Barcelona’s 3 greatest free-kick takers

There’s no doubt the plethora of talent Barcelona has accumulated over the years and with that range of talent we have seen an excellent batch of set-piece takers. Players that have instilled a sense of confidence amongst fans when they set up to the spot. Lionel Messi recently broke yet another record at the Camp Nou. The maestro is now the leading set-piece scorer at Barcelona, toppling many other Catalonian favourites. Here is a list of the greatest free-kick takers ever to grace the Camp Nou.

Ronald Koeman

The Dutch master scored 26 free-kicks for Barcelona – this was the record held intact until Lionel Messi scored his 27th against Atletico Bilbao on February 4th. Koeman has always been considered a Camp Nou favourite and is widely regarded as one of the best attacking defenders ever. He was famously known for his technical prowess including a knack for long range passing, powerful and accurate shooting from set pieces and a deadly penalty taker. In his time at Barcelona he managed to score 102 goals, many of which were free-kicks and penalties. At the Camp Nou he won 4 league titles, 1 Copa Del Rey and 1 European Cup. This bullet may have been the most important goal in Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona career.

This impressive list of achievements shows what a positive influence Koeman was at the club, a lot of which was down to his free-kick taking ability which proved very valuable to the team. After Messi, he will go down as the greatest free-kick taker there.

Ronaldinho

The mention of Ronaldinho will come as no surprise to anyone that watched Barcelona circa 2003-2008. Not only at this time was Ronaldinho undoubtedly Barcelona’s most technically gifted player and a worldwide fan favourite for his showboating but he was also very adept at scoring from dead ball situations. Many people may remember Ronaldinho by his unorthodox run-ups from penalty or free kick positions. Whilst the majority of Ronaldinho’s goals came from open play he managed to score a crowd-pleasing 94 goals in his 5 seasons in Spain. English fans will specifically remember the genius free-kick against them by Ronaldinho for Brazil in the 2002 World Cup. Here is a classic example of Ronaldinho bended one in.

Either Koeman or Ronaldinho may have gone down in history as the best free-kick takers ever for Barcelona and they still will, however, like most records held at Camp Nou, they have been broken by the Argentinian hitman Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi

Well he’s done it again. After a brief lapse in his record-breaking momentum Lionel Messi finally became the top scoring free-kick taker in Barcelona history with another spectacular hit against Atletico Bilbao on February 4th.

Messi is not only fantastic at passing, at shooting, at dribbling, at bringing the ball down, at dropping his shoulder, at penalties… yeah, you get the get picture. Not only can he do everything the modern game requires from an attacking footballer but he certainly knows how to score from a free-kick. Surprisingly commentators are quick to credit Cristiano Ronaldo with his free-kick taking abilities however Messi has shown he can be just as sharp when placing the ball in the net from a spot kick. Lionel Messi has an uncanny ability