Messi free-kick record stunning, but is he the GOAT?
Two free-kick goals for Messi against Celta Vigo, but where does he rank amongst free-kick GOATs?
For a fluffing Barcelona side which ran out 4-1 winner against Celta Vigo, Lionel Messi scored a penalty and two free-kicks – the 51st and 52nd of his career to complete his 52nd career hat-trick.
The first of those 52 came in November 2008 in a league game against Atlético Madrid at Camp Nou, the beginning of a free-kick extravaganza that has led him to a total of 46 for Barça and six for his country.
Given the way, the Messi has been popping set-piece goals from all corners, it’s easy to assume that the Argentine is the greatest set-piece taker of all-time, alas, for his fans, who might not want to see this, he’s still one short off closest rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo has 53 career direct free-kick goals, one more than Messi, but the duo are still six and seven respectively short off the top 10 list.
The Top 10 free-kick GOATS
Down the number 10 spot is the duo of Marcelinho Carioca and ex-Sao Paolo goalkeeper and dead-ball specialist Rogerio Ceni, who both scored 59 career goals from direct free-kick.
Netherland manager Ronaldo Koeman ranks in the eight with 60. The former Barcelona defender also holds the record for an all-time highest scoring defender. Meanwhile another Brazilian, Zico sits on the seventh spot with 62 alongside Argentine great Diego Maradona, who has claimed many a time, he thought Messi the rudiments of set-piece taking.
David Beckham makes the second European on the list with 65 free-kick goals, while the duo of Victor Legrottaglie of Argentina and Ronaldinho managed one more than Beckham with 66.
70 of Pele’s over 1000 career goals came from direct free-kick, making him the second player with the most free-kick goals.
The GOAT: Juninho Pernambucano
Anything direct set-piece – 30 or 40 yards from goal, it only made little difference for Juninho. In a career span of over two decades, he scored a whopping 77 direct free-kicks, with 44 of his 100 goals for Lyon coming from free-kick.
Olatosimi Fadahunsi279 Posts
Olatosimi is a part-time non-professional footballer and a football writer with spotkick. His ideology/mind/eyes endlessly rove multidimensionally.