Bicycle kicks are sensational, backheel flicks are audacious and scorpion kicks are phenomenal. But none of them match the sheer beauty of beating the goalkeeper with a dead-ball, sweetly curled or thumped through a literal wall of players. The flavour is accentuated when the keeper is left rooted to his/her spot; oh how the heart breaks!
If football was to be compared to war, the dead ball would be the deadliest weapon in any team’s arsenal. A player gets fouled, it’s not a penalty and the crowd waits with bated breath. To curl or to dip (or both), that is the question.
The Puskas Award 2016 is a clear testament to the fact that the world recognizes the speciality of free-kicks. Here, we look at the top 5 dead-ball beauties that have brought much joy and wonder from all sides of the world.
#5 Dimitri Payet, France vs. Russia, 30th March 2016
(Video Courtesy: International Football YouTube Channel)
There is a reason why Dimitri Payet is hailed as one of the best free-kick takers in the world right now and also why he features 2 times in this article. The score read 2-1 in the 64th minute when Payet stepped up and let loose a 30-yard screamer into the top right corner.
He would go on to finish the match with also an assist to his name in the 4-2 win over Russia. A perfect birthday gift for a terrific player, who had just celebrated his birthday only two days prior to the match.