Lionel Messi’s stunning free-kick for Argentina against Colombia on Tuesday night ranks as one of the best of his career.
From 25 yards out, and under pressure to get Argentina’s 2018 World Cup qualification campaign back on track, Messi rifled a beautiful shot past David Ospina in the Colombia goal.
Football journalist Miguel Delaney summed it up perfectly with his tweet minutes after Messi’s remarkable goal. “Aside from being the best player in the world, Messi probably best close-range finisher, best long-range passer and best free-kick taker.”
Indeed, very few players in world football match up to Messi when it comes to free-kicks.
Some have previously claimed, and only half in jest, that a free-kick is better than a penalty for Messi.
The five different types of free-kick Messi has scored
Messi has now scored 29 career free-kicks - per Messi Stats - but we’ve seen five very different types from the Barcelona superstar during his illustrious career.
Check them out…
Top corner specials
This is Messi’s preferred choice when it comes to the free-kick.
His last nine free-kick goals for club and country were all scored in the top right corner of the net.
Few players - if any - are able to dispatch set pieces with as much power and accuracy.
Bottom corner rockets
Messi doesn’t always need to go high to beat a goalkeeper, as this superb free-kick against Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas proves.
The Daisy Cutter
Brazil had clearly been doing their homework ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Argentina last week.
Messi lined up to take one free-kick and Marcelo crouched down behind the wall to prevent Argentina’s No. 10 from scoring with the low shot.
He’s done it before…
Catching the goalkeeper out
One of Messi’s best free-kicks was this cheeky effort against Atletico Madrid.
Thibaut Courtois wasn’t ready, Messi spotted this and caught out the Belgium international.
However, the shot was so accurate that Courtois probably wouldn’t have got to it anyway.
He’s done it twice before against Atleti, who have learned their lesson in recent seasons.
Opposite corner wonder goals
Messi rarely strikes his free-kicks into the opposite corner, but this incredible strike against the United States earlier this year proves he’s more than capable.
Is Lionel Messi the best free-kick taker in the world? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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