Top Free Kick Takers of All-Time

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Lucas..., Jan 9, 2013.

  1. peterhrt

    peterhrt Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    He used to be good but has fallen away - just 5 FK goals in the past two seasons from plenty of attempts. He probably shouldn't be taking them anymore. Same with Messi and Ibrahimovic.
     
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  2. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, I don't think Pearce would be very close to 50 (most of his would be for Forest I think, although he did score at least one for England I remember).

    And yeah, I suppose for Metgod the phrase 'free kick expert' comes to mind wheras not so much for Ballack or Sneijder like I say but I'm unaware of how many they might have scored with during their careers to be honest.
     
  3. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Metgod (literally: "with God") definitely relied on his technique when he took them. I also remember a nice and delicate assist by him against Schuster/Maradona his Barcelona.


    As for Van Hooijdonk: he himself guessed to have scored 50 in his career (and tried to be modest) so that seems to be in the right direction.
    http://www.volkskrant.nl/sport/ultiem-genot-uit-vrije-trap~a796913/
    https://www.devoetbaltrainer.nl/2006/11/18/de-spelhervatting-als-modern-wapen/

    This shows a few early in his career



    Same as with a 79% penalty conversion rate; it's only about the personal glory and shirt sells. Real Madrid has not a lot to lose.
     
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  4. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yes, Van Hooijdonk did score at a really good rate from free-kicks at Feyenoord that helped him accelerate towards such a tally I think. He did score a few in one season for Forest though, and also IIRC hit the bar with an attempt from nearly halfway.
     
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  5. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yeah, I wonder who has the most in the Champions League. I don't think he's close but he had them against Buffon and Casillas. Carlito86 mentioned/showed in the other thread how many CR7 and Messi had.
     
  6. peterhrt

    peterhrt Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    Del Piero and Cristiano Ronaldo lead with 11 each.
     
  7. giles varley

    giles varley Member+

    Oct 8, 2013
    nottingham uk
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    Country:
    England
    Same as with a 79% penalty conversion rate; it's only about the personal glory and shirt sells. Real Madrid has not a lot to lose.[/QUOTE]

    I agree @PuckVanHeel... i don't think cristiano has the technique to be considered a free kick expert, yet the hype he recieves leads people to believe he is something special from a dead ball..
    There are better free kick takers in the premier league such as Eriksen, sigurdsson and Payet..

    Heres a question - do you think modern balls have made it more difficult for free kick takers ?
    If you watch footage of past greats - zico for example - the ball seemed to fly through the air more smoothly with a truer curve.. modern balls seem to move all over the place..
    Is there a difference in ball weight or is it the design of the ball ?
    What are your thoughts ? ..
     
  8. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    #183 PuckVanHeel, Apr 22, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
    Interesting question;

    I think they have changed the ball over time, especially since the 1994 World Cup, to increase scoring. The modern balls made life harder for the goalkeepers, and it was intended to be that way. Another clear aspect is imho that it changed the nature of long passes. If I look at old matches then I see that renowned long passers could literally place the ball on a sixpence. This example, but there are better ones:
    http://forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/most-technically-gifted-footballer.942828/page-29#post-33131009

    Balls before ~1982 were not water resistant.

    I know that Koeman has said that a couple of times; that those floating balls made it harder to place a pass with weight and pace to a moving receiver that's in between two guarding defenders.

    The jury seems to be out there with free kick taking... I've read both views. My impression is that it depends on which technique the player uses. To accurately and elegantly place it in the way Zico or Van Hanegem (2:02) did has become harder, maybe. Other aspects have become easier... balls are intentionally designed to enhance scoring and create spectacular dips and strikes. But yes, it creates types of free kicks that are a fit to the flashy electronic boards and the expressive ball design and colors.

    http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sco...-totally-unstoppable-by-experts-who-know.html

    Zico was truly one of the very best. In two Serie A seasons he scored eight free kick goals (39 matches). As comparison: Platini has 13 free kicks in 5 seasons (147 matches) and Maradona had 14 free kicks in 7 seasons (188 games).

    But what might have enhanced his elegant style as far as Brazil (Flamengo) is concerned are two factors I'd say;
    1) If there's one position where Brazil is weak, and for some doesn't have an all-time great, it is the goalkeeper. Since the 1950 World Cup and 1970 World Cup, the idea is that Brazil doesn't produce great goalkeepers.
    2) The average height of an adult male is currently exactly 1.70 metres - in Brazil. But how was it in 1980? I'm careful if I say 1.65m. It probably helps to create great forwards, but maybe not great walls against free kicks.
     
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  9. giles varley

    giles varley Member+

    Oct 8, 2013
    nottingham uk
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    Country:
    England
    Interesting article.. Pedersen says you have to hit the ball on the 'sweet spot' and if you are half a centimetre out then the ball can end up in row Z.. and Ian harte says the panels and stitching on modern balls have changed the flight of the ball ,which is what i was thinking.. (having played myself over many years i can say without doubt that balls have got lighter in the last decade or so no matter what the experts say)..
    I'm not sure if the quality of goalkeeping in brazil made a great difference to Zico - if the ball is hit accurately into the corners of the goal then even the very best keepers have no chance. ( would you agree ?)

    It never occurred to me to consider the height of players in the wall in the past- and i'm not sure how significant a factor that is.. ( though i'm not doubting what you say).. has average height really changed that much throughout history ?
    The '82 brazilian team were not short in height apart from junior and zico... flamengo, atletico etc all had tall centre backs during the 80's..

    I do believe that the modern ball has made it harder for keepers in terms of shot stopping because the ball moves so much in the air when hit with power.. keepers in general have got better..
    David de gea over the last few seasons is probably the best keeper i've ever seen..
     
  10. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Yes, as I said he's one of the best and his rate in Italy proves it. Maybe he got more kick taking opportunities than the others (Udinese emphasized attack more than other teams, at the expense of defensive record; it was a worse team than Napoli and Juventus) but it takes something to explain away the difference between 0.21 per match, and 0.09 plus 0.07 per match.
    Perhaps it was still easier in Italy than in e.g. England though, with taller players and different weather conditions.

    Good goalkeepers had still a chance when the taker emphasized placement. They can leap to those corners. There are plenty examples from that era.

    Of course height of the wall is a factor. It shortens the trajectory and makes the required curve less steep. That in turn increases the pace of the kick. It's basic physics: shorter trajectory, higher pace and power.

    Maybe the Carlos Alberto comments I showed recently to you (for example) also means that you draw free kicks more frequently, and they were more often awarded.

    Of course (certain) goalkeepers got better gloves and such, but the ball is a challenge for them. Some teams with a special relationship to the manufacturer receive the ball - new ball designs entering the market - many months earlier before release, including special test data about the ball. Shows how important it is as a marginal edge... It has been that way since ~1970.
     
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  11. giles varley

    giles varley Member+

    Oct 8, 2013
    nottingham uk
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    Country:
    England
    I wasn't disagreeing with the height of the wall. I understand the physics... i meant that i didnt consider the average height of players back then..
    Encroaching rules also help in the modern game. The spray foam is a great idea.. for example - notice how far the italian walls gradually moved forward during the 1982 world cup.. it wouldn't be allowed today.. it no doubt happened alot in serie A and all over the world in the past.
     
  12. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    OK, will look at it again... Zico also has a free kick goal at world Cup level. Maradona and Platini don't (although Platini has it at euro1984).

    It's always a challenge for great players to replicate your skill and success outside your 'alma mater' (not the least because many of the new circumstances are outside your control). Zico did.
     
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  13. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Country:
    Argentina
    Maradona scored off a free kick at the Copa America.
     
  14. wm442433

    wm442433 Member

    Sep 19, 2014
    Club:
    FC Nantes
    (quoting @PDG1978 about Genghini)

    So Gengh' scored two into one World Cup. The first one when facing Kuweit in the first round before to repeat it in the second round against Austria. Two similar or even identical free-kicks.

    Compil' done :

     
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  15. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    @giles varley

    Cr7 isn't a freekick specialist according to you?

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored 22 official freekicks in 4 consecutive club seasons
    2007/08-2010/11

    07/08 scored 5 freekicks in 49 games
    08/09 scored 6 freekicks in 53 games
    09/10 scored 6 freekicks in 35 games
    10/11 scored 5 freekicks in 54 games

    Can you name a single freekick "specialist"(bar juninho/Beckham)in history who managed to score 22 freekicks in a major European league in 4 club seasons?
    @PuckVanHeel
    @lessthanjake
     
  16. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I had wondered, for a side-topic, who had scored the most in World Cup tournaments. Beckham has two also doesn't he, but off the top of my head I've not thought of anyone with more yet.
     
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  17. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    @giles varley
    At his absolute peak in free kick taking cr7 was THE best free kick taker in the world with only juninho from lyon able to compete
    I don't want to sound too repetitive but 22 free kicks in 4 consecutive club seasons is almost unheard of even by legendary free kick takers standards .
    After 2011/12 his freekick taking ability deteriorated until he reached his 2015 version were I would say now for 1.5-2 years he hasn't been much better than a average freekick taker.

    if you take into consideration that he is only 31, that he has scored 50+ career freekicks and at his absolute peak he was the best freekick taker in the world while competing with a goat freekick taker (juninho )this proves without doubt that cr7 is indeed a legendary freekick taker meaning top 20 all time in this category


    All his freekicks up until the end of his 2013/14 season since then he has scored 5 freekicks
    2 in 2014/15
    And 3 in 15/16
    So his total stands at 56 official career freekicks I don't know anyone bar juninho who managed to score 50+ freekicks while playing in a major European league.
    @Pipiolo @Puskas 1988
     
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  18. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Saw your tag now;

    He's definitely in 'pole position' for best free kick taker of his generation, despite irregularities and the gazillion of chances he received. That he has 11 in the Champions League vs just 2 for Messi (the only comparable player for a comparable team with comparable opportunities) is a powerful statistic.

    There are so many who just give Maradona a free pass for his time in (evidently state controlled/manipulated) Argentina despite that by 1979-1981 the vast chunk of the 1978WC heroes didn't play there and the comparable scorers as Kempes, Bianchi, Scotta, Morete had moved on.

    As I've said previously, by and large the treatment CR7 receives is unfair. But I agree with giles varley that at the moment others like Payet are better and more efficient takers than CR7. Perhaps he trains more on it; not all match situations can be fully replicated in training (hence why certain positions peak after the age of 25) but free kicks can.

    I don't think he's as good as Zico, but possibly Zico would struggle with the modern match balls. It's difficult to compare different eras (almost different sports), so maybe I shouldn't.
     
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  19. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Couldn't agree more with your analysis puck.
    I don't know exactly how I would rate top 20 all time freekick takers but just guessing of the top of my head cr7,del Piero,ceni,Baggio,Maradona would be between 15-20 Ronaldinho, mihajlovic,platini,Hagi etc would be between 10-15 and juninho,Beckham,zico etc would be top 5.

    Players like Payet and eriksen are definitely superior freekick takers to current cr7 quite simply because cr7's freekick ability has severely deteriorated in the last couple seasons . without sugar coating it Ronaldo has been average at best in free kicks for the last 2 seasons I would say since his freekick vs bayern in 13/14 ucl semifinal.

    As for Messi(referring to your comment that he has 2 in the champions league)
    he has none


    Maybe you was referring to the 2 freekicks he scored vs seville in the super cup than you would be right,but if you are referring to real ucl games than Messi has not scored a freekick yet
     
  20. giles varley

    giles varley Member+

    Oct 8, 2013
    nottingham uk
    Club:
    Leeds United AFC
    Country:
    England
    I've got nothing against cristiano.. i just prefered the style of other free kick takers more.. Juninho was a much better free kick taker in my opinion -no offence intended, i know you are a big fan of cristiano, but its just the way i see it..

    ..But why has cristiano's ability from free kicks diminished ? .. i can understand a players pace and dribbling skills deteriorating over time but surely age doesn't affect free kick ability as much ?
     
  21. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Frankly cr7 hasn't been the same player he was before his injury vs dortmund in the quarter final of the 13/14 champions league.
    His freekick technique mainly comprises of 2 things power and dip ,I have read articles from "respected" journalists who have said that he cannot hit the ball with the same power he used to 2007-2013 because he fears he may aggravate his on going knee issues/injuries.

    Or a more simple explanation could be that he simply doesn't train on his freekicks the way he used.

    Take for example when he was in United the than assistant manager carlos querioz and even Ryan giggs said that many times ronaldo would practice freekicks in Carrington training ground well after his teammates had already gone home.i remember even van der sar saying in an interview a couple of years back that ronaldo used to spend many hours practicing his freekicks against him in training.

    It could be that he needs to change his free kick technique and perhaps experiment with different techniques.
    Yet I doubt that he would change his technique when he has practically being using it for nearly 10 years and to a great extent been successful with it until the last 2 years
     
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  22. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #197 carlito86, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    A phenomenal comp with a huge chunk if not all of zico's freekicks for club and country for selecao,flamengo,udinesi and kashmir a.

    From 20-25 yards zico is unmatched as a set piece specialist nobody can touch him.i would rate his technique probably as the greatest superior to Beckhams bend/curl and possibly superior to juninho's knukleball although I would say the latter was definitely superior from further distances(ie 25-40 yards).
    @Pipiolo @PuckVanHeel @Puskas 1988 @giles varley
     
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  23. wm442433

    wm442433 Member

    Sep 19, 2014
    Club:
    FC Nantes
    #198 wm442433, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    Rivelino : CZE 70 and DDR 74.
    (I've verified if he had not more but no, it seems difficult...that's three who have two for now with Genghini, Beckham and Rivelino)

    Edit : http://www.rsssf.com/tablest/trivia.html#moregoals

    + Pelé and Cubillas up to 1998.
     
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  24. Pipiolo

    Pipiolo Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
    Country:
    Argentina
    Agree, Zico is arguably the best free kick taker of all time.
     
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  25. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Good work. I 'knew' those if I'd thought about it I suppose but Pele's free-kicks must have temporarily morphed into one in my brain. The second Cubillas one (I can think of the Scotland one) might be escaping me atm, but maybe I've seen it also.

    I wondered about Didi but only know of one in 1954 IIRC. I can't think of one by Dragan Stojkovic in 1998 off the top of my head (he has the one vs Spain in 1990 ofc). Nelinho just got one in 1978 did he?

    EDIT - Yes, the link confirms Nelinho only has one in effect, assuming it's correct. Stojkovic could have got one in 1998 if the link means up to but not including that year I suppose.

    Franciso Arce maybe? (doubt he has more than two and maybe just one).

    Most cases would be checkable with Everyfouthyear and Youtube probably (certainly Stojkovic for example should be).
     

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