Every move and technique of a player whose name is recorded in the history of football is a model and a classroom for the new generation. In this article, we will introduce you to the best free kick takers in premier league history.
The key to a team's success and popularity is to have the players who perform best in their positions. Furthermore, each team needs a good free kicker. Without a professional free-kick taker, teams won't feel insecure as the referee announces a free-kick, so they will not have to worry too much about mistakes that could ruin a good game and reduce pressure. A good free-kick taker would provide his side to make the most of a free-kick towards the goal. Many believed that Free Kick is definitely a form of art. This technique may be considered a powerful weapon for a player who can pass the ball around, over or even under the players standing in the defensive wall and at the end tease the goalkeeper, hence to have a better view of this skill before we get to the main topic of our article and talk about world-class players, it would be nice to introduce you to the concept of free-kick.
According to the official definition, a free kick is a way to restart the game in football. It will be awarded by the referee as the opposing team breaks the rules. This move could be either direct or indirect. The referee would award the direct free kick once some serious offenses such as handball and most types of foul play. On the other hand, the indirect one would be awarded for less serious offenses. Some teams are fortunate enough to have some great free-kick takers in their arrangement and squad. Among the professional football leagues in the world, the English Premier League is one of the leagues whose players are very professional in free kicks.
Scratch that, Let's move forward to have an in-depth look at the
best free kick takers in premier league history.
The first person on our list of the
best free kick takers in EPL history
is none other than one of the most unforgettable players in the world, David Beckham. The fact is that no one can even imitate Beckham's free kicks, yet with special individual training and techniques. Whenever he wanted to shoot a free-kick, Beckham made sure if the ball was motionless and then he went six to seven steps away from the stationary ball. He examined the state of the ground - the defensive wall, the goalkeeper's situation, and the distance from the goal - and adjusts himself with the ball at a 45-degree angle. At that angle, he could get closer to the ball with his controlled steps, later he fixed his feet 5 to 6 inches from the ball. As he kicked the ball, Beckham moved his opposite arm around and bowed his body gently back to raise the ball off the ground.
This technique causes the ball to rotate along the inside of his kicking foot. it would accelerate the speed and height and which sometimes hit the defensive wall and the goalie. To achieve the best result and give an extra spin on the ball, Beckham used to put his kicking foot across the ball and with calculated pressure hit the desired side of the ball.
In the history of the Premier League, no one has scored more than DB7. Still now, even years after his farewell, he holds the top place on the list of the best free kick takers in premier league history with the record of 18 free-kicks. As a player, he tried his best and worked a lot on his free-kicks by training with a hanging a tire in the top corner of the goal, so whenever he stood behind the defensive wall, his unique techniques gave a remarkable wave to the ball so that it could pass the wall and then the goalie and settle down in the net. Here it worth mentioning that the great Beckham is the fifth, standing behind Ronaldinho, on the list of the best free-kick scorer in the world with his successful 65 goals.
The next spot on our list of the best free kick takers in EPL history is placed by the former French player, Thierry Henry. The retired French footballer had a smooth brilliance in his free-kicks. When it comes to Henry's high technique in free kicks, the memory of the 2005 match against Wigan comes to mind. In that game, Henry was to take the free-kick outside the wigan area, but Graham Poll, the referee, postponed the move and allowed the players to play football only when he and his whistle were ready, which obviously angered Thierry Henry.
Once the arbiter was ready, Henry stepped up and buried the ball into the bottom corner, arcing perfectly and kissing the post on the way in. Then he turned to the official and said, "Is that enough?" with a faintly disgusted and dismissive up-curled lip, according to ESPN. This prolific former soccer player, with 12 free-kicks stands second on our list of the best free kick takers in premier league history. Let's move forward to get to know who is our third on our list of
greatest free kick takers in premier league history.
The former Italian footballer is the next player who stands in third place with his twelve free kicks in the premier league. Zola spent seven successful years inChelsea
between 1996-2003 and during these years with his great influences become a hero. Before his EPL debut, as he is of Italian origin, he started his football there and had the chance to practice with some legends whose impacts on him were so remarkable throughout Zola's professional career. He once admitted that he learned the art of free-kicks by watching former Napoli teammate Diego Maradona practice and imitate the legendary method. The experience of playing and learning from Maradona was very constructive for him, as only five players in Serie A history scored more free-kicks, and that is why Zola is still a record holder of the most free-kicks scored by a foreign player alongside Thierry Henry.
Who can be the fourth greatest free kick takers in premier league history but CR7. Ronaldo is one of the most respected free-kick players in the Premier League with his 11 goals while he was playing inManchester United
between 2003-2009. The feature that sets Ronaldo apart from the rest of the above list is that he founded a new style in free kicks. In the mid-2000s he developed a new style of free kicks and was the first to introduce the dipping knuckleball form to the Premier League. Ever since Ronaldo developed this style of free kick, many footballers have tried to imitate him. According to Goal, Knuckleball is is a combination of sheer power and process, which, if done correctly, will see the ball wobble in flight, thus making it more difficult for the goalkeeper to save. This style of free kick is the one that sees the ball move very fast through the air, occasionally wobbling unpredictably from one side to the other. If done correctly the ball should not spin at all, or at the very least it should spin very little.
We all would remember his brilliant free-kick in a match against Portsmouth in 2008 that could be considered as the single best free-kick in English football history. The ball came up and then down over the defensive wall yet it was still straight just like an arrow into the top corner. Stay tuned as we continue our list of the best free kick takers in EPL history.
EPL's greatest free kick takers of all time
is another foreign player, Sebastian Larsson from Sweden. The 35-year-old Swedish midfielder is now playing for ALK, a Swedish side, but before 2018 he had played in some English side includingArsenal
. He is widely acknowledged as a talented free-kick taker and while in EPL, mainly in Birmingham, he was even ranked as the most accurate direct free-taker for the 2007-8 season Premier League season. As Birmingham's midfield, he was responsible for almost all of Birmingham's free kicks, whether direct or indirect free kicks or even corners.
He stands as fifth on our list of the best free kick takers in premier league with eleven netted goals throughout his fourteen-year professional career in EPL. In 2011, while he was playing for Sunderland he could brilliantly score a free-kick against Arsenal, his former side. Right after his breath-taking free-kick, Arsen Winger declared that Larsson's free-kick may be the best in the league as a free-kick taker’ at that time.
Laurent Robert, the French former professional footballer who played as a left-winger is the sixth-
best free kick takers in premier league history
. In the early 2000s, he was on theNewcastle squad
during their Golden time. During his five-year spell in Newcastle, he scored half of his Premier League goals by free-kicks. Undoubtedly he was a set-pieces expert that could kick with such power that it seemed almost impossible to block the fireball and kept any goalies wondering in the air. Distance and angle did not matter, he always seemed to find a way. Unlike many other players who could not balance strength and accuracy in their attack, Robert's method was easily flawless. Besides, he made everything very easy. Here it worth mentioning that there were times he failed to score a successful free-kick. Both in the box and from distance, the prolific French winger was acknowledged as a threat. Regarding his free-kick talent, Punditfeed wrote " He could be a bit of a frustrating and lazy presence on the pitch from time to time, failing to do too much running, but when the ball was at his feet, fans knew that a moment of magic might only be a second or two away. He loved trying his luck from 30 yards or more, resulting in more astonishing goals, but could be a major threat from close range too, as proven in 2004 against Fulham when Robert found himself in the box, struggling to adjust his body to get on the end of a Nolberto Solano cross." The former beloved french winger with his eleven netted free-kicks owns sixth place on our list of the EPL's greatest free kick takers of all time is another foreign player.
The seventh-best free kick takers in premier league history is James Ward-Prowse, an English 26-old-year professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder, and also the captain, for Premier League clubSouthampton
. Though he stands in the seventh rank on our list of the best free kick takers in primer league history with ten netted free-kick, many believe that he is now the best free-kick taker in the world but still he has a long way to get to the top rank of our list. The last November as he was playing for Southhampton againstAston Villa
, he managed to become the one and only ninth footballer in the EPL who could score two direct free-kicks in a game. Based on the available record, Ward could score 12.5% of his attempts in the Premier League which is the highest among all EPL players since 2003/04 to have had 50 or more attempts on goal from direct free-kicks.
Having scored two free-kicks, he beat Southampton's all-time highest free-kick scorer record in the Premier League against Matt Le Tissier. Prowse is indeed a talented specialist in free kicks. His corner kicks could be devastating in the penalty area and whenever the referee announces a free-kick, Prowse would be a real threat for his rival. Keep reading to learn more about the best free kick takers in primer league history.
The eighth rank of our list of the best free kick takers in premier league is a Danish professional footballer who now plays as an attacking midfielder for Serie A club Inter Milan. Throughout his almost ten-year professional career, Eriksen spent seven years in theTottenham
spurs in EPL. Between 2013 and 2020 he made 226 appearances and managed to score 51 goals among which 8 was from a free-kick. His influence on Tottenham was so remarkable that it is safe to say as he left EPL to join Serie A's side Inter in 2020, Spurs suddenly lacked the same level of threat without him. Regarding his technique of free-kick, it is safe to declare that his shooting's exactitude from dead-ball positions in the league is almost unparalleled. He owes this skill to the great football players and legends. Eriksen said: “I’ve watched Pirlo a few times, just because he makes it look so easy. When he’s over the ball, you know there’s a good chance of a goal. Everyone has their different ways of doing it. I know I have my own and that it’s working, so I’m keeping to that. I’ve practiced free-kicks since I was very young. I’ve always known I had a good shot, and I know what feeling I need to have to get the ball on goal."
The Spanish maestro is our ninth best free kick takers in primer league history. Chelsea was his debut Primer League side in his professional career and after three years in 2014, he joined Manchester United. The 32-year-old footballer is widely known as one of the most technically gifted midfielders who is famous for his vision and precise passing which helps to control the tempo of matches. He stands on the nine ranks of the best free kick takers in Primer league history with his 8 netted free-kicks. When Mata successfully scored his eighth free-kick in the Premier League in October 2018, no other player has scored more since his first game in 2011. Because he is known for his high technique in free kicks, many players try to imitate him. One of these players is Bruno Fernandes who confesses he’s been studying Juan Mata’s free-kick technique.
The last name on our list of the
best free kick takers in primer league history
is Pedersen who has the record of 7 free-kicks in EPL. As soon as he entered the English Premier League, he became popular for being a free-kick expert. His excellent curling free kicks, normally in the top corner, are always dangerous for each team and goalie. Throughout his career, he has also been very effective in indirect free kicks which have a brilliant impact on his clubs and national team, Norway.
Our list of the best free kick takers ends here. Scoring free kicks is always one of the most beautiful football scenes, hence, many players try to increase their talent in this technique for more popularity and fame.