#2 Building a Wall
Perhaps a skill that goes unnoticed in football is building a wall to stop a free-kick. It’s a vital one to have in football and one that could be the difference between picking up no points and three points, especially if you’re up against Lionel Messi on the other team.
And although it’s the goalkeepers' job to organise the wall, it’s the job of the people in the wall to jump in sync and to stay together otherwise they’ll risk having holes in it – which is something you certainly don’t want.
Sometimes teams may be undone by a world class free-kick that no-one can stop, but having a half decent wall will go some way.
In the past decade, we’ve seen many variations of how the attacking team will set-up a direct free-kick. Often, we see a player from the attacking team stand on the end of the defensive wall before moving inside to create space for the free-kick taker to curl one on the outside.
Sometimes though it’s just impossible to stop a free-kick that is well placed.
During the 1974 World Cup, Zaire made the headlines for all the wrong reasons when attempting to defend a direct free-kick against Brazil. The African nation lined up their wall but instead of Brazil taking the free-kick, a member of the Zaire team decided to encroach the 10-yard rule before clearing the ball.