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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Alessandro Del Piero: A Free Kick Master

Sports News - November 13, 2008

"There are three primary techniques used with direct free kicks. First, the player taking the direct free kick may blast the ball as hard as he can, usually with the laces of the boot. This method is used by Roberto Carlos and Robin Van Persie. Alternatively, some players try to curl the ball around the keeper, with the inside of the boot. Free kick specialists such as Juninho Pernambucano, Ronaldinho and David Beckham employ this method.

Curling the ball is a hard skill to learn but when executed, can be the most effective way of scoring in a match. Additionally, certain free kick specialists will choose to kick the ball with minimal spin, making the ball behave unpredictably in the air. Juninho Pernambucano and Cristiano Ronaldo utilize this method regularly. Free kick takers may also attempt to cross the ball to their centre backs or strikers in order to get a header on goal, especially if the position of the free kick is close to the wings."

Source: Wikipedia.

"They don’t mention ADP (Alex Del Piero) in there, but they bloody well should. Since the season started, our beloved captain has scored five goals on set-pieces, and one more beautiful than the next. Such deadly free-kick scoring efficiency has been the trademark of very few players in football history, a rare breed in the lines of Zico, Sinisa Mihaijlovic and Juninho Pernambucano."

Marco of mCalcio and the Offside Del Piero Player Blog had it right.

Few players score five free kicks in their career with such quality.

Much less five in almost as many weeks.

Take a look at Marco's post. He has some nice images of the kicks in sequential order, along with a highlight video compilation.

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