5 of the most creative set-piece routines
#4 Zanetti fools England
The World Cup 1998 match between Argentina and England is well-remembered for plenty of reasons – Michael Owen’s spectacular solo goal, David Beckham’s sending off, Sol Campbell’s disallowed goal amongst others – but one aspect that gets unfairly forgotten is the set-piece delivery from Argentina that allowed midfielder Javier Zanetti to equalise on the stroke of half-time. Argentina were behind following Owen’s goal, but this free-kick sent the momentum swinging into the South Americans’ favour.
Awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, England’s men braced themselves for a shot from star striker Gabriel Batistuta, but a dummy instead allowed Juan Sebastian Veron to slip a low pass to the right of the wall, where Zanetti lay in wait. With the England players caught unawares, Zanetti spun and hit a left-footed shot across goalkeeper David Seaman and into the back of the net before anyone even had a chance to react.
England’s players – and their manager Glenn Hoddle – were left crestfallen, but nobody could complain about the quality of the goal they’d conceded. The free-kick routine from Veron and Zanetti – a routine straight from the training ground – remains one of the most underrated free-kick goals in World Cup history.