Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson says he will demand to be allowed to take the potentially decisive fifth kick should Saturday’s Champions League final go the full distance and into the deep waters of a penalty shootout.
Pep Guardiola’s side will take on Chelsea in this weekend’s showpiece event, with City aiming to win their first ever title in the competition.
But the Premier League winners know that if the game goes past 120 minutes, then they’re very much out of their comfort zone.
City have been far from impressive from the penalty spot this campaign converting seven and missing four of their 11 spot kicks, translating to an underwhelming 63 percent success rate.
Those spot kicks have been shared between six different City stars – Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling and Rodri – but their goalkeeper, despite suggestions of his confidence, is yet to take one.
However, the 27-year-old has rejected suggestions that he is not ready to step up when required and insists that he would be able to hold his nerve in the most high-pressure of situations.
The Brazil international has claimed that not only would he want to be one of the side’s five designated penalty takers in a shootout, but he wants to be in a position to potentially be hitting the winning effort.
Asked about possibly stepping up in a shootout this weekend, Ederson told an interview with TNT Sports in Brazil: “I am [on the list to take a penalty]. I don’t need to train that much, but the fifth one, I’m taking it.
“The last one, the decisive, I’ll ask for it…”
The Brazilian’s deputy in City’s squad, Scott Carson, has explained how the team have been practising their penalties in the build-up to the clash – with Ederson making his mark.
Carson told the Manchester Evening News : “He has smashed a few at me and Zack [Steffen] and it’s one of them where you actually want him to score, you don’t want the ball to hit you because he smashes it that hard.
“It does hurt! He takes a few every now and then and seems to find the side-netting every single time, and with the power. It’s incredible.”
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In that interview, Carson explains that City players have been practicing their penalties after each training session, meaning that Ederson is likely to have plenty of practice and stopping Chelsea’s attempts – should it go that far.
The veteran Carson added: “Every day after training finishes, the lads will come and ask for a couple of penalties and the keepers try to make sure they do it properly.
“The training ground is different to a stadium with fans and pressure, but we just try to keep them honest and make them do it properly. You can watch videos of past penalties but it’s just instinct on the night, and who keeps their nerve.
“Xabi [Mancisidor] the goalkeeping coach will have the iPads out with past penalties – that’s normal stuff everyone does now. But that can only help you so much, as you don’t know what’s going to happen. You have to do it on the day – it can be about luck.
“But it’s a great position to be in as a goalkeeper because you can come out as the hero.
“When the shoot-out starts, you are enjoying it, but when the numbers start to go up – eight, nine, 10 – then you think ‘I’m going to be taking one soon if I don’t get my finger out!’
“That’s when it starts to get a bit nervy, as it’s a situation you’re not used to, out of your comfort zone.
“But the two times I have taken a penalty in a shoot-out, I’ve found the back of the net. I have been in two long ones, one for England Under-21s when I scored, and one for Derby against Carlisle which also thankfully hit the back of the net.”