9
Sep

Gareth Bale saves Wales with free-kick goal, stops pitch invaders

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Wales struggled mightily against international powerhouse Andorra in their EURO 2016 qualifier on Tuesday, even trailing at one point after a sixth-minute penalty goal from Ildefons Lima (who?).

Luckily, Wales have one of the best players in the world on their squad, a certain “Gareth Bale.”

The Real Madrid ace headed home the equalizer later in the first half and then saved his best for last, scoring a perfect free kick in the 81st minute for the 2-1 victory.

Upon scoring the winner, Bale first copied his club teammate Cristiano Ronaldo’s now famous “Hey, look at me!” celebration…

… and then stopped a wave of Welsh pitch invaders from running wild all over the pitch:

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"Calm down, people. It’s Andorra we’re talking about here."

Image provided by Reuters

17
Aug

Pirlo tricks Singapore wall to score cheeky free kick goal

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Andrea Pirlo has us all hot and bothered over here in the United States after telling reporters recently he is considering a move to Major League Soccer once his contract expires with Juventus in 2016.

As if we aren’t already crushing enough over the man with that beard, the Italy midfielder scored this lovely free kick goal in a friendly vs Singapore on Saturday:

Stop it, Andrea. Just stop it!

H/T Reddit

7
May

Band together: Japanese team scores brilliant free kick

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A cheeky set-piece routine is one of our favorite things here at the FOX Soccer Blog, because there’s always a 50/50 chance it fails miserably. And we love seeing others fail. Japanese second-division side Kyoto Sanga FC, however, were right on the money with their unconventional free kick.

In a game against Yokohama, five of Kyoto’s players lined up and produced a series of dummies before one eventually blasted it top shelf into the net:

Not so ‘dummy’ now, is it!?

As we mentioned, not all innovative free kick routines work out quite as well. Here are a couple of our favorite fails:

The “Let’s both hit it at the same time” free kick

The “I’ll fall to the ground and head it to you” free kick:

H/T 101GG

2
Mar

Messi does a ‘Messi’

Coming off a loss that saw Barcelona drop out of first place, Lionel Messi quickly turned the page with a stunning free kick against Almeria:

Remember when Messi didn’t win the Ballon d’Or?

Next time you feel down or that life is unfair, just remember this: we have at least ten more years of Messi. Ten more years of his free kicks. We are so spoiled.

24
Feb

Pair of late free-kick golazos electrify Serie A

A pair of Serie A matches ended in similar fashion Monday night, with both away sides stealing a point on late free-kick goals that will make your mouth water.
Fiorentina midfielder and Chile international Matias Fernandez scored perhaps the goal of the round in the 85th minute to salvage a 2-2 draw at Parma. The goal kept La Viola alive in the hunt for a Champions League spot, remaining six points behind third-placed Napoli, who were also affected by a late set piece golazo.

Almost exactly two hours later, Genoa’s Emanuele Calaiò scored in the 84th minute to earn a late point against the Partenopei. The kicker? Calaiò is currently on loan at Genoa from — yup, you guessed it — Napoli!

Calaiò thus actually hurt his parent club’s chances at an automatic Champions League spot for next season. With the draw, Napoli fell to six points behind Roma for second place.

Afterward, Calaiò apologized to the home fans:

"I’m sorry to have scored a goal against Napoli itself. I had important spells there,” Calaio said. ”When the manager gives me the opportunity I try to give my all for this shirt, our fans deserve it. I dedicate the goal to my family and my son.

It’s the third goal in my career I’ve scored from a free kick, I’m sorry to have scored at the San Paolo, but that’s my job and I hope to score in the next games too.”

10
Jan

Brentford player hustles opponents with tricky free kick routine

Swindon Town, you got hustled!

Brentford FC’s Sam Saunders and Jake Bidwell came up with a conniving free kick routine that helped defeat League One rivals Swindon a few weeks back on Boxing Day.

Displaying some self-deprecating gamesmanship, Saunders preposterously fell to his knees in the run-up to taking the kick, got back up, and moments later smashed the ball into the top corner, stunning both the opponents and the fans. Even sweeter, Brentford ended up winning by the one-goal margin, 3-2.

21
Sep

Leighton Baines’ 2-for-1 free kick special helps Everton stay undefeated

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(Photo: Action Images)

Newsflash: Leighton Baines is quite alright at set pieces.

The diminutive, yet prolific fullback, scored on a pair of second-half free kicks on Saturday to help Everton past West Ham United. Each of Baines’ golazos cancelled out leads by the Hammers, ere Romelu Lukaku produced a late winner for the Toffees. After Liverpool’s loss, Everton are now the only Premier League team to remain unbeaten, and they primarily have Baines to thank.

5
Sep

Ronaldinho scores two free kick golazos in same match

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Must be the new teeth!

Ronaldinho continues to dazzle in Brazil for Atletico Mineiro, scoring not one, but two free kicks to earn the home side a point against Fluminese. The first of his golazos came in first-half injury time with Mineiro down 1-0.

Fluminese took the lead again later in the match, making Ronaldinho have to produce another picture-perfect free kick late in the match to save his team a point. What a chore!

Mineiro are just a couple months removed from winning the Copa Libertadores for the first time, but have struggled so far in the new season. If it wasn’t for Ronaldinho, who now has five goals in eight games, they would be even lower than their current 13th-place position. In fact, Dinho’s goals have ended up yielding five points for the team. Without them, Mineiro would be in 18th place!