At least, 75 of Juninho's professional goals were scored from freekicks, ranking him among the best freekick takers in football history. We have other specialists in dead ball, I must mention Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and a host of others. To be candid, when your team scores a freekick, you'll feel extraordinarily happy, because goals from dead ball are always beautiful sight to behold as the ball scale through the wall, beat the goalkeeper and straight it landed in the net. Even sometimes when playing a football match, you probably would have wished to be a very good freekick taker in other to help your team win. Well, you can still be, if you follow some tips and tricks provided by this specialists.
Obviously, each players have their own style of kicking the ball, as some like Lionel Messi scores more from few yards to goal with a curly placement, others like Christiano and Roberto Carlos prefer those a bit farther from goal with power and spin. Starting with C.Ronaldo today, a careful analysis of his freekicks portrays power and sharp elevation and simultaneous depression (like a projectile) of his freekicks. He is characteristically known for his standing posture when about to play a freekick, though some belief its just about fashion but in the real sense, standing akimbo with his body still, gracefully gazing at the target helps him in focusing. He then makes sure his standing foot is close to and most times in line with the football, as seen in the picture above, the power he had conserved when standing is then sent forth forcefully making the ball move at high speed. Immediately his striking foot hits the ball he simultaneously twist it in the direction of goal, this gives the ball the spin that is needed. Not yet through, there comes the hardest part which had been so difficult for me to practice, it is called the 'knuckleball technique', after striking, he makes sure the knee of the striking foot comes towards his chin, this gives the ball the up and down effects it has which I always call the projectile as seen in the 4th picture. Now the power, this comes from the elevation of the standing foot as picture 5 shows, and a little trick here is that carefully studying Ronaldo, you ll notice that the striking foot lands before the elevated standing foot. This generates the needed POWER. Photo credit : discountfootballkits.com.
When next you have a freekick to take, and you want it to be the Ronaldo way, stay close to these tips and put more efforts in learning the 'knuckleball' technique. I'm working hard on it myself at my leisure time. But if you are aspiring to be a professional you'll have to keep up with trying it regularly as it takes hard work to be successful.
In the part 2, we ll take a look at the Messi style.