Stones: I'd Been Practicing
Defender talks evertontv through his Juventus spot-kick.
John Stones has revealed that he decided to chip his spot-kick against Juventus after seeing it pay-off in an Under-21 fixture.
The defender was the talk of San Francisco after he successfully executed a ‘Panenka’ style penalty in Wednesday evening’s shootout victory over the Italian champions.
Everton’s opening match of the International Champions Cup finished 1-1 after 90 minutes before the Blues triumphed 6-5 on penalties at AT&T Park.
At the time of taking, a miss would have handed Juventus the chance to win the game – but Stones delivered with the most outrageous of attempts.
He told evertontv: “I did it a few months ago for the Under-21s last season. I always said I would do it and the lads have been saying that I wouldn’t do it in front of a big crowd. I’ve stuck by it and today it has come off.
“I have been practicing it in training. At Finch Farm I did one and it hit the bar. I stuck with it and yesterday [in training] I did one that came off, so I thought that if I got to take a penalty I would do it.
“I wanted it to go down the middle but I kind of shanked it and it went right.
“I had to believe it was going in – and I’m glad it did, to be fair.”
Stones’ penalty was even more impressive considering the master of that technique – the mercurial Andrea Pirlo – had missed the previous spot-kick.
The 19-year-old scored in similar style for the Under-21s in last season’s play-off victory over Newcastle United.
Only a few hundred fans were in attendance at Goodison Park that evening – but thousands worldwide saw his 12-yard effort against the Turin-based club.
“I’m going to have to mix it up now,” he joked. ”That might have to be the last one because there will be other teams watching the game and analysing who takes penalties and how we take them.”
Stones played the full 90 minutes against Juve and was in outstanding form against a team containing international superstars Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente and Mirko Vucinic.
The former Barnsley man, who was preparing for the start of the Championship season 12 months ago, was honoured to play against opposition of such stature.
“It was such a privilege. I can’t believe I have played with Seamus [Coleman], Jags [Jagielka] and all the lads against such a good team in my eyes.
“It was an unreal experience and I’m so proud of it.”
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