Perhaps the most beautiful spectacle of the beautiful game is a perfect free kick.
From Roberto Carlos’ stunner against France to Cristiano Ronaldo’s match-saving heroics at this year’s world cup, free kicks have always been a part of football folklore. Every football lover at some point in time has imitated his favourite player’s style of taking free kicks.
But how do we take the perfect free kick?
In order to take the perfect free kick, we must first understand the different types of free kicks. Also remember that before you decide on the type of free kick, you must first know where you want to kick the ball.
You must analyse the ‘wall’ very carefully. A wall is a group of 3-4 players standing in between the goal and the player who is about to take a free kick.
Deciding on a particular type before analysing the circumstances is a classic rookie mistake.
The four types of free kicks are as follows:
Curved Free Kick
A curved free kick allows the player to sway the ball one way or the other. This free kick is the most popular one because of its success rate.
A well hit curved free kick is a nightmare for goalkeepers even when they are positioned perfectly. One of the biggest advantages of this free kick is that it can be used from most distances and angles around the goal.
Dipping Free Kick
This free kick seems to defy physics when hit properly. It is quite dependable if you aren’t far away from the goal. A snapping action is created by kicking on the upward portion of the ball, which allows the ball to get over walls easily.
The unexpected nature of this free kick proves to be too fast for the goalkeeper. This free kick shouldn’t be tried when you are too close to the goal, as it becomes too difficult to clear the wall.
Power Free Kick
As the name suggests, this free kick requires brute force and power. You need to hit the ball with all your strength, just to make sure that there is no ball movement.
It is one of the toughest free kicks to stop. A goalkeeper needs to have fast reflexes and physical strength in order to stop this free kick from hitting the net. Power free kicks are the best option when you are far away from the goal.
Knuckleball Free Kick
This is one of the toughest free kicks to master since you have to hit the sweet spot of the ball. The sweet spot is the region just above the middle of the ball. This free kick is difficult to stop because of its unpredictability.
The ball can spin anywhere and if you can get it to the knuckle, then only a miraculous save can prevent the ball from hitting the net.
The best time to use this free kick is when you have enough distance to get it over the wall, but not so much that the ball starts to straighten out.
Now you know the different types of free kicks. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and make sure that you hit the net.