Set Play Masters: 50 Great Free Kick Goals
Set plays can make or break a team's chances at a win and can sometimes be the difference between three points, one point, or no points.
There is not a lot in football that brings as much anticipation and excitement than when the referee blows his whistle for a set play just outside the box.
Most coaches harp the consistency out of set plays. Deploying the right playmakers to initiate these set plays can make the bosses look like geniuses and the free kick takers like heroes.
Without further ado—in no particular order—here are 50 great free-kicks for goals.
No rankings, just 50 set pieces. Fifty goals. Enjoy.
Netting From Deep
Unfair for the keeper, really. Who does this guy think he is, taking a shot on goal from that far?
Honda's free kick makes the keeper look silly, but the Japanese commentary may be equally entertaining.
Remember when Becks was on United? He can still twist and bend his free kicks for the Galaxy, even at the ripe age of 35.
The Italian Way
Andrea Pirlo gives the keeper no chance on a nasty curler.
No Sound, No Problem
Who needs audio when you have Roberto Carlos?
Ronaldo Needs No Introduction
An unfair display from the Portuguese international. The commentator makes it all the more exciting.
It's like he meant to do that.
His reaction says it all. His classic wide stance instills nightmares.
How About Some More?
"It's absolutely wonderful."
One From the Stands
Is there a more uplifting display? There are six players on the wall. Brilliance.
Under "perfection" in the dictionary, there is this clip.
Some More Ronaldinho
It's not even fair.
Back To Ronaldo
Great execution. A better shot.
From Long Range
Call it a howitzer.
A Treat from the MLS
Dwayne De Rosario scorches one into the top corner.
Villa's keeper Brad Friedel got a hand on it, but not enough to parry the long-range bending strike.
Tricky business from Fábio Aurélio. It is not everyday you see Petr Čech get fooled like that.
The keeper gets a touch, but the sheer power from Zlatan Ibrahimović overwhelms the net-minder.
Free Kick on a Leash
Another gem from the MLS, Fredy Montero whips in a long-range bomb.
A clever set play from the old Real Madrid stars leaves Beckham with the notch on the score sheet.
Beckham Does It Again
He did it for Manchester United. He did it for Real Madrid. He's doing it for LA Galaxy.
Tugging the Rope
Syunsuke Nakamura pulls the rope on this unreachable free kick.
He just one-upped himself.
Ronaldo Does It Deflection Style
The Portuguese superstar loves him some deflection goals.
It is no wonder Real Madrid dished out £80 million for this magic man.
Quick and Easy
The keeper only managed to get fingertips on Aaron Ramsey's set piece.
What would a free kick compilation be without some Lionel Messi?
Blink and Miss
Blink and you missed it. At least what's what happened to Atletico Madrid's keeper.
A Young Flying Dutchman
Wesley Sneijder does not disappoint.
Some Xavi Action
Simply creating a diversion can be the difference between a goal and a save.
Nacho Scocco dings one in off the crossbar.
Mind the Wall
Edinho sneaks one just over the wall.
Just chillin'. No big deal.
A Dual Effort
Didier Drogba gets some help, but he still puts it past the keeper.
Quaresma plays pinball with the woodwork.
Juninho puts it where the keeper can't reach it.
Hugo Almeida unleashes a thunderbolt on goal.
This Kid Is Alright
Youngins can do it too, never mind the vertically challenged keeper.
We Love Home Videos
How about this little one tugging the string a little?
Tevez bends one in, just out of the reach of the keeper.
Up and Over
Michael Ballack puts it over the wall, and pulls it back down over the keeper.
Back To Ronaldinho
How does he do it?
There are no words for this one.
Franck Ribéry finds the corner.
The Frenchman does it again.
Keisuke Honda fires a cannon, and the keeper hardly expects it.
With Ronaldo expected to take this set piece, Owen Hargreaves surprises all with his own sneaky shot.
Top Drawer From Anderson
Great placement, great set piece.
Maybe the keeper was slow to get there, but still a great strike from distance.
The Rising Shot
An uplifting shot into the top of the goal.
Just For Kicks
Here is some more Ronaldo. Some are repeats, and apologies for the Euro techno.