Absolutely superb for Lyon in their glory days of the 2000’s. Giving away a free kick to this guy was almost like handing them a penalty. He scored 44 free-kicks for Lyon during the eight years he had at the club, and bagged nearly 80 during his entire career that also featured a lengthy spell with Vasco da Gama.
There aren't many players who throughout their career find themselves being played as a left-winger, an attacking midfielder, a defensive midfielder, a left back, and then a centre back. And there aren't many players who could hit a dead-ball as well as Siniša Mihajlovic. He might have courted controversy several times during his playing career, but one thing that everyone can agree on is that he had a wand of a left foot. Not only was it put to good use spraying glorious passes around the pitch, when it got the sniff of a chance from a dead-ball situation then it meant trouble for the opposition. With 28 goals scored from free-kicks during his fourteen seasons playing in Italy, he holds the record for the most free-kicks scored in Serie A. Mihajlovic is one of only two players (the other being Giuseppe Signori) to have scored a hat-trick of free-kicks in one match, his goals helping Lazio beat Sampdoria 5:2 on the 13th of December, 1998.
Slightly controversial, in a Roberto Carlos sort of way, as Éder was well known for some spectacular long-range screamers and everyone tended to forget about the amount of efforts that flew miles over the bar or curved wide of goal towards the corner flag. His footballing nickname was, appropriately, O Canhão (the Cannon), a nod to the power that he could produce that from that wicked left foot of his. For us, he's on this list for one simple reason - he was responsible for our favourite free-kick of all-time, one of the greatest goals never scored - the swerving thunderbolt against arch-rivals Argentina at the 1982 World Cup, hitting the bar and bouncing down for Zico to tap in. It deserved a goal after Éder's huge run-up.
If there is one player who split opinion in the 1990s and 2000s about just how good he actually was in comparison to the amount of media attention he received, then it's the English midfielder David Beckham. Yet the one thing about Beckham that cannot be disputed by anyone, was his skill from set pieces and dead-balls. His technique when hitting the ball was as elegant and stylish of any player in the modern-era. Yet the style wasn't just aesthetically pleasing, it constantly delivered assists and goals from free-kicks throughout Beckham's career. His tally when he retired showed just how good he'd been - from his early days scoring two free-kicks whilst on loan at Preston North End, he then scored 29 for Manchester United, 14 for Real Madrid, 12 for LA Galaxy, and one for Milan. That's 58 free kicks scored at club level, accounting for more than half of all the goals he scored. And then there were another seven free-kicks for the English national team, including probably the most famous of the lot, his incredible injury-time strike against Greece at Old Trafford in 2011 that helped England reach the 2002 World Cup finals right at the death.