Line it up. Select a corner, or go for power. Upper 90, or lower shelf. Get the ball up and over the wall and make the thing dip, swerve or knuckle. These are some of the thought processes of the free kick master.
The success rate is low, no matter if the restart is right outside the penalty area or some 40+ yards away from goal. Only players who can temper supreme skill with the laws of angular physics are able to produce something that confounds the wall and keeper alike.
The pecking order of this elite group of specialists hasn't changed all that much over the last couple of years. With that in mind, we've decided to dig a bit deeper and illuminate a couple relatively unknown names alongside the ones you already know and love. The focus here is on recent memory with a couple minor exceptions.
As we enter the final countdown for the start of the major 2012-2013 European club seasons (no disrespect Ligue 1, Eredivisie and SPL fans), let's unveil 11 of the world's top set piece magicians.
In no particular order, somewhat...