Free kick taking is considered a fine art. Sizing it up, calculating the trajectory, weight and speed needed to find the sweet spot that lies just a few short yards away. When it all goes off without a hitch it can leave you breathlessly staring in awe at the ball arcing gracefully over the wall and nestling beautifully in the top corner of the net.
Penalty taking is considered a test of ones nerve and resolve. Like a modern day version of pistols at dawn the battle to see who crumbles first is both exhilarating and fraught with tension. Second guessing where the goalkeeper is going to dive and trying to work out from his stance where his weaker side lies. It’s a mental test of endurance like no other and if you’re lucky enough to come out smiling the feeling of success is sensational.
Right, enough of the romance before this turns into a soppy set piece love story. For every perfect dead ball there is an absolute howler of side splitting proportion. For every exquisite spot kick there is blunder that leaves you cackling and gasping for air. As wonderful as it is to witness flawless set pieces in all their glory you really can’t whack a good old fashioned mishap.
Skying a free kick out of play, tamely tapping a penalty into the welcome grasp of a goalkeeper and missing the ball completely are just some of the hilarious clangers included in this list.
So please make sure your mouth is free of any liquids and your stomach muscles are worthy of withstanding intense laughter. We aren’t prepared to foot the bill for medical costs or laptop repair. But do enjoy this hysterical compilation of some out of the ordinary set pieces from around the world.