4 Best Set-Piece Specialists in the World Right Now

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 14, 2013

4 Best Set-Piece Specialists in the World Right Now

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    To be a set piece specialist, you need to be able to deliver the ball from every area of the pitch with perfection.

    For this list, corners, penalty conversion percentage and effectiveness from free kicks were looked at rather than a compilation of players capable of the odd golazo.

    Who joins the majestic Andrea Pirlo on this list?

1. Andrea Pirlo

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    Diving right in, the ability to take free kicks, corners and penalties has rarely been showcased with such levelheadedness as it is with Andrea Pirlo.

    He has nerves of steel and a wand of a right foot, curling perfect corners, dangerous free kicks and even dinking in panenkas to make Joe Hart look a little silly.

    Here's a lovely little compilation of his Euro 2012 adventure.

2. Lionel Messi

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    Lionel Messi isn't all dribbling skill.

    He takes penalties for Barcelona and is largely successful, though he'll always be haunted by a couple of crucial misses.

    Xavi takes corners when he's on the pitch, but Messi has shown himself able in the area too. Free kicks? Try this out for size.

3. Robin Van Persie

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    Robin van Persie is proving invaluable to Manchester United this season, but not just because of his goals.

    Yes, he has 17 of them (the same amount the entire Aston Villa team have scored collectively this season), but he also has six assists, and they're largely collected from beautiful inswinging corners.

    Even if he's not credited with it, he's probably caused the chaos in the box that allowed Jonny Evans to score a tap-in, while his sumptuous strikes from free kicks have rescued three-point hauls.

4. Alessandro Del Piero

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    Still got it.

    Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero's right foot is pure magic. He's delivered over the course of his career and he's still doing it now.

    The free kick (above) he swung in to announce himself to the Sydney FC faithful was world-class.