Legendary footballer Antonin Panenka has tested positive for COVID-19, his first club Bohemians have confirmed.
Panenka, known worldwide for the chipped penalty that gave his Czechoslovakia side victory in the 1976 European Championship final, is in hospital in a ‘serious condition’.
Czech side Bohemians 1904 have revealed on Wednesday via an official statement that Panenka has been transferred to an intensive care unit.
The statement read: “Antonín Panenka was transferred today in serious condition to the hospital’s ICU, where he is connected to medical devices. His coronavirus infection was confirmed some time ago.”
A man who has had a style of penalty named after him, the attacking midfielder rose to fame when he scored the winning penalty in the 1976 European Championship shootout victory over West Germany. Panenka secured his nation the title with a softly-chipped dink down the middle of the goal, with the goalkeeper diving to the side, thus coining the term a ‘Panenka penalty’.
Since that day, it has been copied by players across the globe, with notable versions of his technique being used by the likes of Sergio Ramos, Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo and countless others. Lionel Messi famously scored his 700th Barcelona goal with a Panenka penalty.
Spending the majority of his career with Bohemians in his hometown of Prague, Panenka would feature over 230 times for the club, earning himself legendary status and being instilled as their president after his career concluded.
He also had a fruitful spell with Rapid Wien in the early 1980s, securing five domestic trophies in four seasons, before going on to feature for a variety of other Austrian sides as his career wound down. Internationally, he played 59 times for Czechoslovakia with his only major honour with his nation coming in that 1976 tournament.