SC Freiburg will travel to Bayern Munich on Saturday as the undefeated third in the table. In the game against the record champions (3:30 p.m.) there could also be an explosive penalty duel between Vincenzo Grifo and Manuel Neuer.
Penalty shoot-out, it can be so difficult. With Vincenzo Grifo, however, everything looks so easy: Last Saturday in the new Freiburg Arena, the 79th minute is running. Penalty for the sports club. Another case for Grifo. He’s on point. A short view. Three small steps start-up and then put in the thing. Bulky top right under the lath. Fürth’s keeper Marius Funk also didn’t have the slightest chance in the 3-1 win for Freiburg against “Vince”. When it comes to the point, “Master” transforms Grifo like a dream.
Vincenzo Grifo’s Bundesliga record is flawless
His figures are now remarkable. Ten 911s, ten hits. Not a single miss in the Bundesliga, the record from the point is still flawless for the native Pforzheimer. Nine goals for Freiburg, one penalty goal for Hoffenheim. Right-footed Vincenzo Grifo turned his first Bundesliga penalty on October 29, 2016 in a 3-1 win against Felix Wiedwald in Bremen’s Weserstadion. Nine more followed, including the hit against the Fürth. His unlikely counterparts were, besides Funk and Wiedwald, Hradecky, Rensing, Schubert, Sommer, Ortega, Gikiewicz and two Hoffenheims Oliver Baumann.
Only Jochen Abel (16 penalty), Ludwig Nolten (15), Otto Rehhagel (12) and Mehmet Scholl (11) are now in the Bundesliga best list as shooters without a miss in front of Vincenzo Grifo.
Resting balls are the specialty of the Pforzheimer
“As a rule I feel very safe,” said Vincenzo Grifo in an interview with SWR Sport, “but it is also getting more and more difficult. The more penalties you take, the more the goalkeepers are naturally prepared for it.” That may apply to other shooters, but not to the Italian international. Not yet.
The 28-year-old also benefits from his sensationally good shooting technique, which also makes him one of the best Bundesliga players with all other balls at rest. In addition to the penalties, corner kicks and free kicks – Grifo can do all variations with his famous right foot with standards. He is also one of the most dangerous and successful preparers in the league.
Manuel Neuer is not one of the penalty killers in the Bundesliga
It could be very interesting on Saturday from the point if the sports club were awarded the next 911 at the top game of the Freiburg team in Munich. In that case, Grifo’s counterpart would be: Manuel Neuer. Bavaria’s national goalkeeper, the best goalkeeper in the world. However, Vincenzo Grifo has never faced him in a direct duel.
Neuer was able to fend off eleven Bundesliga penalties in his long career and had to admit defeat 21 times. Statistically, Manuel Neuer is not one of the current top five penalty killers in the league. So a good chance for Vincenzo Grifo’s eleventh successful penalty shot if the referee blows his whistle in Munich?
Two tickets – Grifo’s misses in the 2nd division
Vincenzo Grifo’s penalty goal against Fürth was the second this season, but the first from the point in the new Freiburg arena: “It felt good,” confirms Grifo with a broad chest and laughs. “Lucas Höler took the penalty cleanly, he then handed me the ball. And then I knew ‘all or nothing’ “. So it’s very simple. Or?
No, because even a Vincenzo Grifo from the penalty spot is not completely infallible. In December 2014 he failed in the jersey of FSV Frankfurt at Lars Unnerstall from Düsseldorf, in February 2016 for SC Freiburg at the sand houses Marco Knaller. But that was in the 2nd division. And it was a long time ago …