’Focus’: Jedinak explains key to art of FIFA World Cup spot kicks
Former Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak successfully converted every penalty he ever took and he has revealed what was going through his mind in those big moments.
Jedinak – who scored 20 goals for the Socceroos over 10 years – always delivered on the big stage.
So much so, that he had an unblemished record from the penalty spot for club and country.
Speaking to Daniel Garb on the former Fox Sports journalists’ new podcast, Jedinak broke down the process of taking World Cup penalties.
"It's just focus," he told Greats with Garby.
"Just get good contact and try to gather what you can from the 'keeper.
"I try to do that and just stay focused; you can’t get distracted by anything."
Jedinak's unrivalled success from the spot largely came down to the fact that he had no real pattern, favoured side, or even part of the goal – making it near impossible for goalkeepers to guess.
One of his most important penalties came in the 2014 World Cup Brazil where his 54th-minute spot kick handed the Socceroos a 2-1 lead over the Netherlands.
"It helped that the keeper went the wrong way," he recalled.
"It was to tell the boys to stay focused, it was 2-1 and we needed to stay focused.
"Ultimately, it didn't happen, but that was just me being in the zone."
His two penalties against France and Denmark at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia were also crucial, but for different reasons.
"Obviously they were both to draw, so it's more like come on, we're back in this game."
"Again, it helped that both of the 'keepers went slightly early.
"I was elated knowing what's at stake, knowing that I've done it with my family in the crowd and to be able to see my kids."
His flawless record from the spot even pips the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at international level.