There are not many subjects that produce more debate among football players, coaches and fans than the award of penalties.
VAR entering the game has led to an intense discussion over referees, spot-kicks and the process behind how they are awarded.
But arguments about which teams have received the most penalties have been around for decades.
We have looked into the data for the 2020/21 season to find which teams have the most penalties awarded, penalties scored and penalties missed.
Having taken the top five leagues in Europe – the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga – into account, here is what we found.
WHICH TEAM HAS HAD THE MOST PENALTIES?
2020/21 Penalties received and scored: Top 20
Milan have had a fine season in Serie A but they have been helped hugely by penalties awarded, with an astonishing 15 given in their favour.
Stefano Pioli’s side were initially poor at converting those and have four league penalties missed this season.
But turning to Franck Kessie appears to have helped, as he has now scored seven of his eight efforts from 12 yards this season, including one in the 2-1 win at Roma on Sunday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken six of Milan’s league spot-kicks and is responsible for three of the misses, with Hakan Calhanoglu netting his only penalty attempt.
Milan have found the net with 11 of their 15, so they now hold a decent lead over Ligue 1 sides Strasbourg and Lyon (both 9) for the most penalties scored in Europe.
After Milan, no other team in Serie A is on our leaderboard because the second-placed teams for penalties awarded – Roma and Sassuolo – have only had six.
Strasbourg and Leicester City are the only other teams to be in double figures for penalties awarded. The Foxes have received 10 and scored eight of those.
RB Leipzig have the most penalties in the Bundesliga this season with eight, while Real Sociedad and Villarreal have each been given the same number of spot-kicks in La Liga.
Lyon have the best penalty conversion record in Europe this season with nine out of nine. Memphis Depay has scored 7/7, with Houssem Aouar netting both of his efforts.
Which team has had the most penalties in the Premier League?
PL penalties received and scored – All 20 teams
Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have been involved in a debate this season over the penalties awarded to Man Utd.
Liverpool have not exactly fared badly, having been given six Premier League penalties and scoring all of them, with Mohamed Salah (6/6) lethal from the spot.
However, Man Utd have been awarded two more penalties than their rivals.
Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty as Man Utd beat Newcastle 3-1 on February 21, meaning United have now received eight league penalties this season and scored seven. The Portugal star has taken every spot-kick.
But there was a fresh controversy on Sunday, with Solskjaer suggesting Chelsea had influenced referees.
United were upset after their 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, feeling they should have been awarded a ninth spot-kick of the season after Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle the ball as he tussled for possession with Mason Greenwood.
Referee Stuart Attwell was called over to the pitchside monitor by VAR but did not award a penalty, leaving Solskjaer bewildered.
Another key story this weekend saw Brighton awarded TWO penalties in their match at West Brom, only to miss both of them and fall to a 1-0 defeat.
Leicester are well clear at the top while Man City and Chelsea have also fared well with seven and eight penalties awarded respectively, though Kevin De Bruyne is responsible for two of the three misses from Pep Guardiola’s side.
Most of the sides near the top of the table in England’s top flight this season have been boosted by spot-kicks.
That perhaps makes West Ham’s challenge for a Champions League place even more impressive – with David Moyes’ men contending near the top despite only receiving one penalty.
Fulham have missed three of their five penalties awarded – mistakes they cannot afford in a difficult fight against the drop.
Arsenal improved to 5/5 when Alexandre Lacazette netted a penalty in the 3-1 comeback win over Leicester on Sunday.
Which team has had the most penalties in La Liga?
La Liga penalties received and scored
|Team||Penalties Received||Penalties scored|
While the biggest clubs sit near the top of the Premier League penalty charts, that is not the case in La Liga.
League leaders Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have not done too badly, being awarded six penalties each, putting them two behind Real Sociedad and Villarreal.
Barca have struggled to score the penalties they have received, netting just three in the league. Lionel Messi has converted three of his four spot-kicks, but Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite have missed their only attempts from 12 yards.
Joao Felix and Saul Niguez have misses to their name for Atletico.
Real Madrid have not fared anywhere near as well as their title rivals, only being awarded two all season. Just one team has received a lower number of penalties in La Liga than Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Madrid, though, do have 100% record scoring from the spot courtesy of Sergio Ramos (2/2).
Cadiz had not been awarded a La Liga penalty until February 21 this season.
But it was worth the wait when they did finally receive a penalty, as it allowed Álex Fernández to score a last-gasp spot-kick that earned them an impressive draw away to Barcelona.