Lists

Revealed! The 20 best free-kick takers in European football

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

Tied = 10. Mauricio Lemos (Sassuolo)

Goals: 3 • Attempts: 20 • Success rate: 15%

Nobody in La Liga scored more free-kicks last season than the young Uruguayan centre-back. He netted three, including this fine effort in a 3-1 defeat against Eibar. He reportedly turned down Barcelona back in 2016, as he doubted that he would get a lot of playing time - but has now left Las Palmas to join Sassuolo in Serie A.

WATCH A free-kick a Ronaldo would be proud of from Mauricio Lemos

Tied = 10. Henri Saivet (Newcastle)

Goals: 3 • Attempts: 20 • Success rate: 15%

The 27-year-old midfielder has had a tough time of it since joining Newcastle in 2016, but he will always have one highlight to look back on. In December, he netted a fine, low free-kick in a 3-2 victory over West Ham, which helped move him up to joint-10th in this list. It wasn’t enough to get him into Rafa Benitez’s good books though: Saivet hasn’t appeared in a league game since.

Tied = 10. Sejad Salihovic (Hamburg)

Goals: 3 • Attempts: 20 • Success rate: 15%

Bosnian veteran Salihovic has only just returned to the Bundesliga after spells in China and Switzerland, otherwise he would have undoubtedly netted more free-kicks in Europe’s top five leagues. His technique is Beckham-esque, as he approaches the ball from an almost 90-degree angle to apply as much spin as possible.

7. Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin)

Goals: 6 • Attempts: 37 • Success rate: 16.22%

The German full-back has netted six goals in the Bundesliga, all of them free-kicks. His efforts for Hertha and Nurumberg show an astonishing variety of technique from a powerful left foot. There’s curl, guile and raw power. Either goalkeepers in the Bundesliga just aren’t that good - or Plattenhardt just makes them look that way.

6. Federico Viviani (Verona/SPAL)

Goals: 5 • Attempts: 30 • Success rate: 16.67%

Deep-lying playmaker Viviani is the son of former Lazio player Mauro Viviani, but came through the youth system at Roma. The 25-year-old, who has been compared to Andrea Pirlo, is currently on loan from Verona at Serie A newcomers SPAL, where he has been demonstrating that he shares his compatriot’s skill with a dead ball.