The best free kicks in the history of the UEFA Champions League? | UEFA Champions League


It takes real skill to beat the best goalkeepers in the world in dead ball situations, but the best forwards on the planet continue to do so in the UEFA Champions League.

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As we mark 30 seasons of That #UCLFeeling, we ask you which of those six free kicks deserves to be named the best in UEFA Champions League history?

In the year 2021/22, UEFA is asking fans to vote for the most iconic moments since the name change of the European Cup in the early 1990s. Therefore, 30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling will give fans the chance to vote on everything from goals to memorable celebrations, unforgettable returns, sensational skills and impossible saves.

JLong distance knuckleball from uninho Pernambucano, 2003/04

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: free kicks – Juninho Pernambucano

Bayern 1-2 Lyon
05/11/2003, first group stage

Oliver Kahn adjusted and readjusted his wall several times while waiting for this effort at least 30 yards from Juninho Pernambucano, but the Brazilian still managed to beat him, the ball dipping as he swept the net inside the left of the desperate keeper. -main post. “It was my best long distance free kick,” recalls the free kick master.

During his dazzling visit to Lyon, Juninho practiced free kicks after training with reserve goalkeeper Rémy Vercoutre. “We did 30 or 40 free kicks per session and 90% of them were on target,” Vercoutre remembers. “And most of the time, if it was on target, it was a goal.”

LIonel Messi dead ball masterclass, 2018/19

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks - Messi

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks – Messi

Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool (total: 3-4)
05/01/2019, semi-final second leg

Lionel Messi’s 600th goal for Barcelona deserved a milestone, his shot from a central position bending around Liverpool’s wall and into the top corner of Alisson Becker’s net. It wasn’t enough to give Barcelona a final place, but was voted Goal of the Season for the 2019/20 campaign.

“I tried to hit like I tried to hit every free kick,” the Argentine told at the start of the following season. “It was a little further than usual, I hit it with a lot of power; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I was lucky on my side that time and it entered.”

HUgo Almeida’s love at first sight, 2005/06

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks - Almeida

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks – Almeida

Internazionale 2-1 Porto
01/11/2005, group stage

“A strike as perfect as there will be all season,” said the match reporter on the evening of Hugo Almeida’s superb finish, his love at first sight of just over 30 meters continuing to rise as it crashed into Júlio’s skylight. The goal of Caesar.

Inter had lost 2-0 to Porto in the previous meeting between the two sides, with coach Roberto Mancini saying: “We conceded two goals against his side and in these cases it is legitimate to speak of bad luck.” Fortune seemed to have given them up again after Almeida’s unstoppable opening opener in the 16th minute, but Julio Cruz scored twice after the break to give the Nerazzurri a 2-1 win.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s piledriver, 2008/09

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks - Ronaldo

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks – Ronaldo

Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United (total: 1-4)
05/05/2009, semi-final second leg

“He scored the free kick from somewhere near my hometown,” said Cesc Fàbregas sadly, thinking of the hapless Arsenal decision maker in the semi-final against Manchester United. Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick from the outside somehow beat Manuel Almunia at his near post to make it 2-0 on the night despite a strike from the best part of 40 yards.

Ronaldo had scored in an equally ridiculous range against Porto in the previous round, but no warning could deprive him of his final season at Old Trafford. As Fàbregas said: “You could feel that he was special, unstoppable.”

ROberto Carlos’ spire in the top corner, 2000/01

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks - Roberto Carlos

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks – Roberto Carlos

Sporting CP 2-2 Real Madrid
09/12/2000, group stage

Arguably Roberto Carlos’ best-known free kick is the one he struck against France in a friendly with Brazil in 1997, the gigantic momentum and phenomenal amount of turn plotting to beat Fabien Barthez. This effort against Sporting might not be as spectacular, but for sheer power, he can have the edge.

“I trained with a model an hour a day,” said Roberto Carlos, who possessed one of the most powerful strokes of his age as well as glorious technique. Even at the end of his career, he was committed to improving his dead bullet deliveries. “There are seven days in a week,” he explained at the start of quarantine. “I take seven free kicks a day.”

LArrival at loft d’asse Schöne, 2018/19

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks - Schone

30 seasons ago #UCLFeeling: Free kicks – Schone

Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (total: 3-5)
05/03/2019, round of 16 second leg

Even if that decisive first round at the Santiago Bernabéu had ended 3-1, it would have been a historic result for Ajax, but such was their sparkling form that night that Denmark international Lasse Schöne decided he might as well take a chance, shoot that effort from the outside near the corner flag straight to goal and loop the ball to the far post.

“Everything worked for us, but we forced it ourselves,” said full-time coach Erik ten Hag, with Schöne’s effort later being named the club’s top goal of the decade. “It’s the biggest goal of my career,” said Schöne. “I have had so many wonderful moments in my Ajax career.”

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