Top 10 Free Kick Takers In Italian Serie A History

9/10/11 Enrico Chiesa,Michel Platini,Alvaro Recoba – 13 goals

At 5’9” Chiesa wasn’t the tallest or most physical of strikers but he sure was exciting, with his blistering pace and thunderbolt of a shot. He was once described by Fabio Capello as a “Complete forward” and “a cross between Gianni Riva and Paolo Rossi.” Such praise from one of Italy’s most revered coaches merely emphasises how good Enrico Chiesa really was.After spending his teenage years at amateur side Pontedecimo, in 1988 Chiesa was snapped up at just 18-years-old by local side Sampdoria. The young Chiesa struggled to make an impact during his early days with i Blucerchiati, making just one league appearance in a 1-0 to Roma. The following season, in order to kick start his career, Chiesa dropped down to play in Serie C2 with Teramo. After a frustrating debut year at Samp, Chiesa was finally getting some playing time, managing to score five goals in just over 30 appearances. A year later, the young forward was on the move again, this time signing for Serie C1 side Chieti. Again the youngster made progress, as he struck six times in close to 25 games.Chiesa briefly tried his hand at coaching in 2010 with Figline however the clubs expulsion from the Italian professional leagues abruptly put a halt to this venture. Who knows however, maybe one day we’ll see one of Italy’s finest become as masterful a tactician as he was a goal-scorer. MICHEL PLATINI Michel came to national repute playing for AS Nancy in the late 70s by scoring 98 goals from 181 appearances in midfield, during a particularly torrid time in French football. The national team had ceased to even qualify for the World Cup since those 1958 glory days, except once, in 1966 when they had been eliminated almost immediately.He first made his name as a dead ball specialist, with majority of his goals coming from finely struck free-kicks. But many were amazed by the young man’s array of talents, amongst which was sublime dribbling. In this respect Platini was like Figo, he could not rely on pace to beat his opponents with the ball, but only exquisite control which would render him virtually impervious to being tackled. ALVARO RECOBA was a quick, technically gifted, and creative offensive midfield playmaker, who was capable both of scoring and creating goals, Recoba’s main strengths were his dribbling skills, ball control, pace, his brilliant long passing and crossing ability, and his powerful and accurate striking ability with his left-foot from outside the area. He was a set-piece, penalty kick, and corner-kick specialist, renowned for his curling free-kicks, and has scored goals of great quality, examples of which were his two goals on his debut with Inter. Recoba was capable of playing in several offensive positions, and has been used as an attacking midfielder, as a supporting striker, and as a winger. He was also for a period the highest paid football player in the world. Despite his talent, Recoba was often injury prone throughout his career, and was also criticised for his poor work-rate and inconsistency, which has led pundits and managers to accuse him of not fulfilling his potential.

Alvaro Recoba
Alvaro Recoba

8. Diego Maradona – 14 goals

One of the obvious reasons that made Maradona such a superb attacking outlet in tactical terms, was his outstanding dribbling ability. Considered one of, and possibly the greatest dribbler in football history, Maradona was able to dart past any opposition player with sheer ease. Argentina’s Maradona pace and fearlessness while on the ball was a fright for defenders, drifting across the pitch in a free roaming style of play meant it was very difficult to tightly mark Maradona, especially in full flight. Close control on the ball, as well as precision timing meant Maradona had the beating of his marker during a take on.A prime example of this specific quality being used by Maradona, was football’s most brilliant goal; the remarkable solo effort scored against England in the 1986 World Cup. Maradona carried the ball from Argentina’s half, skilfully outwitting four opposition players, before rounding Peter Shilton. Diego Maradona baffled the imaginations of fans across the globe throughout the tournament, becoming arguably the first player to single handedly win the World Cup since Brazil’s legendary Right-winger Garrincha, in 1962.

Diego Amando Maradona
Diego Amando Maradona

7. Gianfranco Zola,Franscesco Totti,Roberto Baggio – 20 goals

Memorable goals, skills and passes defined his style of play. His vision was examplary and he made what seemed difficult looked surprisingly easy. He was naturally gifted and played with a smile on his face. He also seemed like a genuinely nice guy whenever he’d be heard during interviews. Zola’s final season at Chelsea saw a bit of a resurgence to his career as he finished the season with 16 goals. I actually used to enjoy watching him play as he was always buzzing around and trying different things. He was an absolute joy to watch for supporters all over the world. Unfortunately for him, he never got the chance to win a League medal, but his undeniable talent is remembered and recognized by all. Standing as a striker at 5ft6 in the Premier League is no easy feat, but this little Italian magician made it, and everything else, look like a piece of cake. FRANSCESCO TOTTI A classic number 10, throughout his long career at his hometown club, Roma, Totti has predominantly played as an offensive-midfield playmaker, or as a supporting or deep-lying forward, behind the main striker only in the later years of his Roma career was he mainly employed as a main striker. An elegant and technically gifted attacking midfielder, Totti is capable of playing anywhere along the front-line, and has also been deployed as a winger or as a midfield playmaker under Zeman,and most notably as a false-9 under Spalletti and Garcia. While being a prolific goal-scorer, and an accurate finisher (he is currently the sixth highest goal scoring Italian in club competitions), he is also renowned for his technique, vision, creativity, and range of passing, as well as his ability to play the ball first-time, set the pace in midfield, and provide throughballs and assists for his teammates, occasionally through long balls or lobbed passes, or even through his trademark use of the backheel, when playing with his back to goal.His role has at times been described as that of a hardworking, generous, quick and dynamic centre forward.ROBERTO BAGGIO was nicknamed Il Divino Codino – The Divine Ponytail – in part due to his trademark ponytail and for turning to Buddhism. Born on the 18th February 1967 in Caldogno, Veneto, Baggio made an early impression playing for his local team in Caldogno before being courted by Vicenza. He excelled, scoring over a hundred goals in the youth team before making his Serie C1 debut at 15 years old.Roberto Baggio is a true Legend of Calcio and a humanitarian who played for passion, competition and joy. He was an example of courage, artistry, excellence and fair play that enriched the world of football. Il Divino Codino was the benchmark as a footballer and the benchmark as a man.

Gianfranco Zola
Gianfranco Zola

4,3. Beppe Signori, Alessandro Del Piero – 22 goals

Despite being a prolific goalscorer, and one of Serie A’s leading marksmen of all time, Signori never won a major trophy in his professional career; the closest he came to achieving major domestic success was finishing second with Lazio in Serie A in 1995. Whilst team success eluded him, personal success flowed – he was Capocannonieri in Serie A in 1993, 1994 and 1996, and was a key figure in the Azzurri’s 1994 World Cup campaign. Each time Signori got the ball he was invariably a joy to watch; carrying it forward at pace and with excellent close control and, more often than not, carving a chance out for himself. The Olimpico always rose in anticipation when Signori had the ball, television viewers perched on the end of their seats, the excitement and expectation reaching a crescendo within. Perhaps there is something about watching left-footed players such as Signori, Maradona and Messi jinking and dribbling past opponents that makes the memories seem more magical and enthralling.ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO one of his greatest strengths as a footballer is his versatility, which allows him to play in a variety of attacking positions. Del Piero usually plays as a supporting-striker and occasionally between the midfield and the strikers, known in Italy as the trequartista position, due to his vision, dribbling ability and creativity. Del Piero’s playing style is regarded by critics as creative in attacking, assisting many goals as well as scoring himself, as opposed to just “goal poaching”.Under Marcello Lippi’s reign as Juventus coach, Del Piero played in the “trident-attack” formation along with veterans Gianluca Vialli and Fabrizio Ravanelli. After that, he took a role in a combination with Zinedine Zidane behind Filippo Inzaghi. As Juventus playing style changed in Lippi’s second stint with Juventus starting in 2001, Del Piero partnered with Zidane’s replacement, Pavel Nedvěd, in midfield with David Trezeguet upfront. He has also been employed occasionally as a winger for Italy, whilst playing under Arrigo Sacchi.

Alessandro Del Piero
Alessandro Del Piero

2. Andre Pirlo – 24 goals

Although not gifted with pace, stamina, physicality or notable defensive or tackling abilities, Pirlo has been praised for his touch, technique, balance, close control, and dribbling ability, as well as his flair and creativity in beating players with feints during one-on-one situations to create space. As a playmaker, he is highly regarded by pundits for his outstanding vision, his inventive play, his wide distribution range, and his extremely accurate long-range passing, on the ground or in the air, with either foot. He is considered to be one of the best passers in the sport, and is also known for his accurate striking ability from distance. These characteristics allow him to contribute to his team’s offensive play with goals and assists.Pirlo is a set piece and penalty-kick specialist. He is regarded as one of the best free-kick takers in the world, and has been praised by pundits for his versatility, and ability to both score and create chances from dead-ball opportunities. He is extremely effective at curling shots accurately on target from close range, a technique which he perfected by studying Baggio in training sessions during their time at Brescia together. Pirlo is also capable of scoring from long-range free-kicks with swerve and power, due to his unique technique, which was inspired by Juninho’s “knuckle ball” free-kicks.

Andrea Pirlo
Andrea Pirlo

1.Sinisa Mihajlovic – 28 goals

Early into playing career, Mihajlović marked himself out with an extraordinary long-distance striking, crossing, and passing ability. His precise curling yet hard-driven left-footed shot allowed him to score spectacular free-kick goals on regular basis. A set-piece specialist, Mihajlović has said that he shot the free-kicks from as far as 35 yards, and said in an interview “I like to shoot with a swerve into both sides of the net. I often try scoring directly from the corners.”. He is capable of both scoring and creating chances from dead ball opportunities,and holds the record for the most goals in Serie A from free-kicks, alongside Andrea Pirlo, with 28 goals. Along with Giuseppe Signori, he is one of only two players who have scored a hat-trick from free kicks in Serie A, a feat which he accomplished during his time with Lazio, in a 5–2 win over Sampdoria during the 1998–99 season.During his club career in Yugoslavia with FK Vojvodina and Red Star Belgrade as well as during his early spell at Roma, he played on the left side of midfield as winger, or as an attacking midfielder on occasion.Upon moving to Italy, Roma coach Carlo Mazzone deployed him as a defensive midfielder; midway through his first season in Italy, he was moved to the position of left back by new head coach Vujadin Boškov. In 1994, after transferring to Sampdoria under head coach Sven-Göran Eriksson, Mihajlović was moved to the centre of the team’s defensive line, and remained in this position for the rest of his career. He later excelled in this newfound centre back role, due to his consistent defensive displays and tenacity, as well as his good technique and long passing ability, drawing praise from Carlo Mazzone, in particular, who described him as one of the best players in his position.

Bend it like Sinisa Mihajlovic
Bend it like Sinisa Mihajlovic
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Chukwuyem Ogala is a content writer at Edliner. A multifaceted personality with a degree in Economics. He has a strong passion for Rap music and sports. A big fan of the NBA, likes Rafael Nadal and has a crush on Serena Williams. Chuks just strives to be better and wants to be heard globally.

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