Top players are often judged by their ability to produce magic on big occasions. Players like Messi and Ronaldo have the quality to decide a game on their own and their exceptional attributes allow them to stand out from the rest of the lot.
Set-piece play is an important part of the game and to convert a goal that manages to freeze the opposition from the situation is a beautiful sight. It’s something teams practice regularly in training sessions because they realise the value of these positions. There are, of course, some who tend to have a knack for scoring from freekicks and do it on a consistent basis for their teams to earn the tag of a specialist in the field.
When the situation and opportunity arises, you would want one of these 10 top quality players lining up to take the freekick.
10. Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Despite being out with an injury setback for most parts of last season, Marco Reus is still regarded as one of the best free kick takers in the world. The 26-year-old is gifted with good shot technique and is also a prolific goal scorer even though he plays on either flanks for Borussia Dortmund.
The German International is honoured by EA with an overall rating of 86 while his shot power is rated at 84, accuracy level at 87 and curve rating at 90. He is one of the best players to pick on FIFA 16 and has been since the FIFA 13 edition of the game.
#9 Alban Meha – Konyaspor (Turkey)
Alban Meha is known for his ability of scoring long-range goals and is dubbed to be the next Juninho – who was a free kicks specialists for Lyon. He is also nicknamed Sniper due to his reputation as a marksman with deadly accuracy from set pieces.
His overall rating is a relatively low 71, but his attributes for free-kicks are as follows, Power – 84, Accuracy – 87, Curve – 90.
Definitely a player to watch out for if he’s standing over a freekick.
#8 Mehmet Ekici – Trabzonspor (Turkey)
Mehmet Ekici raised some eyebrows last season with his free kicks for Trabzonspor when they were involved in European football. EA rates him at eight in the list with an overall rating of 78.
His free kick attributes are Power – 83, Accuracy – 89, and Curve – 88.
#7 Rasmus Elm – Kalmar FF (Sweden)
The 27-year-old Swedish midfielder is considered the free kick specialist at his club – Kalmar FF. The tall six foot midfielder is highly talented and has captained the national U19 team before making his debut for the U21 squad in 2007.
EA has honoured him with 79 as his overall rating, 86 for shot power, 86 for shot accuracy and curve rating of 88, makinf the big man an incredibly dangerous player to have in dead ball situations.
#6 Memphis Depay – Manchester United (England)
Manchester United signed Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven for £25m this summer. He was brought to Old Trafford and is expected to become the Red Devils’ next “Ronaldo”. He’s highly rated in the Dutch league and definitely capable of emulating the great Portuguese forward.
Depay is rated as the sixth best free-kick taker on the latest installment of FIFA, which will be released later this month.
However, he is yet to score a set piece at his new club despite being the most prolific set piece taker from around the box last season with PSV. His overall rating comes up to 81 in FIFA 16 whereas his other free kick attributes are Power – 88, Accuracy – 90, and Curve – 85.
#5 Lionel Messi – FC Barcelona (Spain)
He’s been called an extraordinary human from another galaxy as he is regarded among the best players to have ever played the game. And his ability to produce magic week in and week out is mesmerising to spectators all over the world. The Barcelona magician is a goal scoring machine, gifted with incredible technique and highly talented.
Lionel Messi has won everything that needs to be won as a professional footballer and the four-time Ballon d’Or winner is FIFA 16’s best player with an overall rating of 94.
His game is well rounded in all aspects. He’s great at dribbling, shooting, passing and of course in set piece situations. He makes the difference for Barcelona on the biggest of stage.
Here’s a look at his free kick attributes: Power – 80, Accuracy- 90, and Curve – 89.
#4 Juan Arango – Club Tijuana (Mexico)
The Venezuelan attacking midfielder is one of the most accomplished free-kick takers in the world today. Juan Arango claims he does not practise extensively and was quoted saying “I just know how to do it” in an interview.
The 35-year-old midfielder has played his club football with teams like Mallorca and Borussia M’gladbach and is now back in America, playing for Mexican outfit Club Tijuana. His overall rating in FIFA 16 is 76 with shot power of 86, accuracy level of 91 and curve rating of 86.
#3 Zlatko Junuzovic – SV Werder Bremen (Germany)
The Austrian free kick specialist currently plays for German side Werder Bremen. The 27-year-old has been playing in the Bundesliga since 2005 but made a switch to Austrian league before making a return to Germany’s top division.
He was voted as ‘Austrian Player Of The Year’ by the Austrian Bundesliga and the country’s supporters also voted him as ‘Player Of The Year’ in 2010.
Apart from his 79 overall rating, his shot attributes are as follows: Power – 76, Accuracy – 92, and Curve – 89.
#2 Andrea Pirlo – New York City FC (USA)
Former Italian and Juventus midfield orchestrator Andrea Pirlo’s biggest identity has been his mesmerising free kicks that has grace the footballing world for more than a decade now. He enjoyed a great spell with Juventus and after moving to the MLS this summer, he is still astonishing his spectators in the United States of America.
Pirlo has scored over 40 free kicks in his career with more than two dozen of those coming in Serie A. Back in the World Cup 2014 match against England, Pirlo’s free kick attempt was highly impressed by the English goalkeeper Joe Hart who was spotted praising him for his shot after the final whistle.
The gaming franchise has honoured the Italian free kick master with – Power 78, Accuracy 93, Curve 94 and an overall rating of 83. The 36-year-old looks to be evergreen and simply the best at what he does despite reaching the twilight of his career.
#1 Hakan Calhanoglu – Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)
The 21-year-old Turkish midfielder is undoubtedly the best free kick taker in the world at this moment in time. Forget the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Bale and Marco Reus, the Bayer Leverkusen star player may well be the most feared free-kick taker on the planet and certainly the most consistent.
Bayer Leverkusen spent €14.5m on the 21-year-old Turkish midfielder in the summer of 2014 after he had an impressive season with Hamburg in the previous year. Calhanoglu has scored no less than seven direct free kicks in the Bundesliga throughout his career.
His free kick attributes in FIFA 16 has been given a rating of 87 for power, 95 for accuracy and 93 for curve by the gaming company. Calhanoglu also has an overall rating of 78.