James Ward-Prowse is closing in on David Beckham’s record
Taking free kicks is a work of art, converting these spot kicks is what makes an artist great. Dead-ball specialists are a coveted breed in football. There is nothing quite as thrilling as watching a perfectly executed free kick soar over the defensive wall and into the net. The Premier League has been fortunate to have had its fair share of iconic performers who have mastered this art.
Manchester United legends David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo are both known for their deadly accuracy from set-pieces. Other all-time greats, such as Thierry Henry and Gianfranco Zola, also made it a habit of scoring from free kicks. In the modern era, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse has established himself as a top performer in this category. But who holds the record for the most goals scored from direct free kicks in Premier League history? Let’s have a look.
Top five Free Kick Takers in Premier League History
5. Gianfranco Zola – 12 Free kick goals
Gianfranco Zola, also known as the ‘Magic Box’, is considered by many to be the greatest player to have ever represented Chelsea. He was a creative force in the Premier League and was known for his masterful spot-kick abilities. He scored 12 free kick goals in the Premier League during his tenure with Chelsea.
Before joining Chelsea in 1996, Zola honed his skills at Napoli and Parma. Back in Italy, he helped his team win several trophies. He left in 2003 as a fan favorite, having made a significant impact during his time at the club. In the 1996-97 season, he won the FWA Footballer of the Year award and became the first Chelsea player to do so.
4. Thierry Henry – 12 Free kick goals
Thierry Henry is a retired French professional football player who is widely considered to be one of the greatest strikers of all time. His ability to score goals from free kicks was legendary. During his time in the English Premier League, he scored an impressive 12 free-kick goals. He was also the all-time top goal scorer for Arsenal and is considered a club legend.
Henry was known for his charismatic personality, and his ability to lead by example. His technique, movement, and understanding of the game were second to none. He was a true goal-scoring machine, with an innate ability to find the back of the net in any situation.
Also, his notable achievements were helping lead France to victory in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and winning the European Golden Shoe and the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2005-2006 season. Finally, he was a true ambassador of the game, and his legacy will live on forever in the annals of football history.
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3. Cristiano Ronaldo – 12* Free kick goals
Cristiano Ronaldo is widely considered one of the greatest of all time. He has won numerous awards, including five Ballon d’Or awards. CR7 began his career with Sporting CP. He has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus across Europe. Ronaldo is known for his exceptional goal-scoring ability, as well as his speed, strength, and technical skill.
He has scored over 800 career goals and has a reputation as a fierce competitor. Ronaldo is also known for his exceptional free-kick ability. Throughout his career, he has scored many goals from free kicks. He has scored 12 free-kick goals in the English Premier League. This tally of 12 goals from free kicks is a testament to his skill and precision when taking free kicks.
Firstly, Ronaldo’s free-kick technique is considered as one of the best in the world. Secondly, his free-Kick goal against Portsmouth in 2008 is considered as one of the best free-kick goals in the history of EPL. Cristiano is one of the best free-kick takers in the league’s history. Ronaldo recently left European football which suggests that he is unlikely to return to the Premier League and add to his free-kick tally.
2. James Ward-Prowse – 16* Free kick goals
David Beckham’s record for the most free kicks scored in the English Premier League (PL) is still being challenged by James Ward-Prowse, a midfielder for Southampton FC. Firstly, James scored a brace against Everton FC, including a free-kick goal that took his tally to 16. Secondly, He is now just 2 goals behind Beckham’s record, which is a huge milestone for him.
With his career still ongoing, he has the potential to surpass Beckham’s record and become the PL’s all-time leader in free-kick goals. Ward-Prowse’s ability to score free kicks has been one of the standout features of his game and has helped him establish himself as one of the top midfielders in the league.
In context, James Ward-Prowse and his team Southampton will face Aston Villa in their next match, it would be an excellent opportunity for him to take his free-kick tally to 17 and get closer to the record. It’s not going to be an easy task but if he continues to perform the way he has been, it’s definitely possible that he could break Beckham’s record. The Southampton fans will be hoping that he will be able to do it and make history for the club.
1. David Beckham – 18 Free kick goals
David Beckham is known for his exceptional free-kick-taking ability. He holds the record for the most free kicks scored in the English Premier League (PL). Also, he has scored a total of 18 free kicks throughout his time in the PL. The former United great was also known for his accuracy and ability to bend the ball into the top corners of the goal. Finally, his technique left many goalkeepers helpless. Beckham’s free-kick taking ability was a key part of his game. It helped him become one of the world’s most iconic and recognized players.
While the top free-kick goal scorers in the English Premier League are well known, there are several other players who have also scored a notable number of goals from free kicks. Also among them are Sebastian Larsson and Laurent Robert, who have both scored 11 free-kick goals. Morten Gamst Pedersen and Ian Harte have scored 10 free-kick goals each. While Frank Lampard, Nolberto Solano, and Jamie Redknapp have each scored 9 free-kick goals. Also, these players have all made significant contributions to their teams through their ability to score from set pieces.