World XI: Free-kick specialists

David Beckham, Juninho Pernambucano & Alessandro Del Piero are some of the best free-kick takers in world football

Antony Norman
Published 02/05/2013 11:56 by Antony Norman, read by 52,411 people.


Some of the most memorable goals in history have come from dead-ball situations.

Now, imagine all of these free-kick specialists in the same team - how many extraordinary goals would they score every season?

Goalkeeper: Rogério Ceni

The São Paulo keeper holds the record for most successful free kicks by a keeper (59) and also penalties (51).

Notable free-kick: Ceni curls it into the top left corner against Corinthians to score his 100th goal:

Left-back: Roberto Carlos

The current Anzhi Makhachkala sporting director is well known for his free-kicks with most of them absolute thunderbolts coming from impossible angles.

Notable free-kick: Carlos scored possibly the greatest free-kick of all time against France, smashing it with impossible curl with the outside of his boot:

Centre-back: Alex

The current PSG defender has been to known to rifle in the odd free-kick, with his strength and power his main weapon.

Notable free-kick: Alex absolutely smacks the ball and it curls away from the Arsenal keeper into the top right corner:

Centre-back: Marcelo Bordon

Relatively unknown, but the VfB Stuttgart and Brazil international was known for his leadership and also the odd free-kick.

Notable free-kick: The centre back scores a wonderful hat-trick to win the game with the latter two both free kicks. The last is special:

Right-back: Dani Alves

The Barcelona and Brazil full-back scores quite simply some of the most exceptional goals - most coming from free-kicks.

Notable free-kick: Alves hits the ball from 30 yards out against Iran, curling it into the top right corner. What a goal:

Left-wing: Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese has become a footballing icon, largely due to his unique and sublime free-kick taking. With each season that arrives comes a magical Ronaldo free-kick.

Notable free-kick: An unbelievable goal against Portsmouth that Ronaldo hits with his cultured right foot - the boll sails into the top right corner, leaving David James rooted to the spot:

Centre-midfielder: Ronaldinho

As well as his trickery and flair Ronaldinho has, and still can, hit some spectacular free-kicks in his career. 

Notable free-kick: Ronaldinho hits this from god-knows-how far out and it curls over England goalkeeper David Seamans' outstretched hand into the top left corner. Definitely intended:

Centre-midfielder: Juninho Pernambucano

Perhaps the greatest ever free-kick taker in football history. For Olympique Lyonnais he scored 44 free-kicks, with four coming from 40 yards or further. 

Notable free-kick: This defies physics with the dip it gets at the end and Bayern Munich's Oliver Kahn is completely bamboozled as evidenced by him hitting his head against the post afterwards:

Right-wing: David Beckham

The England and former Manchester United winger is a great dead-ball specialist and has scored many memorable goals throughout his career with his unique free-kick technique.

Notable free-kick: "Beckham could raise the roof here with a goal," said the commentator at the end of a crucial World Cup qualifier against Greece in 2011. Which he does, of course he does. This free-kick in injury time took England to the World Cup:

Striker: Alessandro Del Piero

The Italian is a legend for both Juventus and Italy, with whom he won a World Cup with. He is an outstanding player and a classy finisher especially with free-kicks.

Notable free-kick: Against Shamrock, the Italian smashes the ball, which hangs in the air, into the top right corner of the goal. Perfection:

Striker: Oleksandr Aliev

The Ukraine and Dynamo Kyiv forward has been called the best free-kick taker in Europe by many and is a keeper's nightmare with a dead-ball.

Notable free-kick: An absolute belter against Turkey and right up there with the best on this list. A bullet into the top corner from 35 + yards out. Words cannot explain, so click this link:

Do you agree? 


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