Top 10 free-kick takers in Europe
#9 Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo would definitely not make this list last year, but this season, the Portuguese international has upped his game once again when it comes to free-kicks. Famed for using the distinctive knuckleball technique, Ronaldo has already scored an incredible 3 free-kick goals including a memorable last minute winner against Sporting CP in the Champions League.
The 4-time Ballon d’Or winner has a knack of scoring free-kicks when it matters most and his goal against Celta Vigo this year in the Copa Del Rey is one of the best free-kicks of this season.
The Portuguese international’s free-kick stats have been pretty impressive this season:
Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick stats in 2016/17 seasonTotal shotsOn targetOff targetGoalsConversion rate19163315.79%
However, the Portuguese international is still only 9th on this list, because out of the 16 shots on target, 9 of them were into the wall reducing his free-kick efficiency considerably. Here is Ronaldo’s brilliant free-kick against Sporting CP in the Champions League:
#8 Christian Eriksen
25-year-old Danish international, Christian Eriksen is among the best set-piece takers in the Premier League. Tottenham, under Mauricio Pochettino, have become one of the best teams in England and Eriksen’s influence on the side cannot be underestimated.
The team’s main set-piece taker, Eriksen has time and again rescued Spurs’ from sticky situations with his brilliant free-kick taking abilities. Calm and composed on the ball, the talented playmaker is often the main creative influence.
While his passing, technical abilities and vision are rightly lauded, Eriksen’s main strength is arguably his free-kick abilities. A dead-ball specialist, Pochettino will be hoping that the Danish international continues scoring incredible free-kick goals.
#7 Gylfi Sigurdsson
Arguably Premier League’s best set-piece taker, Gylfi Sigurdsson has time and again proven why he is the best Icelandic footballer at the moment. Easily Swansea’s best player, the Iceland international has been the main reason why Swansea still have a chance of surviving in the Premier League.
Sigurdsson has undeniable quality and his set-piece abilities give us a glimpse of the immense talent he possesses. Always a threat from dead ball situations, Sigurdsson is equally effective both at scoring from direct free-kicks and setting up teammates from long distance free-kicks.
What makes Sigurdsson such an effective set-piece taker, is the fact that he has so many different ways of taking a free-kick. Capable of curling the ball well away from the goalkeeper’s reach, Sigurdsson is definitely one of the best free-kick takers in world football at the moment.