Premier League's Free-Kick GOATs Ranked After James Ward-Prowse Double
James Ward-Prowse has joined the top 14 greatest Premier League free-kick takers but he still has a way to go to take top spot.
This weekend the Southampton midfielder became only the ninth Premier League player ever to score two direct free-kicks in a game, the last being former Tottenham ace Christian Eriksen in 2015.
Ward-Prowse helped his side to a 4-3 win over Aston Villa - and himself on to the list of the Premier League's most prolific free-kick takers. He also equalled, then surpassed, Matt Le Tissier as Southampton's highest free-kick scorer in the Premier League era.
8 - James Ward-Prowse has now scored eight direct free-kick goals in the Premier League, overtaking @mattletiss7 as the player with the most for Southampton in the competition. Unstoppable. https://t.co/rvIlcoUdcM- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 1, 2020
With his eighth strike direct from a set piece, Ward-Prowse joined some great names, with only 14 players ever having scored eight (or more) free-kicks in the Prem.
The 26-year-old Saints captain is now joint 12th with Juan Mata and deadly Dane Eriksen. His next free-kick goal will see him leap into the top 10, joining Frank Lampard, Jamie Redknapp and Nolberto Solano on nine goals.
But way out in front on top of the list is, of course, David Beckham. The Man United idol's 18 direct free-kicks put him a whopping six goals above Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and Chelsea hero Gianfranco Zola, who share second place.
Cristiano Ronaldo is in joint fourth spot with 11 Premier League free-kicks and some might argue that this represented his most best era with regards to set-piece strikes, as he wasn't always as ruthless for Real Madrid or now for Juventus.
Surprisingly, one stat category where free-kick king Becks is beaten is frequency. Beckham scored his free-kicks at one every 1,198 minutes, according to the BBC - a very impressive ratio.
However one player in the top 14 can beat it: Newcastle's mercurial magician Laurent Robert, who scored 11 Premier League free-kicks at a rate of one every 994 minutes.
The list of greatest Premier League free-kick takers is in full below.
12= Christian Eriksen (8 goals)
12= Juan Mata (8 goals)
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12= James Ward-Prowse (8 goals)
9= Frank Lampard (9 goals)
9= Jamie Redknapp (9 goals)
9= Nolberto Solano (9 goals)
7= Morten Gamst Pedersen (10 goals)
7= Ian Harte (10 goals)
4= Sebastian Larsson (11 goals)
4= Cristiano Ronaldo (11 goals)
4= Laurent Robert (11 goals)
2= Thierry Henry (12 goals)
2= Gianfranco Zola (12 goals)
1. David Beckham (18 goals)
All imagery: PA Images
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