David Beckham vs Andrea Pirlo: Football fans vote on the better free-kick taker

  • Kobe Tong

David Beckham is one of the greatest free-kick takers in history.

Even if you were too young to watch it live, everybody has seen the footage of Beckham whipping home THAT set-piece against Greece to send England to the 2002 World Cup.

Not only is that blinder at Old Trafford nothing short of iconic, but it’s the magnum opus from a stunning highlights reel of goals that Beckham has smashed home from a dead ball.

As a result, we like to think that most football fans would want to call upon the England legend if they needed a player to score a 90th minute free-kick for them in the Champions League final.

Well, that’s a theory that we decided to test here at GIVEMESPORT, asking whether our readers would select Beckham or none other than Andrea Pirlo when the chips were down.

The greatest ever free-kick takers 

Aside from being one of the classiest footballers of the modern era, Pirlo also had an uncanny ability to score a hatful of free-kicks without ever seeming to put much welly behind them.

You only need to look at his free-kick goal against Croatia at Euro 2012 to see how he simply floats it over the wall with such remarkable accuracy that the lack of power is basically irrelevant.

But you have to be far better than brilliant to compete with Beckham in the free-kick department and it definitely seems as though fans prefer a bit of ‘Golden Balls’ when the final whistle is lurking.

Beckham defeats Pirlo in poll

That’s because a majority of 62% picked Beckham over Pirlo when we asked: “A free kick in the dying minutes of the Champions League final; who you got taking it?”

An impressive 101,300 of you got involved, so it’s no slight on Pirlo that he still had 38,494 backing his cause, but it wasn’t enough to dislodge Beckham and his magical right boot.

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GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says

I’ve got to agree with the people on this one.

According to Transfermarkt, Pirlo scored 35 free-kick goals in his career, whereas statistics from Sport clock Beckham at a far superior tally of 65, which is the fifth highest in history.

And when only players like Ronaldinho, Pele and Juninho Pernambucano can convert more often, you know you’re doing something well from a set-piece. 

For whatever reason, Beckham produced statistics that suggest he was simply more prolific with the very same method of shooting and with fewer career appearances at that. 

There was just an unerring inevitably when it came to Beckham free-kicks and a greater versatility that you didn’t necessarily get from Pirlo, who benefited from his fair share of deflections.

But then again, maybe I’m just biased as an England supporter, dreaming of Beckham taking this hypothetical free-kick just as he did against Greece. One can dream, hey?

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