The stadium falls silent as the free kick taker places the ball on the pitch, judges the distance and the angle and prepares to strike. Everyone holds their breath as he runs up to the ball and somehow curls or powers the ball past the wall and into the back of the net. Or fires it into Row Z.
Throughout history, we've seen thousands of players step up only to fail miserably. Mastering the free kick takes hours and hours of practise and dedication, and most players will never be able to put the ball past the keeper with any consistency.
But there are exceptions. Specialists who are able to score from the craziest angles and put fear into the hearts of the opponents every time they line up behind the ball.
As fans, we just know that the ball will go in as soon as the referee gives the player the go-ahead. We watch these masters of the free kick in awe, marveling at their ability to hit a ball so perfectly.
This list pays tribute to these special players. Every slide will be accompanied with video highlights to give you fans an idea of exactly how proficient each player was at the art of the free kick.