Nigel is a football (soccer) fan since his childhood days. He also plays football as a left-back and is a long time fan of Liverpool FC.
The Rise of Defenders taking Free-kicks
Center-back or full-backs have came a long way from playing that 2-3-5 formation with 2 of the full-backs playing in the central defensive role rather than playing in the wing and in the traditional 4 at the back formation where a Central Defender's role isn't to score a goal.As modern football (soccer) continues to develop, so does the defenders who are now on duty to be free-kick takers. We've seen magnificent goals from Brazil's Roberto Carlos to Leighton Baines's run as Everton Fc's primary free-kick taker. But here's the catch, i narrowed down the topic to only within the English Premier League, lets check them out!
Marcos Alonso (Left Back) - Chelsea
Marcos Alonso took English Football by storm as he signed for Chelsea Fc from Italian club, Fiorentina and almost immediately made the mark in the team. The Spaniard left-back has scored 22 goals in his 152 appearances with Chelsea Fc and he has scored 6 free-kick goals during that time, all while first choice free-kick taker, David Luiz, who we will be mentioning later on, was in the Chelsea team. His strength lies in the left footed free-kicks which he excel in.
Marcos Alonso's free-kick goals with Chelsea Fc
Aleksandar Kolarov (Left-Back) - Manchester City
Starting in his home club, Red Star Belgrade, the Serbian joined Manchester City in 2010 during the initial overhaul of the team. Kolarov has scored 11 free-kicks for Manchester City which is included in the 21 goals he scored for the club in 246 matches played for the former English Premier League Champions. Kolarov is another left-footed defender who specializes in free-kicks from the right side of the field, which usually requires a left-footer to take the free-kicks for a better curling-in opportunity.
Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick vs Napoli in the UEFA Champions League 2011 while with Manchester City
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Right-back) - Liverpool Fc
Trent Alexander-Arnold may be the most wanted free-kick taker in world football today. Still in Liverpool Fc since his academy days, Trent has became a hero for the club at the tender age of 22 and currently the primary free-kick taker for the team. The England National has played 147 matches for Liverpool Fc and scoring 8 goals in the process, 5 of them are from free-kicks. At a young age and pocketing in 5 free-kick goals out of 8 total goals, he is bound to be a free-kick legend with the club.
Jamie Carragher analyses Trent's free-kick ability as comparable to David Beckham's
David Luiz (Central Defender) - Chelsea & Arsenal
In the early stages of David Luiz's career in Chelsea Fc, he has scored a few free-kicks for the club, with 245 games played for the club and 18 goals scored for Chelsea, he is definitely a lethal center back for Chelsea Fc. 6 of the 18 goals were scored during his time with Chelsea, which he was the primary free-kick taker for the team. While in Arsenal, he has only scored 1 free-kick goal in 56 appearances there.
David Luiz's free-kick goals with Chelsea Fc
Lucas Digne (Left-back) - Everton Fc
When it comes to a defender taking free-kicks that play for Everton Fc, we usually think about Leighton Baines. We will feature him in the article but lets talk about Lucas Digne. The Frenchman was signed from Barcelona Fc and he was immediately highly rated in English Football. By far, he has played 86 matches for Everton and scored 5 goals, 3 of which are free-kicks. Everton Fc sure has a good left-back to score free-kicks at all times.
Lucas Digne's short but quality free-kick goal
Leighton Baines (Left-back) - Everton Fc (retired)
When we talk about defenders taking free-kicks, how can we not talk about Leighton Baines, probably the oldest free-kick taking defender in our article here. The Everton legend has played 411 games with Everton and scored 38 goals for the club throughout his time there. 7 of the goals were free-kicks and another 25 goals were penalties. Leighton has an eye for goal when it comes to free-kicks where he usually bends the ball into the goal from a weird angle, some say he broke physics.
© 2020 Nigel Koay Talks Football