FourFourTwo's 5 best European Cup and Champions League free-kicks
From Koeman to Henry to Nakamura, the Champions League, and the European Cup before it, have been blessed by dead-ball specialists. Here's our pick of the very best.
5. Casemiro, PORTO 4-0 Basel, 2006/07
Real Madrid exercised their buy-back option to bring Casemiro back from Porto this summer and you can understand why when he can take free-kicks like this. Despite being hit from 35 yards, the goalkeeper barely had time to move before the ball dipped over the wall and into the net.
4. Shunsuke Nakamura, CELTIC 1-0 Man United, 2006/07
Celtic claimed a shock win over Manchester United in the group stage thanks to a brilliant curling free-kick from Japanese star Shunsuke Nakamura. "His free-kick was world class, he's right up there with the best in the world," chimed boss Gordon Strachan.
3. Mikael Nilsson, GOTHENBURG 3-0 PSV Eindhoven, 1992/93
If you think Roberto Carlos' free-kick for Brazil at Le Tournoi swerved, that was as straight as an arrow compared to Mikael Nilsson's strike against PSV. The ball set off towards the right-hand corner before bending wildly into the left-hand side of the goal as if attracted by a giant magnet. No wonder the goalkeeper looked confused.
2. Juninho Pernambucano, Bayern Munich 1-2 LYON, 2003/04
The Brazilian was mastering the tactic of striking the ball at the valve from free-kicks long before Cristiano Ronaldo, and became famous as a dead-ball specialist in the Champions League. Here he catches out Oliver Kahn from fully 30 yards at the Olympiastadion. Trailblazer.
1. Ronald Koeman, BARCELONA 1-0 Sampdoria, 1991/92
The kit wasn't the best, but Barcelona fans will never forget this free-kick from Ronald Koeman in the final at Wembley in 1992. Real Madrid had won six European Cups by that point but Koeman's extra-time thunderbolt made Barça European champions for the very first time.