One of the successful ways to find the net is through set pieces or free kicks. Even so, it has also proven to be one of the most difficult tasks. If executed well, free kicks are among the most magnificent sights to witness in football, whether they are taken from 30 yards away or from outside the box. Today, we will mention the best free-kick takers in football history in this article.
1. Juninho Pernambucano
When you mention Juninho Pernambucano’s name, the immediate thing that comes to mind is “tremendous free-kicks.” He was the all-time finest and highly proficient free-kick taker. Juninho perfected his knuckleball style as he grew up, during his initial seasons at Vasco De Gama following an eight-year tenure at Lyon.
Nobody really has gotten close to the Brazilian’s degree of expertise. His incredible capacity to make the ball soar in the air, swerving in a variety of ways until landing inside the net, is unrivaled. Furthermore, spacing created no impact. The strikes were usually so clean, of certain outstanding class and power, that goalkeepers could not do much against them, no matter how many yards away from the goal.
Pele is usually recognized as the greatest player in the history of football. In his legendary era for country and club, including friendly matches, the Brazilian icon is estimated with around 1300 goals. Pele brought numerous tougher and towering defenders remorse considering his modest height.
Pele has 70 goals from free-kicks to his credit. He could curve the ball in either direction with ferocity. Furthermore, his vast game understanding allowed him to outwit the goalkeeper and score the goal more frequently than otherwise. During free-kick strikes, he generally employed a combination of great skill and speed, with next to no swerving. Goalkeepers were frequently left guessing which direction the ball would fly.
3. Sinisa Mihajlovic
Sinisa Mihajlovic had a remarkable career, starting with a highly regarded Red Star Belgrade team during the early 1990s and ending with a 14-year run in Serie A, particularly prominent with Lazio and Sampdoria. He was a problematic personality who received several red cards and had been engaged in racist and spitting actions. Rival defenders sensed they were in confusion whenever Mihajlovic put the ball down for a free-kick.
His left foot could deliver ungainly punches of utter ferocity, as well as outrageously cruel attacks from afar. However, his dead balls may have a great deal of diversity and dimension, and also a lovely form with arc, including the capacity to bend the ball using the instep or whip it from side to side by the strings. All these skills helped to be one of the best free-kick takers in football history.
4. Victor Legrotaglie
Although being among the lesser-known footballers, Victor Legrotaglie has been one of the best free-kick takers in football history. Moreover, he possesses more free kicks over many of his better-recognized colleagues, for example, Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi.
The veteran Argentine footballer served his whole tenure on the field in his homeland. Even though getting bids from Inter Milan, Real Madrid, and Juventus, he hung back. This 84-year-old enjoyed a momentous two-decade journey, with the majority of it devoted to Fencing and Gymnastics.
Zico was a brilliant ball-striker, combining incredible skill with great poise and positioning that frequently sent the ball past the grasp of rival goalkeepers. The Brazilian would take just two steps closer to the penalty zone, but he could potentially create enough force as he believed the occasion required.
He may have been the first to elevate free-kick taking to an artistic expression, scoring over 500 goals in his career, particularly 48 during the time with Selecao. There remained enough dead balls to gaze at among them. No wonder why so many people remember him as one of the best free-kick takers in football history.
Ronaldinho’s ball-handling wizardry and deception left countless magnificent defenders appearing dumb and following in his pursuit. Throughout his brief but dramatic career, the 2002 FIFA World Cup champion and Barcelona, he hit several remarkable set pieces.
His free-kicks possessed all of these qualities: force, flair, bend, and finesse. During a World Cup match, this Brazilian struck a stunning pile-driver of a set-piece over a spellbound David Seaman. Ronaldinho avoided an anticipating barrier after noticing Seaman across his line, taking the English keeper totally off guard.
7. Michel Platini
This French playmaker was perhaps Europe’s best player in the 80s, a real icon of the field and an incredibly fantastic footballer who netted superb goals on a routine basis. Platini’s incredible talent from free-kick in and all over the goalpost was a huge aspect of his approach.
It was not spectacular in aspects of his capability to sometimes hit the backend of the net with a 35-yarder. Instead, it was astonishing in terms of this three times Ballon d’Or winner’s incredible efficiency and precision over and over again.
8. David Beckham
David Beckham is among the few Englishmen to master the free-kick netting trick. His capability to kick free kicks much compensated for his lacking of speed on the pitch. Throughout his stellar career, he has netted some famous free kicks.
His free-kicks showed speed, curve, and precision. Beckham’s foot was practically at the perfect angle to the ball’s flight at the instant of touch. The ‘dead ball’ had adequate zip and twist to curve around the barrier and return towards the net as a result.
9. Diego Maradona
Even though this Argentine No. 10 is best known for his solo sprints, deft passes, and all-around domination in creating chances, he was also quite useful whenever his team received a free kick in a critical position.
Maradona got lots of options, be it was brushing towards the post from the outside of the penalty box, pulling it out and beyond the wall from 25 yards, or crashing it around a wall from 30 yards. That is to be expected from one of the best free-kick takers in football history.
The audience falls quiet and watches in expectation until the game comes to a halt about 25 yards from goal. It is aware of what is likely to occur. The players who made this happen might not be countless but they are numerous. We tried to put up a shortlist among those best free-kick takers in football history. Let us know if we have missed your favorite.