10 Best Free-kick Takers in Football

Messi scores from a free-kick against PSV Eindhoven

The art of the free-kick is one of the most mesmerising in the game and, as Lionel Messi did a few days ago against a hapless PSV Eindhoven, a few masters at the dead-ball situation have always delighted us in unimaginable ways.

In this list, we have compiled names of players who have attained ultimate success at scoring from free-kicks, with consistency and longevity, through their careers. The ranking is based on a number of factors like conversion rate, the number of goals from dead-ball situations, and how long they've been doing it.

There are many of today's players who can boast a better conversion rate than the 10 players just listed, but they have yet to reach their peak.

Footballers like Enis Bardhi, Paulo Dybala, Iago Aspas, Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann or Miralem Pjanic have percentages very close to or greater than 20 per cent, an absolute barbarity.

However, we'll still have to wait and see if they can enter the prestigious club of the best freekick takers in the world.

So without further ado here are our top ten free-kick takers in football history:

#10 Roberto Carlos

Roberto Carlos with arguably the most memorable free-kick of all time

The Brazilian is one of the first that comes to mind when thinking about scoring audacious free-kicks, thanks to that missile of a left foot.

He scored 25 goals from direct freekicks in his 11 years as a Real Madrid player.

There have been many players with more goals than him, but the Brazilian went down in history because of the incredible free kick against France in 1997, a goal that defied the laws of physics.

#9 Messi

FC Barcelona v PSV - UEFA Champions League Group B
FC Barcelona's Leo Messi

Messi has scored a direct freekick in five of the six club competitions in which he has participated.

He has 26 in LaLiga, four in the Champions League, three in the Copa Del Rey, two in the UEFA Super Cup and one in the Supercopa de Espana.

Overall this season, his success rate is 22 per cent.

#8 Andrea Pirlo

International Champions Cup 2013 - Seventh Place Match
Andrea Pirlo

A true master in the speciality, the Italian converted 43 direct freekicks throughout his exceptional career.

Andrea Pirlo has widely been regarded as one of the best at conjuring up some real magic from the dead-ball situation, whenever his side needed him - club or country.

#7 Sanisa Mihajlovic

Sanisa Mihajlovic

Considered by many as the best freekick taker in Europe, the Serbian developed his skill in Italy and produced more than 50 goals from direct shots.

His greatest feat was when he converted three freekicks in one game against Sampdoria.

#6 Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Another of the greatest kickers of all, the Juventus striker has bagged 56 goals from direct freekicks so far.

He managed 14 (one of them indirect) with Manchester United, 34 with Real Madrid and eight with the Portugal national team.

He is the player who has scored the most in the Champions League, with 12.

#5 Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

Maradona scored 62 goals from freekicks. Each foul in the vicinity of the net was basically considered a goal.

The Argentine was one of the best in the game, if not the best of all time, and it was within his incredible reach to come up with something special from in and around the penalty area.

#4 David Beckham

David Beckham
David Beckham

The Manchester United and Real Madrid player is one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, and his ability to bend the ball into the back of the net had a lot to do with it.

Beckham scored 65 goals from freekicks throughout his career, including an absolutely special one for England against Greece at the Old Trafford.

#3 Ronaldinho

International Friendly: Brazil v Wales

This Brazilian is one of the most special players of all-time. His ability to do things with the ball is unparalleled.

So it comes as little surprise that the former Barcelona man finds a place in the top three for his ability from free-kick as well. He was pure fantasy with a ball at his feet.

That magic radiated every time he came in contact with the ball from free-kick situations, converting 66 throughout his career.

#2 Juninho


Juninho scored 76 goals from direct freekicks. His best record was achieved with Vasco de Gama and Lyon.

With the Brazilian team, he converted 18 and with the French side 44. In addition, he had produced another four with the Brazilian national team.

#1 Zico


Zico's numbers in this area are huge.

He made 62 with Flamengo, 17 with Udinese, 15 with Kashima and seven with Brazil.

The total figure rises to 101 goals from direct freekicks.

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Edited by Zeeshan Ali
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