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Ranking the Premier League’s greatest free-kick takers ever

01 Apr | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Ranking the Premier League’s greatest free-kick takers ever

We rank deadliest men from dead-ball situations who have ever played in the Premier League. Visit Betway's Instagram page to vote for who you think is the best.

16. Alan Shearer

Shearer’s most famous free-kicks were probably the indirect ones he scored from inside the penalty area after back passes.

He also scored his fair share from outside of the box, though, and pulled off his signature style – twatting the ball as hard as possible – with remarkable consistency.

15. Dimitri Payet

Payet only scored three Premier League free-kicks, but netted six in all competitions and would undoubtedly be higher on this list had he spent longer than 18 months at West Ham.

The Frenchman scored so many in such a short space of time that there was a sense of anticipation every time he put the ball down for a free-kick, and his strike against Crystal Palace in April 2016 ranks as one of the league’s best ever.

14. Matt Le Tissier

A great goalscorer and a scorer of great goals, Le Tissier’s ball-striking made him a huge threat from outside the penalty area.

The Guernsey-born playmaker scored seven Premier League free-kicks, and that doesn’t include his iconic flick and volley from 1994.

13. Gylfi Sigurdsson

A true dead-ball specialist, Sigurdsson has surprisingly never scored a free-kick for Everton, but his record for Swansea earns him a spot on this list.

The Icelandic midfielder scored seven across two spells with the Swans in the Premier League, including netting two per season between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

12. Steven Gerrard

Though there was much more to Gerrard than his set-pieces, he often relied upon them for his superhero act.

He could power them or place them, and scored them to decide Merseyside and Manchester derbies as well as several other big games.

11. Jamie Redknapp

Before he was a Foot in Mouth Award winner, Jamie Redknapp was a very good footballer and an underrated free-kick taker.

The former Liverpool and Spurs midfielder scored nine in the Premier League in an injury-hit career, including a couple of thunderbolts from more than 30 yards out

10. Christian Eriksen

Eriksen lost his magic from set-pieces towards the end of his Tottenham career, but there is a reason that he developed such a good reputation.

No Premier League player scored more direct free-kicks between 2012 and 2017 (6), and after netting one against Swansea in October 2015, all of his last four league goals had come from free-kicks.

9. Nolberto Solano

A self-proclaimed adopted Geordie, ‘Nobby’ made himself a favourite at both Newcastle and Aston Villa with nine goals from direct free-kicks in the Premier League.

Along with Newcastle team-mate Laurent Robert – more on him shortly – he formed a devastating one-two punch from dead-ball situations.

8. Morten Gamst Pedersen

Pedersen had one of the sweetest left pegs the Premier League has ever seen, and used it to rack up 11 goals from free-kicks.

His long-range strikes were often the best thing about the otherwise workmanlike Blackburn sides of the mid-2000s.

7. Ian Harte

Harte is the best free-kick taker of all the defenders to have played in the Premier League, and it isn’t particularly close.

The former Leeds left-back scored nine in the English top flight, and on top of that once scored five in a single Championship season for Reading.

6. Laurent Robert

Robert possessed one of the most deadly left foots in Premier League history.

He was capable of scoring conventionally, but generating the power and swerve to score free-kicks from bizarre areas of the pitch is what he will be best remembered for.

Imagine how many he might have scored had he not shared duties with Solano.

5. Sebastian Larsson

Only Beckham, Zola and Henry scored more direct free-kicks in the Premier League than Larsson.

His technique wasn’t revolutionary, but his accuracy was almost unrivalled. Like Beckham, he was able to hit the ball with pace and swazz, and could get it over the wall and down again from short or long distance.

4. Thierry Henry

Henry’s prowess as a goalscorer made it easy to forget just how good he was at free-kicks.

The Arsenal legend scored 12 in the Premier League in his career – more than all but Beckham and Zola – with his trademark being the cheeky one into the far corner while the goalkeeper was still organising his wall.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has become progressively worse at free-kicks throughout his career, but there’s no doubt he was fantastic from them during his time at Manchester United.

He scored nine in four Premier League seasons, and pioneered the knuckleball shot that became the technique du jour of the late 2000s.

2. Gianfranco Zola

Zola’s run-up was understated, but the magic came from his right boot.

He caressed the ball into the top corner with such ease so regularly that is no surprise to learn that he hasn’t lost the skill in retirement.

Nathaniel Chalobah recently revealed that when Zola was managing him at Watford, the Italian was still better at free-kicks than all of the players.

1. David Beckham

So good he had a romantic comedy named after him, Beckham is surely the Premier League’s free-kick GOAT.

The former England captain really was as brilliant at them as you remember.

He scored 15 in the league – three more than any other player – and the compilation of all the free-kick he ever score is the best thing you’ll watch all day.

Who do you think is the greatest Premier League free-kick taker ever? Head over to Betway’s Instagram page to cast your vote.