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Football is a game watched all over the world and attracts more and more audience as each day passes. You can score in a football match in many ways and one of them include scoring from a direct free kick. Not many footballers can however do this consistently as it requires both precision and power combined well to beat the free kick wall as well as the goalkeeper. While this has been hard for many players to achieve, some few players have made the task look so easy by scoring from free kicks any time they get the chance to. Below are the top ten greatest free-kick takers of all times.
This is arguably the best player of the late 90s and the 2000s. One of the skills that made him great apart from his amazing dribbling ability is his ability to score from direct free kicks. One of his most memorable goals was the one he scored from 40 yards out against England to knock them out of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He went on to score more goals from free kicks including his hat trick against Udinese amongst others. At 35 years, he still is scoring from free kicks for his Mexican club Queretaro.
9. Alessandro Del Piero
This is a former Italy and Juventus football club maestro. He did not score as many goals compared to his counterparts, but the few chances he got from free kicks he scored nine out of ten times. Football fans vividly remember when he scored 6 goals from free kicks in a single season.
8. Roberto Baggio
This is another Italian footballer who comes in as number 8 in the top 10 greatest free kick takers of all-time list. Many would agree that he was underrated during his footballing time, but his ability to score from free kicks cannot be. He scored many curling free kicks while playing for Bologna, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus.
7. David Beckham
There is no doubt that this is England’s all-time best free kick takers until today. Overall, he ranks in the seventh position and very few other footballers can bend it better than him. One of his memorable free kick goal is when he equalized for his England national team against Greece in the dying moments of the match helping them qualify for the 2002 FIFA world cup. During his career, he scored many free kicks and the goalkeepers dreaded facing him.
6. Gheorghe Hagi
This was a Romanian footballer. Apart from having good dribbling and passing skills, he had a good ability to convert free kicks using his favorite left foot. During his times, he scored many free kicks and was named the best footballer in his country seven times.
5. Diego Maradona
Maradona is not only one of the world’s best free kick takers, but also one of the world’s best players of all times. He scored many free kick goals while play for both his country (Argentina) and his football club Napoli.
4. Andrea Pirlo
Not only is Andrea Pirlo the known for his dribbling and passing ability, he is a magnificent free kick taker. Currently playing in MLS, Pirlo has continued his free kick conversion form from where he left from while at Juventus. It is difficult for most goalkeepers to predict where he will put the ball, but what football fans know is the ball is likely to end up at the back of the net.
3. Roberto Carlos
Carlos is a retired Brazilian footballer who is currently managing an Indian football club. During his peak, he scored many free kicks with precision and power. His most memorable free kick and that the world remembers is the one he took against France. The ball seemed to be heading well wide, but instead it curled back into the net.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Currently playing for Real Madrid, the Portuguese international is scoring goals left right and center. However, football fans know very well that from the overall goals that Ronaldo has scored, the goals he has scored from free kicks have played a huge role. He hits the ball with precision and power and his name will be remembered for a very long time to come.
1. Lionel Messi
The Argentinian international and Barcelona forward is arguably the best football player that the world has seen. Amongst his many abilities is the ability to score goals from free kicks. The number of goals he has scored is uncountable. Just when you think you have seen the best from him, he surprises you with another. He is for sure the best free kick taker in the world currently.
Telling the best free kick taker in the world can be a bit hard. However, football fans all over the world agree to the fact that players like Roberto Carlos, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo and Ronaldinho amongst others are clearly on another level. With them on the ball, nine out of ten times the ball will end up at the back of the net.
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