Showmanship has everything to do with timing, and the true masters have made an art form out of leaving on a high note.
With that, we point your attention to Alexander Frei, the 33-year-old Swiss forward who, until Sunday, played professionally for FC Basel of the Swiss Super League. Frei, who began his professional career with Basel in 1997 (he returned in 2009 after 11 years away), played his final match Sunday after pushing forward his retirement.
Frei had originally intended to retire at the end of the season but changed his mind after accepting the position of sporting director for relegation-threatened FC Lucerne. Knowing that Sunday's match would be his last as a professional, Frei performed some serious showmanship by scoring a wonderful free kick from 25 meters as Basel defeated FC Zurich 3-1.
The goal came with Basel trailing 1-0 in the second half and sparked a rally for the league leaders. Not a bad way to leave the stage, right?
That's not all, either. The free-kick goal was pretty much Frei's final act as a professional. Frei pulled a muscle on the play and left the match five minutes later to a standing ovation. As Reuters reports (via Yahoo! Sports):
"It's typical of my career that I scored that goal, as I've often had the fortune to find a goal at the right moment," Frei told reporters.
"Only a great player can score a free kick at a moment like that," added coach Murat Yakin.
Frei was a great player indeed. In 84 career appearances for Switzerland, Frei scored 42 goals, a record for the team. He scored at two World Cups and two European Championships.
And Frei wasn't just a great player. As Sunday's goal showed, he also had impeccable timing. That's why—even though it was clearly not the best goal scored this weekend—we're making Frei's 25-yard curler our Set Piece Goal of the Weekend.
After all, it doesn't get much better than scoring with virtually your final act as a professional.
Video of the goal appears above. Enjoy.
(h/t 101 Great Goals)