Free Kicks

Just thinking how fortunate Celtic fans have been with the free kick takers over the last few years.

In Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Lubo Moravcik and Nakamura we’ve had 3 of the best free kick takers I’ve ever seen play for anyone. Added to that you have the likes of Thompson, Maloney and John Collins before them. The first 3 though are on a par with Juninho, Mijhailovic and Beckham for their accuracy and strike rate.

It’s a cracking thing to have in a team going into close matches - the ability for one of those lads to step up and just pull off an unstoppable shot.

Liverpool - Riise, Murphy, who else?

United - Ronaldo’s brutal at them, Giggs was decent, Irwin reasonable.

You missed Beckham for Manchester United! Although you do mention him generally.

World Soccer magazine took a survey of European 'keepers recently and asked them who the best free kick taker is. Ronaldinho topped the poll with 7 votes. Not sure about this - he certainly scores from dead balls but I’ve seen him strike the wall plenty of times too.

Juninho at Lyon was next with 3 votes. He has a cracking style where he just thumps straight through the ball.

A whole host of players got 1 vote, including Naka who Tim Wiese of Werder Bremen voted for.

Pirlo is usually excellent at them too and that’s why I was surprised at how poor his ones were in both legs against ManU. He ballooned two over last night like rugby penalties - there wasn’t even that much pace on the ball.

Pirlo’s were astonishingly bad. Couldn’t believe the lack of technique or effort - he seemed to be trying to chip it as high as he could.

Forgot Beckham for United obviously he should have been in there.

Ronaldinho is decent at free kicks but he’s not as good as Naka or Juninho I don’t think. Juninho can hit them a number of ways which I like - he can score from 40 yards or 20 yards.

I have seen Xavi hit a couple of beauties for Barca - but only when Ronaldinho allows him to.

Zidane was superb in his day. He possessed an ability to score from free-kicks when his team needed it - remember France v England Euro 2004?

Roberto Carlos was the most overrated free taker ever. For every one he swerved around the wall, about 100 went into the wall

Ian Harte was a fairly good dead ball specialist as well (don’t laugh)

No recollection of that Zidane goal at all farmer - it was the Sunday night after Wexford beat Kilkenny in the last second at Croke Park. June 13, 2004 - what a fooking day.

I have vague memories of Harte scoring a hat trick of free kicks in a pre season game in the late 1990s. Think it was against Blackburn who were down in the second tier at the time.

farmer, who did you vote for in the poll or did World Soccer not bother approaching you?

Haven’t been a fan of that magazine ever since the clown Gavin Hamilton became editor.

The final straw was where he lambasted Pele’s 100 greatest ever footballers for firstly having a woman in it and in the next line having Roy Keane in it - as if drawing comparisons between the outrageousness of the two

Çalhanoğlu at Leverkusen is something special at free kicks.

Obviously his long ranger against Dortmund got him lots of attention a while back:

but he’s now up to 22 free kick goals in the Bundesliga already and he’s only 21. He didn’t score one against Bayern today but this was a cracking effort:

How much will City bid for him next season?

100 trillion