Perhaps never before had a kick meant as much as when Roberto Baggio stepped up to take a penalty in the 1994 World Cup final shootout against Brazil.
The USA World Cup had begun with a missed penalty - as Tina Turner fired her spot-kick wide during a bizarre opening ceremony - and it concluded with one too, as Baggio sent his spot-kick over the bar to hand Brazil the title.
'The Divine Ponytail' had arguably been the outstanding player of the tournament, bailing Italy out on numerous occasions, but his inspirational touch deserted him when it mattered most.
In sweltering conditions in Los Angeles, Brazil and Italy played out a 0-0 draw, with the two teams appearing gripped by tension and the fear of defeat.
The 120 minutes that preceded the shootout were a cagey affair, and while Brazil were more lively in attack, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi, in particular, were equal to their attempts.
Baggio missed several chances in the final and appeared off the pace at times, but after Baresi and Daniele Massaro had missed with their efforts, it was the Juventus superstar who fired high at the crucial moment.
It was a weary effort, and one which Baggio later described as the worst moment of his career.
"Penalties are only missed by those who have the courage to take them," said Baggio later, with the Azzurri hitman also ending the tournament with both the Silver Ball and Silver Boot.
Brazil's triumph saw them clinch their fourth World Cup crown.