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The Rise of Defenders Taking Free Kicks
Centre-backs and full-backs have come a long way from the days of playing in the 2-3-5 formation. Back then, you had two full-backs playing in the central defensive role rather than playing in the wing. A central defender's typical role wasn't to score a goal. As modern football (soccer) continues to develop, so does the role of defenders, who are now on duty to be free kick takers. We've seen magnificent goals from Brazil's Roberto Carlos as well as Leighton Baines' run as Everton FC's primary free kick taker. In this article, we'll take a look at some notable defenders that often take free kicks in the English Premier League.
Marcos Alonso (Left-Back) - Chelsea
Marcos Alonso took English football by storm when he signed with Chelsea FC after playing for Fiorentina in Italy. He immediately made his mark on the team. The Spaniard left-back has scored 22 goals in his 132 league appearances with Chelsea, and he has scored 5 free kick goals during that time. This was while the primary free kick taker, David Luiz, was on the Chelsea club. Alonso's strength lies in his left foot free kicks.
Aleksandar Kolarov (Left-Back) - Manchester City
The Serbian defender joined Manchester City in 2010 during the initial overhaul of the team. Kolarov scored 10 free kicks for Manchester City; he has a total of 11 goals in 165 appearances for the club in league competition. Kolarov is another left-footed defender who specializes in free kicks from the right side of the field. Left-footers often take free kicks from the right side for a better curling-in opportunity.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Right-Back) - Liverpool FC
Trent Alexander-Arnold may be the most wanted free kick taker in world football today. Having played for Liverpool FC since his academy days, Trent became a hero for the club at the tender age of 22, and he is currently the primary free kick taker for the team. He has played 134 league matches for Liverpool FC and has scored 8 goals in the process; 5 of them were from free kicks. He is bound to be a free kick legend with the club in the years to come.
David Luiz (Centre Back) - Chelsea
David Luiz scored a few free kicks for Chelsea FC early in his career for the club. He had 160 appearances across two stints with the club and had a total of 11 goals, 4 of which were from free kicks. He definitely proved to be a lethal centre back for Chelsea.
Lucas Digne (Left-Back) - Everton FC
When it comes to a defender taking free kicks for Everton FC, we usually think about Leighton Baines. We will discuss him later, but let's talk about Lucas Digne. The Frenchman was signed from Barcelona FC and immediately made an impact in English football. He currently has 106 appearances for Everton and has scored 4 goals, 3 of which were from free kicks. Everton FC sure has a dependable left-back to score from free kicks.
Leighton Baines (Left-Back) - Everton FC
When we talk about defenders taking free kicks, we have to discuss Leighton Baines. He is certainly the oldest defender in our article. The Everton legend had 348 league appearances and scored 29 goals for the club during his time there. 6 of those goals were from free kicks. He also had 25 goals from penalties. Leighton had an eye for goals when it came to free kicks. He was able to bend the ball into the goal from weird angles. It looked like he broke the laws of physics.
© 2020 Nigel Koay Talks Football