ENGLAND won their first World Cup penalty shootout in Russia four years ago, ending a run of three successive spot kick defeats in the competition.
The dreaded 12-yard duty has become a major part of the Three Lions’ international history ever since the semi-final defeats to Germany at World Cup ’90 and Euro ’96.
And they have gone on to be eliminated from four more major tournaments on penalties – Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup to Portugal, and Euro 2012 and Euro 2020 to Italy.
All that is to say Gareth Southgate will want to have an idea who is going to take the spot kicks should England be taken to another shootout in Qatar.
Among the 26-man squad, all but two of the players have taken a penalty in their careers – keepers Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope the only ones yet to do so.
Even Jordan Pickford stepped up and dispatched one with aplomb in a Nations League win over Switzerland three years ago.
But who are England’s five most accomplished names from the spot?
Well, captain Harry Kane will undoubtedly be the first man to step up for the Three Lions – providing he is still on the pitch come the end of the game.
The Tottenham man has scored 60 of his 69 career penalties for club and country – giving him the best percentage of anybody in the squad that has taken two or more (87 per cent).
Following shortly behind him are fellow forwards Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford – both of whom also boast a penalty success rate of more than 80 per cent.
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON THE WORLD CUP
Then it becomes a little trickier as you look down the rest of the list.
James Maddison, Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount have all taken 10 or more penalties in their careers.
However, Maddison and Mount have missed nearly 30 per cent of the time – while Sterling has failed to hit the back of the net in exactly HALF of his spot kicks since 2013.
As a result, a standout candidate is Manchester United centre-back Harry Maguire.
He has missed just one of six penalties he has taken – with only Kane and Wilson boasting a better success rate.
The ex-Leicester defender has also already shown he can cope with huge pressure after coming into the tournament in poor form and turning it around to be one of England’s best players in the group stage.
The fifth and final penalty taker is then up for grabs with a host of possible candidates including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kalvin Phillips and Bukayo Saka.
But perhaps the best option is Eric Dier.
He may not be as technically gifted as those mentioned above, but he has scored four of five career penalties.
And, maybe most crucially, he experienced a hugely pressurised shootout in 2018 when he tucked home the winner against Colombia.
Another talking point is whether Southgate will decide to go all Louis van Gaal and swap out first choice keeper Pickford for a shootout.
It is highly unlikely he would – even though Pope does have a marginally better penalty-saving record than the Everton man (17.1 per cent for Pope compared with 16.1 per cent for Pickford).
Pickford has earned the right to be in between the sticks for England shootouts.
He stopped the crucial kick against Colombia four years ago and then saved two in the defeat to Italy last summer – including a superb one to deny penalty specialist Jorginho.
SunSport’s penalty picks for England: Keeper – Pickford. Takers – Kane, Wilson, Rashford, Maguire, Dier.