Free kicks are an important part of football. It is basically used to restart play after a foul or an infringement. Infringements can occur anywhere on the pitch which implies that free kick situations can occur anywhere as well. However, there are certain positions on the pitch where a free kick is likely to lead to a goal.
Whether or not the dead ball situation will lead to a goal from these positions depends on a number of factors that may include the positioning of the wall and the goalkeeper. However, history has shown that the most important factor is the proficiency of the player taking the free kick. Some players were quite devastating at taking free kicks from goal scoring positions. Here the best of such players in Premier League history.
The Top 10 Highest-Scoring Free-Kick Takers
10. Frank Lampard
We all know Lampard as a goalscoring defender. His rank as fifth on EPL’s all-time list of goal scorers says so much about how prolific the Chelsea manager was. Most of his goals came from open play and penalties. Lampard had a very strong right foot which allows him to wrap his foot around the ball powerfully when taking free kicks. Only 9 of his 177 goals came from dead ball situations.
9. Jamie Redknapp
Redknapp’s journey in the Premier League began with Liverpool in the 1991/1992 season. The league was known as the First Division at that time. He went to play till 2005 starring for Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton. He is one of the finest central midfielders to ever play in the league. Redknapp scored 9 free kick goals in the EPL.
8. Ian Harte
Harte starred for Leeds, Sunderland, and Reading in the Premier League. His longest spell was with Leeds for whom he played for from 1996 to 2004. The former Republic of Ireland midfielder scored 9 goals from free kicks and they all came while he was playing for Leeds.
7. Morten Gamst Pedersen
Pedersen ranks among the best Norwegians to have ever played in England’s top-flight. The midfielder joined Blackburn Rovers from Tromsø in 2004 spending 8 seasons with them in the Premier League before moving to Karabukspor. Pedersen was very dangerous at dead ball situations and scored absolute worldies from them. He has 11 free kick goals.
6. Laurent Robert
Probably a not too popular name but Robert was one of the masters of the dead ball in his Premier League days. The Réunion-born left winger moved to England with Newcastle in 2001 having signed for the Magpies from PSG. He spent 5 years in England’ s top-flight which included a loan spell with Portsmouth. Robert also scored 11 free kicks before leaving England.
5. Sebastian Larsson
Larsson’s teams in the Premier League include Arsenal, Birmingham City, and Sunderland. He broke into Wenger’s first team in 2005/2006 but could not nail down regular football because of Arsenal’s star-studded in midfield. He enjoyed his best football with Birmingham and Sunderland. Larsson scored 11 Premier League free kicks including one against the Gunners in 2011/2012.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo might be struggling with dead balls lately but he did put himself among the best before leaving England in 2009. He played for Manchester United only winning a lot of trophies under Sir Alex Ferguson. 11 of his 84 Premier League goals were free kick goals. The most memorable one is the screamer against Portsmouth in 2008 which left David James rooted to the spot.
3. Thierry Henry
Henry is the best foreign striker to ever play in the Premier League. The Frenchman spent 8 years lighting up the Premier League with exquisite finishing and predatory instincts. One weakness in his game though us scoring with the head but he makes up for that with goals from free kicks. Henry narrowly edges past the 11-goal group with 12 free kick goals in the Premier League.
2. Gianfranco Zola
Zola is a Chelsea legend. The diminutive Italian led Chelsea to success from the mid-90s. He played for Chelsea from 1996 to 2003 scoring 59 Premier League goals. Zola also helped Chelsea to two FA Cup trophies. Like Henry, he also scored 12 goals from dead ball situations.
1. David Beckham
Yeah, who else would top the list of free-kick scorers than the legendary David Beckham? The former England midfielder was a very reliable free-kick taker and you can bank on him to produce the goods when they.