With the FIFA World Cup 2014 almost half way through, the next biggest and most awaited event is the Barclays Premier League 2014-2015. This is indeed the most watched football league ever, with approximately 643 million homes in 212 countries that receive live broadcasts, giving it a total potential worldwide audience of around 5 billion. Over the course of this amazing League’s history, it has had over 1430 foreign players from 97 countries around the world matching its global audience in the stands. Keeping in mind the facts and statistics, we should also be aware of the players and their contribution to making it so successful and the best in the world. Here we have the top ten free kicks in Premier League History.
10. Thierry Henry – (Arsenal) vs Newcastle
The great Henry is known for his extravagant goals throughout his career as a world class footballer. On November 18th in the year 2006, at the Emirates stadium in London, during the FA Premiership he scored yet another beauty that was a free kick against Newcastle. Although the Gunners did not win, it was an equalizer after the goal scored by Kieron Dyer. During the 70th minute, Henry took the free kick and which hit the cross bar from the left, managed to cross the line and went in right through to the back of the net. You would see that the goalkeeper would never have been able to save that, making it one of the best free kicks in Premier League history.
9. Matt Le Tissier – (Southampton) vs Wimbledon
In the year 1994, an extremely talented English footballer, who scored many amazing goals, managed to net one of his most fanciest yet. A complete legend, Matt Le Tissier was a unique player who made football look so easy just with the help of his skillful tactics. This amazing goal was a 20 yard free kick that left every spectator in awe. Jim Magilton had laid the ball back to the Tissier who lifted the ball casually and shot it straight towards the left of the net. This was one of those goals that could not be stopped but the legend made it look as though he was practicing. This goal is remembered well and has given him the name “Le God” at the St Mary’s Stadium.
8. John Arne Riise – (Liverpool) vs Manchester United
It is during these times, when there are clashes between rivals in the middle of a heated derby match that these goals matter. This goal takes us back to the year2001 when Liverpool won the UEFA Cup. John Arne Riise, the talented managed to net a stunning free kick goal against the Red Devils. The Reds were in the lead during the first half of the game but managed to win a free kick on the right, just at the last six minutes. Hamann played the ball towards the left, which gave Riise a chance to kick it all the way to Barthez’s top right corner doubling the goals and changing the score to 2-0. This was a spectacular yet important goal which you can see in above video, as it aided in a Liverpool win 3-1.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo – (Manchester United) vs Portsmouth
And how could we ever miss out on the Portuguese superstar? He is most definitely a natural when it comes to free kicks and has been during his United days and still is even now with Real Madrid. In the year 2008 when Manchester United walked away with the Champions League Title, the Red Devils were playing against Portsmouth, at Old Trafford, who won the FA Cup that same year. It was on 30th January that the famous CR7 scored the brilliant 30 yard free kick that has managed to put him on this list. He opened the score 9 minutes into the game and took a free kick just 3 minutes after. The ball went straight through and landed on the left hand corner of David James, who was left standing still. This goal is definitely one of the best free kicks in Premier League history.
6. Patrik Berger – (Liverpool) vs Manchester United
Along with the superstar Riise, there was another Liverpool player who scored a stunner against United. In March, 2000, Manchester United goalie Raimond Van Der Gouw witnessed the Apocalypse which was created by Berger’s free kick. It was during the 27th minute where an unstoppable shot was taken by the famous midfielder with his left foot, 30 yards away from the post, from the right hand side of the box. The ball was sent crushing right through into the bottom left corner of Manchester United’s post. This was indeed a classic free kick which Berger is still remembered for, till today.
5. Maynor Figueroa – (Wigan) vs Stoke
Isn’t it annoying when you’re all set to watch a match and excited about it but nothing exciting happens? But don’t you love it when out of the blue the game turns over? In 2009, Wigan drew against Stoke 2-2 in an away game, but thanks to an amazing goal by Figueroa, this game will always be remembered. Till today it is considered as the goal of the season 2009-2010. The skillful defender scored an absolutely beauty from a halfway across the field, free kick that put them ahead. The goalkeeper of Stoke has saved a penalty during the same game but was not able to keep this one from going in.
4. Christian Ziege – (Tottenham) vs Arsenal
And what could be a better way to start the famous Derby of North London? In the year 2002, at Whitehart Lane, the German International scored an amazing goal from 30 yards away, during the 11th minute in the game. David Seamen definitely did not see this one coming. It was a stunning curve ball that was sent right into the top corner of the net. Although they did not win the game and were left with a 1-1 draw, thanks to a penalty kick by Pires, this stunning goal by Ziege was one to be remembered free kicks in Premier League history.
3. Michael Tarnat – (Manchester City) vs Blackburn
And here we have yet another German international to make it to this list of best free kicks. In 2003, August, during the match against City and Blackburn, Tarnat managed to score an extremely stylish goal, the first of his many others. He was at approximately 40 yards when he decided to give himself ample amount of time to run up and launch a booming rocket going all the way into the net of the stunned Rover’s. This incredible shot went straight into the bottom right corner and was a very important goal for Manchester City, as they scraped through with a 3-2 win.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – (Manchester United) vs Blackburn
And it’s the great CR7 yet again. It is common for a team, when given a free kick from the left, the player thinks of crossing the ball, but Ronaldo isn’t the same. A year after winning the Champions League, Manchester United was up against Blackburn at their home ground. It was Rooney who had opened the score with a stunner during the 23rd minute. The score was then leveled by striker Roque Santa Cruz. However during the second half of this game, United were given a free kick at the left hand side, just outside the box. Ronaldo took the shot with his right foot and sent the ball swerving into the net past Paul Robinson, right to the top left hand side corner. This goal gave United yet another victory.
1. David Beckham – (Manchester United) vs Everton
And how could the number 1 free kick goal not belong to the king himself? Yes, the best free kick ever scored in the history of the Premier League belongs to none other than David Beckham. This was an away game against Everton, where they were already ahead thanks to a goal by Kevin Campbell. But not too long after, United were given a free kick just minutes before the half time whistle. Everton goalie stood on the right hand side of the post and placed his wall on the opposite side. But the captain was smarter than that just few seconds before he could shoot he lured Wright to the opposite side but shot into the left top corner of the net. This shot by Beckham was not just a stunner but it was pure brilliance and genius and one which has proved Beckham to be one of the greatest footballers in the world.