The Europa League second legs are here again and seeing Tottenham Hotspur travel to Lyon for their second leg got GiveMeFootball thinking of Gareth Bale’s pair of free-kick to hand Spurs the advantage.
Twice Bale hit Cristiano Ronaldo style strikes that were too hot for the French side’s goalkeeper, Remy Vercoutre.
As free-kicks go, they were good, but how did they compare to some of this seasons other spectacular dead ball strikes?
GMF resolved to find out and bring you the five made up feel all warm and tingly inside more than the others.
As you can probably empathise, dear reader, scouring the internet looking for incredible free-kicks is an arduous task.
We took it on with great vigour nonetheless and have come up with a handful of belters for you to peruse at your leisure.
Here they are:
Leighton Baines, EVERTON v Newcastle United
The England full-back has continued to improve his game this season, but his dead ball abilities were always there. However, Baines has mostly been considered a player that could whip in dangerous crosses and curl the ball up and over the wall, so this thunderbolt came out of the blue. Tim Krul certainly didn’t see it coming – watch here.
Marco Reus, BORUSSIA DORTMUND v Augsburg
The Germany has recently been linked with a Manchester City bid, while Arsenal were said to be interested before he moved to the Bundesliga champions in the summer. He has been prolific since the move and you can see the sort of talent the Premier League clubs were after in this terrific hit from an acute angle. Watch it here.
Lionel Messi, ARGENTINA v Uruguay
Barcelona’s main man can do the standard up and over free-kick as well as anybody but he bamboozled the Uruguayan wall during their World Cup qualifier in October. Messi shaped to go top corner but instead went pea-roller and snuck the ball under the jumping wall into the corner. Watch the sneaky strike here.
Juan Quintero, COLOMBIA U-20s v Argentina U-20s
Manchester United are said to be monitoring this talented young midfielder, though will supposedly compete with Serie A’s biggest clubs for him. You can see why with his incredible 35-yard hammerbang against host nation Argentina in the South American Youth Championships. Watch it fly here.
Juan Arango, BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH v Lazio
While all the talk is of Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kicks and Gareth Bale emulating him, Arango shows they aren’t the only two that can hit the ball like that. Arango hit what he thought would be a spectacular winner against Lazio in the Europa League until the Italian equalised deep into injury time. The dip on the 30-yard hit was as vicious as you can get and gave the ‘keeper no chance. Have a look yourself.
Gareth Bale’s best striker against Lyon can be seen above.
We know there will be one not there that you wanted, so give GMF a hand and let us know about it. We also want to hear what you think of the five and which is your favourite. Leave a comment below to let us know.