Nothing quite lights up a game of football more than a direct free kick that flies into the back of the net! Let’s have a look at some of the best ever!
Dimitri Payet – West Ham V Crystal Palace (2016)
Dimitri Payet arrived from France, did amazingly well in the English Premier League for two years, and then left again. The Frenchman’s impact on the English Premier League was short-lived but extremely fun.
Arguably his best goal was an inch-perfect free-kick against Crystal Palace. The attacker viciously whipped the ball around a wall that was full of tall players and slotted it into the top corner against all the odds. In fact, it was so well placed that the Palace keeper couldn’t save it despite standing on the correct side of the goal before the kick was taken!
David Beckham – England V Greece (2001)
This was perhaps the greatest free-kick from a player whose career was full of fantastic set-piece strikes. The former Manchester United man saved England in 2001 with his incredibly gifted right foot.
Deep into stoppage time at Old Trafford, and with the Greeks 1-2 up, Teddy Sheringham drew a foul that was central, but looked too far out to score directly from. David Beckham had other ideas. With his standing foot at an ankle-breaking angle and the shooting foot swiping through the ball with incredible sting, the ball sailed into the top right corner and England sailed into the World Cup finals!
Mikael Nilsson – IFK Göteborg V PSV Eindhoven (1993)
In the Champions League group stage of 1992/93, Swedish player Mikael Nilsson made history with what is still remembered as one of the best free kicks ever!
At first, it looked like a goalkeeper error because the strike came in from such a huge distance, but it was actually just the sheer amount of power and curve on the ball that left Hans van Breukelen in the PSV goal utterly clueless!
Don’t forget to check out part II, when we will be looking at the very best free-kicks of all time!