as manager - not every player recovers from the experience. 

For Bukayo Saka, the man who missed the decisive penalty in England's Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy, taking another one would be the best way to banish those painful memories. 

"I've obviously matured and progressed a lot since that moment," Saka told reporters ahead of England's quarter-final showdown with France at the World Cup 2022. "I've developed a great deal."

Saka has been club side Arsenal's first-choice taker this season, and now he wants to prove himself for the Three Lions. "I wouldn't have stepped up in the times take penalties for Arsenal if I wasn't confident. If the moment comes and I'm selected to take one, I'll be more than happy to."

See more

Asked whether the miss against Italy, and subsequent racial abuse he received from sections of his own fanbase, are things he dwells on, Saka was adament. 

"To be honest, I feel like personally I've tried to move on from that moment," he said. "I know I can never really forget as it's going to be in history but at the same time coming out here and scoring those three goals has lifted me a lot.

"I keep saying the love from the fans that I keep receiving lifts me a lot and gives me a lot of confidence. I love to see this from the fans."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Ed McCambridge
Staff Writer

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.