The best free-kick takers in Premier League history: Beckham, Ward-Prowse…

The art of scoring a direct free-kick remains to be a craft which only a select few players have ever managed to master.

We’ve been lucky enough to see some of the world’s greatest free-kick takers applying their trade in the Premier League over these last few years.

Having scrolled back through the archives, we’ve picked out the nine players to have hit double figures for free-kicks in the English top flight since 1992.

=8. Ian Harte (10 free-kicks)

Having scored 85 goals throughout his club career, Harte was a long-range specialist and most known for his time at Leeds United. From range, his left peg was absolutely lethal.

In his later years, he regularly lit up the Championship and League One with the likes of Carlisle United and Reading. This strike against Manchester United remains as one of his most iconic goals.

=8. Morten Gamst Pedersen (10 free-kicks)

Arguably Blackburn’s most iconic player during the noughties as he would so regularly deliver the goods from long-range. The Norwegian midfielder scored 34 goals in the Premier League, with 10 of those being free-kicks.

=6. Sebastian Larsson (11 free-kicks)

The Swedish midfielder had several successful seasons with Birmingham, before becoming a staple of Sunderland’s Premier League side from 2011-2017.

“It’s six years that I will remember for the rest of my life,” Larsson told the Sunderland club website. “Obviously there was up and downs but I remember everything very fondly.”

=6. Laurent Robert (11 free-kick goals)

The Frenchman always had an eye for the spectacular. He was one of a kind.

Laurent Robert celebrates scoring for Newcaslte against Aston Villa at St James' Park, Newcastle, January 2006.

READ: A tribute to Laurent Robert, scorer of Newcastle’s most inexplicable goals

=3. Gianfranco Zola (12 free-kick goals)

Chelsea snapped up the loveable Italian for £4.5million back in 1996 and he didn’t disappoint. He guided Chelsea to the FA Cup in his debut season and also became the first Chelsea player to win the Football Writers’ Player of the Year award.

There was no way of stopping him. His small frame allowed him to gracefully dance around defenders, but he was also a demon from outside the box.

=3. Cristiano Ronaldo (12 free-kick goals)

While his free-kick skills might have deteriorated over time, at his peak, Ronaldo was one of the great free-kick takers the world has ever seen. He popularised the knuckleball technique which often left goalkeepers helpless.

His remarkable strike against Portsmouth is still arguably the greatest free-kick in Premier League history. Pick that one out.

=3. Thierry Henry (12 free-kick goals)

From long-ranging strikes to curling efforts around the wall, Henry’s collection of free-kick goals is truly spectacular. With 12 scored during his Premier League career, there was nothing he couldn’t do in his prime.

His goal against Wigan Athletic and the following celebration still remains one of the most ice-cold Premier League moments.

2. James Ward-Prowse (17 free-kick goals)

There’s no doubt that Ward-Prowse currently ranks among the best free-kick takers in Europe and there’s a strong case to be made that he is the best in the business right now.

The efficiency of his strikes from outside the box is something that we have almost never seen before in the Premier League. With 17 free-kick goals already, he will no doubt have his eye on the number one spot.

1. David Beckham (18 free-kick goals)

Who else? Still regarded as the best free-kick taker in Premier League history, Beckham’s collection of goals is like no other. The free-kick soon became a trademark speciality of his and he constantly delivered in the big moments.

READ NEXT: A world-class XI of players left out of David Beckham’s best teammates XI

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