Was Messi's Penalty Kick against Celta de Vigo in La Liga 2016 considered a miss, according to FIFA rules?

In Are players allowed to pass a penalty? it's established that it is possible to 'pass' a penalty kick, however does it count as a miss?

  • It was not a miss, It was planned , and football rules allows it as described in the Question Are players allowed to pass a penalty? Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 9:46
  • It's a miss Javy, however it's an intended miss, which resulted in a goal. It's same as Islam Slimani's failed kick, which resulted in the rebound kick that scored. I'll try to look up a video of it
    – Oak
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 12:39
  • footballzz.com/video.php?id=527868, footballzz.com/jogo.php?id=4516774 as per the match card, he missed a Penalty Kick, but scored at the same time. If the kick doesn't score it's not a sucessful kick. However, it can be intentional
    – Oak
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 12:52
  • depends on how you define miss . :) Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 13:11
  • It looks obvious to me that he's asking if it counts as a miss in the match statistics.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


Technically football officials don't record 'misses'. Only statisticians do so. There is no definition of a 'penalty miss' in FIFA's Laws of the Game. (I'm mentioning this since you have tagged rules)

The goalscorers in games in major tournaments (like Spanish La Liga, English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup, etc.) are recorded during the match by the match commissioner. The competition organizers then keep tally, for awards like top scorer and best player which are given at the end of the competition. In this case, the Royal Spanish Football Federation would add the goal to Luis Suarez's tally, while Lionel Messi would be credited with the assist (which most federations keep tally of as well). But again, there is no record of any penalty (or any other kind of) misses.

Statistics companies do keep track of penalty misses and various other statistics for informational purposes and I suppose this would count as a miss as mentioned by Oak in the comments to your question.

As to whether this is allowed, FIFA Laws of the Game 2015/16 state:

Law 14 - The Penalty Kick


  • After the players have taken positions in accordance with this Law, the referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken

  • The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward

  • He must not play the ball again until it has touched another player

  • The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward

Messi and Suarez complied with all the above rules. Hence, it was a legitimate goal.

  • "The referee (who is the official scorekeeper) will just record it as a goal to FC Barcelona and not even jot down the scorer's name." This is not necessarily true. Most elite competitions, in their competition rules, require referees to record the scorer. For an example, see p. 20, section 33 of the following competition rules: northernnswfootball.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/… Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 2:35
  • Here is a sample team sheet for a youth state cup, that clearly includes a place for the referee to include goalscorers: billturnersoccer.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/… Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 2:44
  • @studro Probably for smaller competitions like you've showed me. But in bigger competitions (Like La Liga, English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, etc) the referee does not record the scorers name. This is because many a times, the scorer is not obvious until a slow motion replay has been observed. Take the recent case of Sunderland v Manchester United. Lamine Kone looked to have been the goal-scorer, but replays showed United keeper David De Gea had saved the shot which then bounced off his leg and rolled in. So it counted as a De Gea own goal. It was impossible to say so in real time. Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 4:50
  • @studro According to the guidelines for referees in FIFA's Laws of the Game, there is no provision for referees to record the names of goal scorers. Referees only keep a record of booked players. And anyway, in the cases you have showed me the official team sheet, which the referee does not edit on-field. The only writing by the referee is done on the (red or yellow) cards to indicate the booked players. The referee updates the team sheet at the end of the game with details like goals scored,etc. Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 4:58
  • You won't find it in the Laws, because it's normally specified by the competition rules. If the referee isn't keeping track of the goalscorers during the game, how do they then fill out the team sheet with this information at the end of the game? If a game blew out to 9-2, they certainly wouldn't commit all eleven goalscorers to memory. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 5:51

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