Dimitri Payet has boosted his chances of making the France squad for this summer’s European Championships by scoring a quite incredible free-kick against Russia this evening.
The West Ham midfielder, who has been one of the standout players in the Premier League this term, stepped up and found the back of the net with his very first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute in place of Antoine Griezmann.
And what a free-kick it was. From fully 35 yards, Payet’s magnificent effort left Igor Akinfeev beaten all ends up. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).
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Some people believe Payet’s free-kick is even better than the brilliant goal he scored for West Ham against Manchester United in the FA Cup earlier this month.
The goal against United was scored against a better goalkeeper (David de Gea) but the two set-pieces are remarkably similar.
Video: Payet's free-kick v Russia
Better than his free-kick v Man Utd?
Payet is tied to West Ham until 2021
West Ham fans will be even more delighted - not to mention received - that Payet put pen-to-paper on a new contract last month.
The 29-year-old only signed for the Hammers last summer, from French club Marseille, but West Ham handed him a deserved pay rise following his magnificent start to life at Upton Park.
“I don’t see better players than him,” West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was quoted as saying by the Mirror after the Frenchman inspired his club to a 5-1 win over Blackburn in February. “On the ball, he is there with Luka Modric from the players I have trained so far. Dimitri is one of the best I have trained.
“It’s hard to be surprised and I will have to get some poetry lessons to describe his importance to us!
“It’s not only what he does with the ball and it’s not only me who says give Payet the ball - the players say it as well. The team recognise what he does.”
Should Dimitri Payet be playing for one of Europe’s biggest clubs? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.