Cristiano Ronaldo took his goals tally to an impressive 27 goals in all competitions. His latest goal an absolute screamer against Portsmouth at Old Trafford. For me, it is one of the greatest free kicks i’ve ever seen based purely on technique and overall skill.
For all the jokes and humor that United fans have thrown at David James over the years, there isn’t a goalkeeper in the world that could have got across to stop such an accurate and fierce shot. Fergie has always defended Ronaldo in interviews when pokey Sky interviewers are trying to find an answer to the technique that Ronaldo uses. ‘Practise’, i’ve heard the gaffer say many times when commenting on his superstar winger. I for one agree that in order to score such an amazing goal you need to practise, but also the nurturing of a special talent.
I’ve commented many times over the years that at the age of 18, Cristiano Ronaldo was technically the best footballer i’d ever seen. What he does at the top level is immense – even at the age of 18 he showed bravery, creativity and above all ability. He did have his critics and towards the end of 2005/06 I did want him to deliver more in games. The talent was always there but desire to succeed at Old Trafford was sometimes overshadowed by his desire to show what a talented player he is. After the World Cup though he really showed to everyone what a fantastic player he is and scored so many important goals and he has continued it this season.
Anyway – back to the freekick. Have you ever seen a better freekick in the Premiership? Everyone always refers to the apparent king of freekicks, Roberto Carlos and his amazing shot against France in Le Tournoi, and right fully so, it was a great strike. But I believe that Roberto Carlos (aged 25 at the time) lived off this freekick always – superb full back but his return from freekicks wasn’t great. So i’d like to speak about the freekick David Beckham scored at the Stretford End against Barcelona in the 3-3 thriller in 1998. I felt for years that this was one of the best freekicks i’d ever seen due to, like Ronaldo, the sheer power and accuracy of the strike. I can’t really weigh up what goal I prefer – obviously Ronaldo’s is fresh in the mind but Beckhams goal at a crucial point in the match was simply stunning.
Does anyone remember this goal well? I’d also like to mention the goal Beckham scored a Anfield against David James, which was actually situated on the left hand side of the 18 yard line. Beckham bent it in the top right hand corner (James’ right) and it was a superb technique to score from there.
Giggsy has scored some great freekicks over the years but a special mention for Pallister who scored in 3-1 win over Blackburn in the final game of the 92/93 season. A horrid freekick that could have destroyed a flower bed, but accurate, precise and resulted in a goal. Other great freekicks throughout the years:
Matthew Le Tissier against Wimbledon in 1994
Rivelino against East Germany in 1974
Gazza against Arsenal in 1991
Zidane against Spain in 2000
So what do you think is the better freekick. In time I think I will actually go for Ronaldo’s goal ahead of Beckham’s against Barcelona. His technique, skill and timing were impeccable and combine this with his form I believe this freekick is the best freekick i’ve ever seen.
Beckham scores a superb goal.