The Champions League's best ever free-kick? Hugo Almeida for Porto vs Inter Milan

What. A. Strike.

Hugo Almeida was a pretty decent striker in his prime.

The 37-year-old is best remembered for his stints at Werder Bremen and Besiktas, where he scored goals aplenty.

Almeida also played 57 games for Portugal’s national team and in that time, the giant striker rippled the back of the net on 19 occasions.

That’s certainly not a bad record at all.

Perhaps the only regret Almeida will have from his footballing career is that he was never really able to make it at boyhood club FC Porto.

Almeida was promoted to the the Dragoes’ first-team in 2003, but then spent much of his time out on loan before joining Bremen on a permanent basis in 2007.

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He managed just five goals in 46 appearances for Porto. However, one of them remains arguably the greatest free-kick in Champions League history.

During a group stage match against Inter Milan in 2005, Almeida produced the cleanest strike from a set-piece imaginable to put his team 1-0 up at San Siro.

The Portuguese’s effort from all of 40 yards out was like a tracer bullet and as the match in Milan was played behind-closed-doors, you could perfectly hear the sound of the ball nearly bursting through the net.

Marvel at the goal in all of its glory here…

Video: Hugo Almeida’s outrageous free-kick vs Inter

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Could that be both the best and most aesthetically-pleasing free-kick goal since the Champions League was rebranded in 1992/93? We reckon so.

To generate that much power is one thing, but to find the top corner with such unerring accuracy is quite simply astonishing.

Porto eventually went on to lose the game at San Siro 2-1, with Julio Ricardo Cruz netting a match-winning brace for Inter.

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The Portuguese side actually finished bottom of their Champions League group in 2005/06, even behind Slovakian outfit FC Petrzalka.

Inter and Rangers were the teams who qualified for the knockout stage, with the former progressing the furthest by reaching the quarter-finals – where they were eliminated by Villarreal.

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