There is nothing better than seeing a 30-yard free kick go rocketing into the top corner of the net. For years the Premier League has seen a vast number of players who could score from set-pieces and it’s an important part of the game just like the penalty takers, except without as much pressure and with a bigger impression if you score. Despite there being great free-kick scorers outside of the Premier League with the likes of Juninho and Roberto Carlos, we can still boast having some of the best.
Technique is all important for the consistent set-piece scorer, whether it is a whipping cross with the left foot floating into the far corner or a thunderbolt shot, with the laces the EPL has seen a variety in free-kick taking. So, who has made it into the top 10? Well rest assured I will include an honourable mention list at the end because the list was endlessm but for the best… check it out below!
10: Jimmy Bullard – The cheeky player is not only a personality on the pitch but he has the skills too. Bullard has scored free-kicks up and down the divisions and despite dropping out of the Premier League this season, he still has a quality when it comes to dead ball situations.
9: Steven Gerrard – The Liverpool star has scored a number of free-kicks during his career which warrants entry into the top 10. Gerrard chooses to get power behind his free kicks but has scored a few curlers as well.
8: Alan Shearer – His free-kicks may not have been as graceful as some of the other entries into the top 10, but Shearer did know how to hit the target whilst powering his free kicks, leaving the ‘keeper rather helpless.
7: Jay Jay Okacha – So good they named him twice, the former Bolton Wanderers player provided some great entertainment during his time in the EPL. My reason for including him in this top 10 is because of his versatility when taking free-kicks.
6: Robin Van Persie – The Arsenal and Holland forward has one of the best left foot strikes in the game. His free kicks can either have enough curl and bend to beat the ‘keeper or be lashed with power to leave them stranded in between the sticks.
5: John Arne Riise – Former Liverpool left back will be remembered for his powerful long shots. Especially the free-kick scored against Manchester United at Anfield which was so powerful, I am surprised it did not break the net and keep on travelling.
4: Matthew Le Tissier – The goal against Wimbledon sticks out in my mind with Le Tissier, as a team mate lays the ball off, Le Tissier flicks it up before volleying it into the top corner.
3: Thierry Henry – The Frenchman was untouchable at the Gunners and that’s including his free kicks. By putting power and curl into his free kicks he made it look effortless.
2: Cristiano Ronaldo – Have you tried the stance? I am sure most kids who play football have. Ronaldo provided the Premier League with a number of great goals over the years but some of his best came from free kicks. Using the advantage of the lighter modern footballs, Ronaldo would keep his straight technique, using his laces to power the ball and giving it swerve.
1: David Beckham – Surely one of the best free kick takers of all time? Wherever Beckham has played, he has been able to produce a moment of magic from a free-kick. He has to be one of most accurate free kick takers in football and shows that practice does make perfect. Check out the video compilation below…
Honourable Mentions – Gianfranco Zola, Laurent Robert, Denis Irwin, Andy Hinchcliffe, Ryan Taylor, Didier Drogba, Alan Stubbs, Sebastian Larsson, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Owen Hargreaves, David Ginola, Stuart Pearce, Carlos Tevez, Charlie Adam, Ian Harte and many more… Follow me on Twitter to discuss @verbal_football