To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert

Expert Free-Kick Takers Ranked From 'GOAT' Status To 'Not A Footballer'

Published 
| Last updated 

Expert Free-Kick Takers Ranked From 'GOAT' Status To 'Not A Footballer'

Former Lyon ace Juninho Pernambucano has been named the best ever free-kick specialist, beating David Beckham and Lionel Messi to the top spot.

SPORTbible has used TierMaker to rank the best modern free-kick takers and, typically, the Brazilian hits top spot with ease.

Loading…

The midfielder who retired in 2013 holds the world record for direct free-kick goals with 75.

Advert

His main rivals, ranked 'World Class', are David Beckham, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Andrea Pirlo and Lionel Messi who have all consistently performed free-kick heroics.

While controversial, it's easy to label Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos 'Overrated'. CR7 has scored some worldies, particularly for Man United and Portugal. But for years his conversation rate has been among the worst in Europe, while full-back Roberto Carlos scored that unbelievable free-kick against France but was often more harmful to walls and crowds than goal nets.

They're joined by England golden generationers Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard. Harsh? Perhaps, but both only scored seven Premier League free-kicks each despite playing around 500 games apiece.

Advert
Credit: TierMaker
Credit: TierMaker

In the 'Underrated' category are Juan Mata and Seb Larsson (who's scored the most Premier League free-kicks over the last 15 years with 11). They're joined by Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho, so spectacular in other ways that their free-kick brilliance is sometimes overlooked.

Gareth Bale and Didier Drogba might be disappointed to only be in the 'Good' category, but both have scored spectacular free-kicks without the sheer volume of the very best.

Given an outright 'Bad' rating is Mario Balotelli who, much as we love him, has never been reliable when he plants the ball. Meanwhile Junior Stanislas has scored only one Premier League free-kick from plenty of attempts (in 2018/19 he took nine without scoring).

Advert

Unfortunately in the bottom category, we have Robert Huth. The big man has been a great DEFENDER, but his effort against Stoke might be the worst we've ever seen. It looks like he's never kicked a ball before.

The full SPORTbible rankings are below.

GOAT: Juninho Pernambucano

Advert

World Class: David Beckham, Lionel Messi, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Andrea Pirlo

Underrated: Juan Mata, Miralem Pjanic, Thierry Henry, Sebastian Larsson, Ronaldinho, Gianfranco Zola, Morten Gamst Pedersen

Good: Gareth Bale, Didier Drogba, James Maddison, Kevin De Bruyne, Christian Eriksen, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Alessandro Del Piero, David Alaba, James Ward-Prowse

Overrated: Cristiano Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard

Advert

Bad: Mario Balotelli, Josip Ilicic, Alvaro Recoba, Junior Stanislas, Memphis Depay

Not A Footballer: Robert Huth, Camillo Ciano

Note: As we're only ranking modern-day curlers, the likes of Zico, Diego Maradona, Ronald Koeman and other world-class free-kick pioneers are absent.

Let us know what you think of our ranking of dead-ball specialists in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA/TierMaker

Topics: Football

Ryan Sidle
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Football

Even European Judo Said Sergio Ramos' Challenge On Mohamed Salah Was Illegal

23 minutes ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Football

Sadio Mane Close To Agreeing A Deal With Bayern Munich, Set To Cost £25 Million

20 hours ago