Neymar 4th, Messi 2nd… the 5 best free kick kicks in the world today

The ball flying into the back of the net directly from a free kick has to be among the most satisfying images in football. It’s a very difficult technique to perfect, but many iconic players have mastered it.

Players like Juninho Pernambucano, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Diego Maradona and Zico, to name a few, are all great free kick takers. Even today, there are many players who are reliable when it comes to finding the back of the net from free kicks.

These players can make the difference in tight matches where one team is struggling to take down the opponent. Without further ado, let’s take a look at five of the best free kick takers in the world today.

#5 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Kevin De Bruyne is one of the most technically gifted footballers of the modern era. He is widely regarded as the best attacking midfielder in the world today. De Bruyne has been Manchester City’s strongman for a long time and was Pep Guardiola’s most trusted player during his time in England.

The Belgian international has good passing and shooting range. Apart from being a good playmaker, he can also find the net on a regular basis. Over the years, De Bruyne has proven to be very effective from free-kicks.

#4 Neymar Jr. (Paris Saint-Germain)

Paris Saint-Germain v Urawa Red Diamonds - Preseason Friendly

Neymar Jr. is one of the most exciting strikers of all time. The Brazilian icon is a nightmare to defend as he is one of the best dribblers in the game and he is as elusive as can be.

Like many legendary Brazilians, the 31-year-old seems to enjoy playing football more than most. Neymar’s game is not just about the panoply of tricks he always displays.

He is one of the most technically gifted footballers around and his passing, game vision and shooting are all exemplary. Neymar is a huge threat from set pieces and he is one of the best in the business when it comes to scoring goals.

#3 Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United)

Newcastle United vs Leeds United - Premier League

Kieran Trippier is one of the most complete full-backs in the world. His crosses are top notch and his defensive work is also commendable. But Trippier is really in the set piece.

He is one of the best free kick takers in the world. His last four goals at the club have come from free kicks. The Englishman is brilliant from set pieces and the dynamic right-back is one of Newcastle United’s most important players at the moment.

#2 Lionel Messi (Paris Saint Germain)

Netherlands v Argentina: Quarter Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Lionel Messi didn’t start out as a good free-kick player. When he started, he didn’t care. But over the years Messi has added free-kicks to his arsenal and like everything he does, the legendary Argentine has proven to excel at it.

Messi has managed to drop the ball into the top of the basket from free-kicks. He always prioritizes accuracy over power and excels at rolling the ball away from the keeper. But that doesn’t mean Messi’s free-kicks end up in the back of the net at an awkward rate.

They often hit hard and fast enough to give the best players in the business a hard time.

#1 James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Aston Villa vs Southampton FC - Premier League

James Ward-Prowse is the modern champion when it comes to free-kicks. His set piece expertise goes a long way to give Southampton that extra edge. Ward-Prowse is a Southampton academy graduate who broke into the senior team in October 2011.

He is an effective midfielder who has been consistent with the Saints throughout his career. Ward-Prowse is as reliable a free-kick taker as we’ve seen in recent times and watching him prepare the ball for a set piece must be a terrifying sight for any goalkeeper.

Ward-Prowse has scored three direct free kicks this season, the same as last season.

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