4 players who have scored most free-kicks in Europe since 2020-21
Scoring from set-pieces is truly an art, especially when it comes to free-kicks. Individual quality is of the absolute essence during such dead-ball situations, and while some players have the talent to pull off the unthinkable, others do not. However, there are some players who have the potential to pull off great free-kicks week after week.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi had been at the center of most statistics over the past decade, but that is not the case anymore. The former does not possess his erstwhile abilities anymore except in flashes, while the latter produces those moments but needs a fair few chances to do so.
In the meantime, a few others have joined the party and have been excelling at scoring from free-kicks, especially in the last couple of seasons.
On that note, let’s take a look at 4 players who have scored the most free-kicks since the start of last season (2020/21).
#4 Farid Boulaya- 4
Farid Boulaya in action for FC Metz
FC Metz are on the verge of being relegated from Ligue 1 this season but one of their players that might secure a move to a top-flight club is Farid Boulaya.
The Alegrian star was brilliant for the club last season as he scored 6 goals and provided 8 assists in 33 league appearances.
Although he has only scored 3 times this season, his quality from set-pieces has been quite incredible. Moreover, his free-kicks are a thing of beauty as he often garners movement on the ball, thereby tricking the goalkeeper.
Over the last couple of seasons, Boulaya has managed to score 4 free-kicks. It is a brilliant feat for a player who is part of a team that is at the bottom of the Ligue 1 table this term.
#3 Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
SS Lazio v Torino FC – Serie A
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been the driving force from midfield for Lazio over the last half a decade. The Serbian star’s contributions have only increased over the last couple of seasons for the Italian side, especially from set-pieces.
Since the start of the 2020/21 Serie A campaign, Milinkovic-Savic has scored 17 goals and provided 21 assists for his side. In the process, he has also scored 4 free-kicks. The Serbian ace can curl the ball beautifully, courtesy of which he often fancies himself when his side have won a free-kick outside the box.
The Lazio ace also hits the ball with a lot of venom and has been unlucky not to have scored more times through free-kicks over the last couple of seasons. His contributions have been vital, however, as his side are still in contention for a Europa League spot this season.
#2 Lionel Messi
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two – UEFA Champions League
As mentioned before, Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest player to ever grace the football field, which is more than evident from his goal-scoring numbers. He has not enjoyed a successful first season at PSG this term but has still racked up quite a lot of assists.
However, his last season at Barcelona was quite noteworthy as he helped the club seal a UCL spot through his mesmerizing performances. Those terrific displays, coupled with his special moments of quality at PSG, have led to him scoring 4 free-kicks since the start of the 2020/21 season. The Argentinian has the ability to dip the ball as well as curl it into the roof of the net.
In addition, he can score from long-distances as well as from acute angles. He has hit the woodwork in trying the extraordinary in recent seasons, courtesy of which he is not at the top of this list. Regardless, the South American ace has scored the 4th highest number of free-kicks in the 21st century, a record he will be proud of.
#1 James Ward-Prowse
Burnley v Southampton – Premier League
James Ward-Prowse has been nothing short of scintillating for Southampton over the last 2 seasons. The Saints have not cracked their way into Europe yet but have floated comfortably above the relegation zone, thanks to the quality of their captain from free-kicks.
Although scoring directly from free-kicks is an art, the Englishman has made it look pretty simple over the last two campaigns. Ward-Prowse can curl the ball into both corners of the goal, not to mention also generate enough pace for it to beat the best goalkeepers in the world. But something that has caught the eye of most fans is the midfielder’s ability to dip the ball quickly and find the back of the net time and again.
Ward-Prowse has 17 goals and 11 assists in 70 Premier League appearances since the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season. He has managed 8 free-kicks in the process, which is double than what Lionel Messi has managed.