Whenever there is a freekick awarded in soccer, the tension is high. The closer to the goal, the higher the anticipation. Soccer is one of the few sports where a simple foul outside the penalty box, can cost you the game. Here are the 3 most effective free kick techniques
Different players utilize different techniques when taking free kicks. Some techniques are more flashy, some others are based upon the basics of soccer. Among all of these techniques, what are the most effective free kick techniques? I have chosen 3 to share with you today.
My count is based on how difficult it is for a keeper to deal with these techniques and how successful they have been through the years. There will also be tips on how to achieve these effective free kick techniques yourself.
1. Knuckleball (or the Cristiano Ronaldo technique)
We start our list with one of the flashiest techniques there is. The most famous player to constantly use this type of shooting is Cristiano Ronaldo. Even though as of late he switches techniques when taking free kicks, the knuckleball is definitely a staple of his and one of the most effective free kick techniques out there.
The knuckleball is the type of free kick, where the ball starts moving in one direction with high speeds, and then suddenly and abruptly changes trajectory mid flight. This is a killer for keepers, because they can never know how to react to it.
To get this technique done yourself, you need to focus on three main things: the part of your foot which you kick the ball with, the area where you kick the ball and the movements necessary to achieve this effect.
Use this part of your foot:
To shoot this middle section of the ball:
The movements before the kick aren’t that important. Don’t focus on things like the run up, or the position you should take before the run up. Do it in a way that feels natural to you. Once you kick the ball, you should try and make your kick as powerful as you can.
It is also crucial to minimize the time of contact you have with the ball. One quick, precise and powerful kick is all you need. After the kick, and after you send the ball flying try to stop your steps as quickly as possible. It is important that you don’t follow the inertia you have created. To get a smoother shot you can try holding your foot still immediately after you make contact. And follow-through by holding you foot in that position.
Take your time with this one. Most people who have mastered this technique say that it is really hard to learn. It might take you up to 1 year to master the kunckleball. This is one of the most effective free kick techniques, so at the end of the day, it is worth it to spend the time learning it.
2. Curved Ball (or the Lionel Messi technique)
Curves are really beautiful, and the most beautiful curve is the one a football has after Lionel Messi takes a free kick. This technique is so beautiful to watch, and it is rather simple to perform. Not all of the most effective free kick techniques are complicated.
This one is also near impossible to catch, because of the way in which the ball curves. At first it seems like it’s gonna go above the goal post, and then it curves, and curves, perfectly straight to the upper corners where the keeper won’t be able to catch it.
To achieve the curve you should focus on: the positioning before the run up and during the kick, the place where you hit the ball and the follow through.
This time you need to focus on where you stand before shooting. If you use your right hand to kick, place the ball, take as many steps backwards as you want, and when you are done, take three or four steps to the left. If you use the left foot, same thing, just three or four steps to the right. The runup isn’t important, do it your way.
Once you get to the ball, place your less dominant foot next to it, and make sure that it is facing the direction in which you want to send the ball in. Then with your dominant foot, shoot the outer edge of the ball. Your foot should be in a horizontal position.
Use this area of your foot:
Shot this area of the football:
After you’ve made contact you want to be as smooth as you can with the kick. Follow through with the ball, try to keep contact for as long as possible. This will make the ball spin even more. It is that spinning that will create the curving effect. Remember the kick should have somewhat of a swiping fashion to it. This one might be easier to learn, but still be prepared for it to take a while.
3. The dip (or the Kevin De Bruyne technique)
The Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has been on the celebrating end of some truly marvelous goals. His technique seems to be so flawless yet so simple. I refer to his technique as ‘The Dip’ because of the way the ball dips into the goal.
If you’ve ever seen him take a free kick you know that after the shot, the ball will start going high and then dip midway through to find the net behind a bamboozled keeper. This one might not only be one of the most effective free kick techniques, it might be the best one.
From the outside perspective it looks like a mix of botch knuckleball and curve ball. Kevin De Bruyne himself has explained how he achieves this technique.
De Bruyne says that you must use this area of your foot to shoot the ball:
And you should aim for this area of the ball:
The shooting process is simple, you kick the ball and lift your foot up a tiny bit while doing it. You want the ball to first go upwards, then thanks to the spinning dip down. After launching your nuclear shot, jump to the side to make the follow up completely flawless.
What do you think about our 3 most effective free kick techniques? You reckon you can perform all three of these? If you want to be able to do that one, the key is training. Remember; practice makes perfect.