10 of the cleverest free-kick routines ever

Javier Zanetti

Kevin De Bruyne sent Manchester City on their way to victory against Bournemouth with a well-executed free-kick under the wall – but he's hardly the first star to be inventive

1. Ellen White (Notts County vs Arsenal, 2015)

When things go wrong... or do they? Laura Bassett’s run-up appears to end in confusion between Notts County players – that is, until Alex Greenwood lays off for Ellen White to strike home on the spin against her former club. Take that! 

2. Yosuke Ishibitsu (Kyoto Sanga vs Yokohama, 2014)

An indirect free-kick in the area is one of the rarer, and thus strangely exciting things about football – think Alan Shearer twice almost breaking West Brom and Georgia players for Newcastle and England respectively. So when Kyoto Sanga were presented with one at Yokohama, their well-executed effort was a particularly fine sight. After the Yokohama goalkeeper watched three players run over the ball, he saw nothing of Yosuke Ishibitsu’s thunderbolt after a fourth man had applied the slightest of touches.

3. Ernie Hunt (Coventry vs Everton, 1970)

A classic, reminiscent of days playing headers and volleys in the park when you let the stragglers score. Willie Carr’s ‘Donkey Kick’ is delightfully retro, but was fresh enough to set up a stonking volley for Coventry team-mate Ernie Hunt to fire home. It was so clever, in fact, that it was banned at the end of the season. 

4. Artem Koncevoj (MTZ-Ripo vs Smorgon, 2008)

A goal to put tears in the eyes of Messrs Carr and Hunt (that, or something for them to merely point wasn't as good as in the olden days). MTZ-Ripo attacker Artem Koncevoj makes fine use of a team-mate's overhead flick in this 2008 Belarusian cup match-up, duly whacking a dipping volley over defender and goalkeeper into the top corner. The goal was allowed, and Koncevoj ensured he became immortalised on YouTube.