Top 10 best free kick takers in football currently

Top 10 best free kick takers in football currently

Some of the top tier talent make it to list.

Former Dutch international and Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp said, “Behind every kick of the ball, there has to be a thought.” A free kick – a seemingly simple act – becomes a canvas for artistry and precision, a spectacle that transcends the ordinary boundaries of the beautiful game.

How can Lionel Messi fans forget the match-winning free kick he took in the 94th minute of his Inter Miami debut against Cruz Azul in Florida? From Englishman Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pinpoint accuracy and tactical acumen to Kevin De Bruyne’s golazos that have lit up the Etihad Stadium in Manchester time and again, a well-taken free kick can never be easily forgotten by football fans fortunate and blessed enough to witness this phenomenal work of art.

In today’s feature story, we delve deep into the minds of the absolute geniuses of this game of football – individuals whose prowess has compelled even the most eminent physicists like Sir Isaac Newton, Joseph Louis Lagrange, Leonhard Euler, and Galileo Galilei to recalibrate their fundamental laws on mechanics and kinematics.

10. Trent Alexander-Arnold

The 25-year-old Anfield poster boy is highly regarded as one of the best right-backs in the world currently. His mind-blowing set-piece-taking abilities, along with his accurate range of passing and crossing, make him stand out from other midfielders and defenders. Trent, at such a young age, has emerged as one of the most creative players in the top division of English football.

Former Brazilian world champion Cafu has praised Trent, saying, “He is a sensational player, a rare talent. He is technically brilliant and has so much quality.

9. Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese international and the captain of Manchester United FC is one of the finest attacking midfielders currently playing at Old Trafford. Former United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had nothing but praise for Bruno, saying, “He is a bit of a mix between Paul Scholes & Juan Sebastian.”

Bruno, who had played alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, etched his name in the history books after netting 33 goals in the 2018-19 campaign and becoming the highest-scoring Portuguese midfielder in a single season of all time. He was also the Europa League top scorer in the 2019-20 season for United.

8. Paulo Dybala

Nicknamed “La Joya” meaning The Jewel, Dybala is known for his outstanding technical attributes and his ability to find the back of the net from distance. He is a versatile attacking asset for any team he plays for, having been previously deployed as a left winger, centre-forward, attacking midfielder, and a false number nine.

His playing style is similar to Del Piero and Sergio Aguero. Dybala is a laborious and high work rate player, who despite his low center of gravity, has grabbed a lot of attention for his creative play and brilliant set-pieces. He has made over 210 appearances for Juventus and is currently making his mark for Roma, after recently propelling them to the finals of the UEFA Europa League in the 2022-23 season.

7. Dani Parejo

The Spaniard seems to have brought a lot of joy to the Yellow Submarines after his arrival at Villarreal CF in the summer of 2020. After almost playing a decade of football with Valencia CF, he joined local rivals Villarreal. This growing hostility, however, didn’t stop Parejo from shining on the biggest stage, as his creativity and ability to score wonder goals brought instant success to the Yellow Submarines as they won the UEFA Europa League in the 2020-21 season.

Alfredo Di Stefano said, “He is the best player the Real Madrid youth academy has ever seen” when Parejo joined their youth academy at the tender age of 14.

6. Martin Ødegaard

The 25-year-old Norwegian international is the current captain of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, who in the previous two seasons narrowly missed out on winning the Premier League title to Manchester City. The young footballing prodigy is one of the best modern playmakers in the Premier League. His excellent range of passing, dribbling, and technique have made pundits draw comparisons to Mesut Özil, an Arsenal legend.

His knowledge of the game is phenomenal, and his set-piece-taking abilities at such a young age make him one of the most productive pressers on his team. His magical direct free-kick goals against Burnley and AC Milan still bring happiness and jubilation to the North-London-based outfit.

5. Kevin De Bruyne

Defining Kevin De Bruyne’s magical presence with the Cityzens and Red Devils in words and adjectives is never an easy job. Unarguably, the Belgian international is one of the most complete modern-day playmakers in Europe. His long-range shooting ability with both feet, along with his technique, intelligence, and athleticism, makes him nothing less than a footballing genius.

The jersey number 17 and the current captain of the Belgium national football team, Kevin has made over 250 appearances for Manchester City and has netted 68 goals so far. One of the best footballing managers on the planet currently, Pep Guardiola said, “Kevin is a special and outstanding player. Without the ball, he is the best fighter, and with the ball, he is clear – he sees absolutely everything.”

also read: Top five best penalty savers currently

4. Kieran Trippier

The inclusion of Kieran Trippier’s name in this elite list of best free-kick takers in world football currently is a no-brainer. He played an integral part in propelling Newcastle United to seal a Champions League berth in the 2022-23 season and, in turn, won the Newcastle United Player of the Year award in 2023.

He has not only produced some of the best set-pieces but has also found the back of the net on major occasions, including the early lead he gave to the Three Lions in Moscow in the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Croatia. His ability to take direct free kicks and make key passes makes him one of the best English set-piece specialists in modern-day football.

3. Neymar Jr.

The world’s third-highest-paid footballer of 2018, Neymar, is widely recognized not only for his dribbling but also for his ability to find the far corner of the goal from set pieces. Brazilian legend Ronaldinho praised his compatriot Neymar by saying, “He is young, and I can’t explain how special he will become. In the next two to three years, he will become the best player.”

Neymar, who had played alongside the likes of Messi at FC Barcelona and PSG, stands as the fourth-highest goalscorer in PSG’s history. His creativity in the middle of the park, vision, finishing, and excellent techniques make him stand out from the rest. After leaving his footprints in European football, Neymar joined Saudi-based outfit Al Hilal in 2023.

2. James Ward-Prowse

James Ward-Prowse is regarded as the best free-kick specialist in the world currently. He has played over 340 matches for Southampton and recently signed for West Ham United in the 2023-24 season. He has scored a record-breaking 17 goals directly from free kicks and has brought a lot of happiness and euphoria among the Saints and Hammers.

Ward generally plays as a central midfielder but can also be deployed as an attacking midfielder or right back. Pep Guardiola hailed him by saying, “He is the best free kick-taker I have ever seen in my life.” He is also one of the fittest players currently, having played every single minute of two Premier League seasons consecutively.

1. Lionel Messi

The little boy from Rosario has not only conquered the world of football with his attacking flair but also with his breathtaking goals from distance. If you think the 37-year-old Argentinian legend Messi has grown old, you better watch the highlights of his debut match for Inter Miami, where he netted that 94th-minute free-kick, even shocking the best free-kick taker in the world, David Beckham.

One of the greatest dribblers of all time, Leo’s pace and technical attributes instantly make him a nightmare for every opposition defender. Messi, the most decorated player in the history of the Ballon d’Or, having won it eight times, is a once-in-a-century player. If you have witnessed those awe-inspiring goals from the little master, consider yourself blessed.

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