Manchester United and its currently amazing free-kick takers: One of the many things that attract a layman’s eyes towards the game of football is the aesthetics this sport possesses. Beyond the tactics, game plan, uncertainties, roughness – there lies a beauty of football that has captivated many over the years. Watching his or her favourite team score goals and win games is the greatest satisfaction for laymen and one of the many ways of putting the ball into the net is converting a free-kick.
This set piece has a charm of its own. The ball leaving the foot of the taker and rippling the back of the opposition’s net is set to behold at times. The players spend hours honing their skills of executing a free-kick. Many footballers get the limelight as great free-kick takers and wait patiently the whole game for their opportunity to arrive. The players of the big clubs are no exception. So, a club like Manchester United also makes the cut. Here are the five best free-kick takers of the Red Devils who have proven their worth time and time again –
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo:
Ronaldo used to be one of the most feared direct free-kick takers of his generation. From 2008 to 2013, he scored 33 free-kick goals in six seasons – astonishing! In his career, he has scored a total of 57 free-kick goals till now. Some of these goals include his marvellous strike against Arsenal in 2009 and his once in a lifetime free-kick goal against Portsmouth which he scored from 30 yards out in 2008. So often his free-kick goal proved to be the decider of the games and the ties and there is no doubt that his lucrative pose, run-up and style made the knuckleball free-kick technique famous all around the world.
Lionel Messi is now level with Cristiano Ronaldo in career free kick goals (57) in all competitions across club & country 👀
(h/t OPTA) pic.twitter.com/4915WTYI4l
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 14, 2021Advertisement
#2 Marcus Rashford:
The Englishman’s style is kind of similar to that of Ronaldo but his effectiveness is not as great as the Portuguese. Rashford has scored 4 direct free-kick goals in his career up to now and it includes one against Chelsea in the Carabo Cup in the 2019/20 season – one of the best goals he has ever scored in his entire career. He often focuses more on power and it makes him sacrifice his accuracy a lot. In the coming years, he will certainly work on this and make himself a better scorer from direct free-kicks.
This free-kick from Marcus Rashford was ridiculous 🎯🤯 pic.twitter.com/8I4IpRrYFlAdvertisement
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 30, 2019
#3 Alex Telles:
The Brazilian left-back’s left-foot has been one of the most talked about assets in world football in the past few years. During his time at FC Porto, his impressive attacking instincts impressed many. His ability to take set-pieces is a direct result of that. He has scored 3 direct free-kick goals in his career and his presence amongst the free-kick takers always give the opposition keeper something to think about.
#4 Bruno Fernandes:
The most underrated aspect of Bruno’s ability has to be his quality of set-piece. Since his move to Manchester United, he has scored two goals from free-kicks. His free-kick goal against Liverpool in the 3-2 win in FA Cup in January this year received a lot of praise. At the moment, United’s roster is stacked with great free-kick takers, but if called upon, Bruno has the quality to step up once again.
Bruno Fernandes delivers for Man Utd yet again 🔥
Only on the pitch about 10 minutes and he buries the free-kick from the edge of the area!#EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/wBmk61BkzdAdvertisement
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 24, 2021
#5 Juan Mata:
In his entire career, Mata has scored 11 free-kick goals. He reached the pinnacle of this career in the early and mid-2010s and was once of the most feared free-kick takers in the world. His overall ability to deliver pinpoint set-pieces and read the game facilitates his high footballing IQ extremely well. He has fallen out of favour at United right now but he still has the competitive drive to step up if time requires.