With our beloved Premier League celebrating its 25th birthday this season, we thought it would be the perfect time to look back on which players have scored the most amount of goals directly from free-kicks during the EPL’s illustrious history.
Laurent Robert – 11 goals
Robert was very much your typical flair player. The former France international was capable of producing world class moments of magic that could win a game in an instant, but on the other hand he could just as easily roam around the pitch looking completely uninterested at other times.
When he was on form however, the talented left winger was simply sublime. He had a wand of a left peg and used this to smash home 11 free-kicks for Newcastle between 2001-2006. As the video below will show Robert had a real penchant for the spectacular.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 11 goals
Not a bad player this fella. Ronaldo arrived in England as a skinny spotty teenager in 2003 after Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson paid Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon £12 million to secure his services.
The Red Devils legendary Scottish manager obviously knew a player when he saw one and immediately handed the youngster United’s famous number 7 shirt after the departure of David Beckham.
Ronaldo struggled for consistency during his first few seasons in England, but soon began a transformation that has seen him become one of the greatest footballers of all-time.
Cristiano was also one of the first players in the Premier League to use the now famous ”knuckleball,” free kick to devastating effect.
Ronaldo left United in 2009 to join Spanish giants Real Madrid were he has scored a sensational 308 goals in 289 La Liga games for Los Blancos and is the Champions League all-time leading scorer.
Sebastian Larsson -11 goals
Larsson began his career in England under the tutelage of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The Swedish international would struggle for game time at the Emirates though and left the club in 2006 to join Birmingham City, were his superb technical ability soon began to shine.
Larsson is renowned for his superb crossing and dead ball delivery. He would move on to Sunderland in 2011 were his classy free-kick ability and finishing were vital during the Black Cats seasonal battle against relegation.
The 32-year-old is still plying his trade in the Championship with Hull City, and his ability to strike a lethal dead ball remains undiminished.
Gianfranco Zola – 12 goals
We have already waxed lyrical about the brilliance of diminutive Italian playmaker Gianfranco Zola plenty of times on this site already.
Zola rose to prominence with Serie A side Napoli were he played alongside the legendary Diego Maradonna. He signed for Chelsea in 1996 and his supreme technical ability would soon become the thing of legend.
So good was the former Italy international at taking free-kicks that opposition managers often sent their teams out with instructions not to concede free-kicks around the edge of their own box, as with Zola’s dead ball ability it was akin to giving away a penalty.
Thierry Henry – 12 goals
Thierry Henry is in this authors opinion anyway the greatest attacking player the Premier League has ever seen.
He was the main man in the great Arsenal teams of the early noughties. The former France international’s pace, skill and lethal finishing ability made him almost impossible to play against in his prime.
In all honesty, he wasn’t even really renowned for his ability to strike a dead ball, but he has still managed to score the second most amount of free-kicks ever in Premier League history. This is Thierry Henry though, there was nothing he couldn’t do.
David Beckham – 15 goals
David Beckham is not just the best free-kick taker the Premier League has ever produced, he is one of the most technically gifted strikers of football in the history of the beautiful game.
There is no great secret to Beckham’s perfection of striking a dead ball, he just practiced, practiced and then practiced some more.
The former England captains trademark curling free-kicks were a crucial part of the massive success Manchester United enjoyed during his 11 seasons with the Old Trafford club between 1992-2003.
Becks went on to represent Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and PSG after leaving his boyhood club and will always be remembered as one of football biggest global icons.