Italy won the Euro 2020 final against England with a penalty shootout. Here’s why penalty kicks are so unfair to goalies.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: 0.4 seconds. That’s the time it takes you to blink. It’s also about how long goalkeepers have to save a penalty kick or fail trying. And it’s certainly not enough time for a goalie to react and respond. So goalies can’t solely rely on their speed and agility to save a penalty kick. Instead, they have to pretty much guess which direction to go and rely on either luck or game theory.

Game theory is a popular strategy in economics where the outcome of a situation relies more on how well you predict your opponent’s actions than how you perform your own. So since the goalie has no choice but to guess, they’re better off guessing logically than randomly. That’s where economists come in.

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta: I would like to know what you do in the last 80 penalty kicks you faced? Do you have any tendencies? What does this guy do against right-footed kickers versus left-footed kickers?

Narrator: That’s economist Ignacio Palacios-Huerta. He studied over 11,000 penalty kicks, and in 2008 during the UEFA Champions League Final, it paid off, sort of. It was Manchester United against Chelsea. The game came down to a penalty shootout which was the perfect opportunity for Chelsea to put Huerta’s advice into action.

Along with several pointers Huerta had given Chelsea’s goalie a key insight about Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo would almost certainly kick the ball to the right if he paused on the run-up. And the advice worked. Ronaldo indeed paused and indeed kicked the ball to the right. Chelsea’s goalie followed Huerta’s advice and made the save. Ultimately Manchester United won the game, but despite Chelsea’s loss, it was clear that economists and statisticians can help even the odds when it comes to penalty kicks.

Because otherwise, it’s a crap shoot for the goalie. In 2014 for example, FiveThirtyEight calculated that 72.5% of penalties in World Cup history went in. For all competitions worldwide, it’s even higher. And when you take a closer look, it’s no wonder. Human response time takes roughly 1/10 of a second to kick in. The average kicker kicks a 70 mile per hour ball, which means the goalie won’t even register the ball’s direction until it’s about 25 feet away. It will take him another .5 to .7 seconds to react and reach for the ball, but by that point, it’s all over.

Now the goalie can improve the odds if they start to move before the ball is even kicked, but the goalie still has to basically guess a side and just go for it. So if time is the goalie’s enemy, maybe we should just move the penalty kicker further back. But for now, economists are a goalie’s best friend when it comes to stopping penalty kicks, and turns out, Huerta is helping a team in the 2018 World Cup, though he wouldn’t tell us who.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in July 2018.

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Furious Manchester United fans storm Old Trafford pitch in protest against American owners

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Fans protest Manchester United’s Glazer ownership outside the stadium prior to invading the pitch.

  • Manchester United fans have stormed the pitch at Old Trafford.
  • The furious supporters are demanding new ownership following the club’s failed bid to join the European Super League.
  • Manchester United is due to play Liverpool later this afternoon.
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Manchester United fans have invaded the Old Trafford pitch to protest against the club’s American ownership.

About 200 individuals are believed to have gained access to the pitch via the Munich Tunnel after pushing down barriers, The Guardian reported.

Supporters are demanding change at the top of the club, which is under the control of the Glazer family, following the failed bid to join the controversial and now-defunct European Super League.

Billionaire co-chairman Joel Glazer apologized to supporters on April 21 for signing up to the breakaway project but many United fans are not placated. Some carried placards at the protest reading “apology not accepted” and others chanted “Glazers out.”

Videos from the pitch invasion show supporters shooting flares.

Speaking ahead of the protest, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “It’s important that the fans’ views are listened to and we communicate better. My job is to focus on the football side and that we have the best possible team.

“As I’ve said before I’ve been backed, I’ve had great support from the club and the owners and I’m sure I will get the backing again to go one step further. When the protests are on, it’s important they go in a good fashion and that we keep it peaceful.”

The club is due to play Liverpool later this afternoon but the game has been delayed by the protest. The Premier League was hopeful that the game would still kick off at 4.30 pm, according to the Manchester Evening News.

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JP Morgan says it regrets backing the failed European Super League with $4 billion of financing: ‘We clearly misjudged’

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Soccer fans protest plans for a European Super League.

  • JP Morgan says it “misjudged” its decision to offer $4 billion in finance to the failed European Super League.
  • JP Morgan had said it would offer debt financing to the 12 soccer teams, who wanted to form an elite breakaway league.
  • Clubs quickly withdrew from the closed tournament after intense backlash from fans, players, and politicians.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JP Morgan said it “misjudged” a deal to finance a breakaway league for 12 elite European soccer teams, which collapsed following furious backlash from fans.

The US investment bank committed more than $4 billion in debt finance over 23 years to the 12 founding teams of the league, some of the best in Europe. The debt was secured against broadcasting rights for the tournament, according to the Financial Times.

Twelve clubs announced plans to breakaway from the UEFA Champions League, the top European-wide competition, on Sunday. They would form their own Super League, they said, sparking outrage from fans, players, politicians, and even the UK royal family.

The plan quickly unraveled. By Wednesday all six UK clubs had pulled out. Italian teams AC Milan and Inter Milan, and Spain’s Atletico Madrid, said they would also withdraw.

The new competition planned to include Manchester United and Real Madrid, among other top clubs.

A JP Morgan spokesperson said: “We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future. We will learn from this.”

Critics said the scheme risked turning European soccer into a “money-grabbing” exercise similar to US sports leagues like the NFL, and undermined the ability for smaller clubs to beat the odds and win against top teams.

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Juventus shares tumble 12% while Manchester United slides as European Super League soccer plan implodes

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Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Juventus FC.

Shares in Italy’s Juventus FC tumbled 12% on the Italian stock exchange on Wednesday after controversial plans for a European Super League soccer tournament all but imploded as English teams withdrew.

Manchester United shares were down 1% in pre-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange, after they slid 6% on Tuesday.

“I don’t think that project is now still up and running,” Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, one of the key drivers behind the plans for the ESL, said on Wednesday, according to the BBC.

The decision of many of Europe’s richest and most successful clubs to sign up to a highly lucrative new tournament boosted the share prices of the clubs listed on the stock market on Monday.

Shares in Juventus (ticker JUVE), Cristiano Ronaldo’s team, jumped 24% from Friday’s close to Monday’s close on Italy’s stock exchange after the JPMorgan-backed plans were announced.

Manchester United (MANU) shares climbed around 7%, with investors liking the look of a tournament that would make the clubs much richer.

But the plans, which would exclude all but 5 other teams each year, were met with howls of outrage from soccer fans across the continent.

On Wednesday, the entire European Super League project all but collapsed after the six English teams pulled out of the competition. They were: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.

Now the tournament – which had also enlisted Spain’s Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, and Italy’s AC Milan, Inter, and Juventus – appears doomed.

“It’s been a total debacle for the clubs – investors may be cautious about investing in football teams; they usually are,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at, said.

The fall took Juventus’ shares down to 0.77 euros (around $0.92), virtually where they closed on Friday. Manchester United’s shares traded at around $16.05 in pre-market, also similar to Friday’s closing price.

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JPMorgan gets backlash from soccer fans after backing the Super League, Amazon denies supporting it

chelsea european super league
  • On Sunday, 12 top soccer clubs announced plans to join a closed league, called the European Super League.
  • JPMorgan invested $4 billion in the new league, while companies like Amazon denied supporting it.
  • The bank faced backlash from soccer fans on Twitter who were upset about the new league.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JPMorgan faced the ire of soccer fans on Tuesday after it was revealed that the bank was backing the European Super League to the tune of about $4 billion.

On Sunday, 12 top clubs from England, Italy, and Spain, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United, announced plans to participate in the new, closed league. The announcement sparked a significant backlash in the sports community. Top players, as well as government officials, spoke out against the new league.

And by Tuesday afternoon, several clubs, including Barcelona and Manchester City, reportedly decided to withdraw from the league following criticism. Chelsea fans protested outside the team’s stadium on Tuesday, leading the club to withdraw the same day.

On Twitter, numerous soccer fans called for a boycott of JPMorgan.

“If your bank is @jpmorgan you simply have to move your money elsewhere,” one fan posted on Twitter. “Say NO to the #SuperLeague.”

Fans also called for a boycott of services that would stream the Super League games, pointing fingers at Amazon and ESPN.

“To all footbalfans: if the SuperLeague arrives, refuse to choose the TVchannels they will use: If they cannot make money, JP Morgan and the greedy clubs will soon loose their appetite,” one Twitter user wrote.

Streaming rights to the European Super League could be a major boon to media groups like ESPN and Amazon Prime, likely on par with the NFL.

Amazon responded to claims the company would stream the Super League events and said it “understands and shares the concerns of fans.” The company said it has not been involved in any discussions about the new league.

A primary concern among fans was that the new league meant increased control over the game from American corporations. The Super League would be more reminiscent of US sports leagues than European ones, as the league would no longer regulate teams to lower levels based on their performance.

Some fans said JPMorgan was attempting to turn European soccer into a “money-grabbing” entity like the NFL.

Other fans cracked jokes and made memes about JPMorgan’s decision.

JPMorgan declined to comment about its backing of the league.

The founding members of the project have already filed motions in several courts against any efforts to stop the foundation of the league, according to The New York Times.

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