Football: Top 10 outrageous free-kick routines


West Ham United sent their fans delirious over the weekend when they went to White Hart Lane and put on a brilliant display to crush Tottenham Hotspur 3-0.

During that game, the Hammers executed a smart free-kick routine which caught Tottenham off guard and from which Kevin Nolan almost scored.

In the context of that free-kick, here are a few other instances of similar non-run-of-the-mill free-kicks. A top 10 of some of the best free-kick routines:

A US college game between Bryant and Conway

In this brilliantly faked set-piece (either that or brilliantly clumsy set-piece), two Bryant players while running over the ball as a decoy bump into each other, and this distracts both the actual free-kick taker as well as the defenders.

A simple pass is then played on to an onrushing forward who coolly slots it past the Conway goalkeeper.

Javier Zanetti against England

Everyone remembers England’s World Cup match against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup for the infamous incident involving David Beckham and Diego Simeone. That drama apart, there was also a beautifully worked set piece by Juan Sebastian Veron and Javier Zanetti.

Veron slides the ball a little wide of the wall assembled by England and Zanetti runs forward and takes a shot across the face of David Seaman’s goal. Glenn Hoddle’s side were too slow to react and the ball was already past them before they realised.

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