GMS Academy member Jack Cunningham picks out the top five free-kicks of the modern era. Do you agree?
It is a spectacle of the game, one of the most anticipated and applauded events of football, a spectacular free-kick. Whether the taker opts to shoot with accuracy, power, or a technique combining both, a free kick can leave the world in awe.
This list is judged on technique, distance and also importance.
This is a subjective compilation of my personal top five free kicks. Feel free to add your opinions and comment who you would choose as your favourite free kick taker.
5) Oleksandr Aliev vs Turkey, 2006
Aliev is widely considered one of the top European free kick takers and his current manager claims he is the undisputed best. The Ukranian, who plays his football at Dynamo Kiev scored this belter in an U-21 Championship and really showed his free kick ability.
4) David Beckham vs. Greece, 2001
With the last kick of the game, this free-kick was the most dramatic and David Beckham became England's saviour.
After putting in a game-winning individual performance, Becks sent England into ecstasy with his last-ditch, beautifully bent free-kick which earned a 2-2 draw with Greece and ensured England an automatic spot in the 2002 World Cup.
3) Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Portsmouth, 2008
The stance, the run-up and the finish are all typical Ronaldo; arrogant and brilliant. The and celebration suggests he even surprised himself with the fantastic free kick which highlights both his incredible technique and power.
To think, Rooney was trying to take this free kick...
2) Juninho vs Ajaccio
Often regarded as the greatest free kick taker ever, Juninho knuckled the ball into the net countless times and could score free kicks from almost any position.
The Brazilian did just that as he scored against Ajaccio, for Lyon, from over an astonishing 40-yards.
1) Roberto Carlos vs. France, 1997
Widely considered the greatest free kick of all-time, the 'impossible goal' wowed Confederation Cup fans in 1997.
Roberto Carlos, with his trademark long run-up, thumps the ball with the outside of his boot and uses outside curl to swerve the ball, from outside the frame of the goal to just inside the post. This free kick makes number one on the list.
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