Finest free-kick takers in Bundesliga’s history: A layman becomes a fan of a sport because of the noises around it. When the crowd goes crazy and the layman gets to see other people cheering up a moment in the sport, he/she also start to consider it as a defining moment and begins to observe things differently.
Not many things in football put the crowd on their feet over the course of 90 minutes. But one of the very few that does has to be direct free-kicks. When the ball leaves the foot of the taker and goes into the opposition’s net, the expression on everyone’s face changes immediately. Here are five horsemen of that art who mastered it during their time in Bundesliga –
#5 Mehmet Scholl:
He gained permanent status as a member of the Bayern Munich squad soon after signing for them. In addition to his technical ability, Mehmet was praised for his ability to play creatively, for his skill in dribbling, and of course his incredible free kicks. His signature shot was low-driven and curled outside the wall. When he took a free-kick, he always had a perfect strategy and figured out a way to settle the ball in the nearest post, even when the goalie’s far pillar appeared to be the most likely place.
#OnThisDay in 2000, Mehmet Scholl scored this lovely free kick for Bayern against Arsenal, and poor old Alex Manninger was left contemplating the futility of existence. Again.pic.twitter.com/SsttyNC8uf
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) December 7, 2020
#4 Rainer Bonhof:
During the peak of the club’s success in the seventies, he was a key member of the Borussia Mönchengladbach squad and won many Bundesliga, German Cup, and UEFA Cup titles. During his football career, he was a defensive midfielder or wing-back, but he was also noted for the power of his shots. The former Liverpool goalkeeper, Ray Clemence, admitted that he feared Rainer’s shots after the 1977 European Cup final, as Rainer’s shot beat him once but hit a pillar. In 1978, Clemence feared re-meeting with Bonhof after he was struck by him twice from close range, at the club level and international level.
#3 Thomas Häßler:
In 1976, Häßler began playing football for BFC Meteor 06 in Berlin. Having progressed through the ranks, he found his way into 1. FC Köln, a more sophisticated Bundesliga side. In his long and distinguished career as a midfielder and playmaker, he was regarded as one of the best German footballers of the 1990s, a player blessed with true football instincts. Häßler was a dynamic, creative, and talented midfielder who was a free-kick specialist who could play with either foot perfectly.
#2 Mario Basler:
In 1884, Mario Basler started his career with 1. FC Kaiserslautern. After graduating from the academy, he went on to represent several Bundesliga clubs including Hertha BSC, SV Werder Bremen, Rot-Weiss Essen and Bayern Munich. Apart from being a dead-ball specialist, he was famous for his creativity.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) February 22, 2018
#1 Juan Arango:
It took Arango a long time to finally represent a big club as at the age of 29, he signed for Borussia Mönchengladbach. A left-footed playmaker, Arango became famous for his ability to both score and create goals apart from his leadership and technical talents. His exceptional accuracy to place his free-kicks right at where he wanted, turned him into a dead ball specialist. In his five years at Borussia Mönchengladbach, he was the centre of attention for his gifted abilities.