Pirlo's Latest Beauty and the 10 Best Golazos from World Football This Weekend
Much like the fine wine that he enjoys imbibing, Andrea Pirlo seems to get better with age.
During a friendly game in Singapore this weekend, the Juventus playmaker added yet another free-kick golazo to his ever-expanding repertoire of dead-ball brilliance.
That strike leads our list of the top 10 goals from the weekend, featuring action from the opening weekend of the Premier League and friendlies across the globe.
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus) vs. Singapore XI
Juventus' pre-season tour of far-flung locations brought them to Singapore on Saturday, where they played a Singapore XI in the brand-new National Stadium.
When the hosts conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box, the referee might have saved time by simply granting a goal to Pirlo, such is his deadliness with a dead ball in this area.
The bearded magician tried something slightly different, rolling a daisy-cutter into the bottom-left corner when the wall jumped in expectation of one of his trademark, curling strikes.
Pirlo earned the honour of scoring the first goal in the Singapore National Stadium.
Lee Cattermole (Sunderland) vs. West Brom
Lee Cattermole's career may be pockmarked by aggressive incidents, but the Sunderland midfielder caught our attention for the right reasons on Saturday by scoring an early Goal of the Month contender at the Hawthorns.
In the fifth minute, the ball landed at the 26-year-old's feet around 35 yards from goal, and he proceeded to launch a rocket into the top-right corner.
The match finished 2-2, and incredibly, Cattermole managed not to receive a red card.
Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven) vs. NAC Breda
Not only does Memphis Depay have a brilliant name, but he has brilliant free-kick technique.
The Dutch World Cup star scored from a dead ball for PSV against NAC Breda on Saturday, blasting it with such power through the wall that NAC goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar could only stand and watch as it flew past him.
PSV won the game 6-1 to go top of the Eredivisie after two games.
Jurgen Locadia (PSV Eindhoven) vs. NAC Breda
Depay wasn't the only man in a PSV shirt to hit a golazo on Saturday.
Jurgen Locadia made it 4-1 in their encounter with NAC with an unstoppable long-range strike, made even more special by the buildup play that preceded it. In particular, Locadia's strike partner Luuk de Jong deserves credit for his unselfish backheel assist.
Aiden McGeady (Everton) vs. Leicester City
Aiden McGeady struggled to make it into Roberto Martinez's Everton squad last season, but his performance against Leicester City on Saturday might pave the way for a bigger role in 2014-15.
The Republic of Ireland winger opened the scoring in the 20th minute at the King Power Stadium with an incredible shot that combined power and accuracy to beat the Foxes goalkeeper—and six defenders—in the goalmouth.
To gain a further appreciation of how good this goal was, here's an alternate angle.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) vs. Swansea City
Louis van Gaal's competitive home debut for Manchester United didn't quite go to plan, as Swansea City emerged 2-1 winners at Old Trafford.
Granted, he was only about a yard away from goal, but it showed excellent improvisation skills. There are certainly less pretty ways the England striker could have opened his 2014-15 account.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) vs. Fiorentina
Real Madrid showed us that they were the kings of rapid counter-attacking last season, and they're certainly showing no signs of slowing down.
During a friendly with Fiorentina in Warsaw on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the ball on the edge of his own area. Just nine seconds later, he scored at the other end, thanks to an absolutely sublime assist from Angel Di Maria.
The pace at which Ronaldo and Di Maria push forward is quite stunning.
Keisuke Honda (Milan) vs. Valencia
Valenica defeated Milan 2-1 at the Mestalla in the Trofeo Naranja on Sunday evening, and their opening goal was a rather fancy long-range lob from Paco Alcacer.
The best goal of the evening, however, was surely the equaliser, which came from the left boot of Keisuke Honda. From around 40 yards, the Japanese midfielder struck a powerful dead ball that deflected in from Diego Alves' left post.
Around four minutes later, Honda unravelled all of his good work by taking one of the most appalling corners you are likely to see.
Caner Erkin (Fenerbahce) vs. Olympiakos
By this point, you will have noted that there was no shortage of classy free-kicks over the weekend, but here's another for your consideration from Fenerbahce's friendly meeting with Olympiakos on Saturday.
From around 35 yards out, Fener winger Caner Erkin hooked in a tremendously powerful left-footed free-kick that tucked just inside the goalkeeper's left post.
This was the game's opener, and the Turkish side went on to win, 2-1.
Christian Ramirez (Minnesota United) vs. Indy Eleven
In the time-honoured tradition of concluding this list with a Bobby Dazzler you might not have seen, here's some action from the NASL, the second tier of football in the USA.
Christian Ramirez scored twice in Minnesota United's 5-1 win over Indy Eleven, the first of which was a brilliant overhead bicycle kick from near the edge of the area.
Props to our friends at 101 Great Goals for sifting this one out.
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