Magnificent Seven Part 1: Free Kicks

Opinion

Manchester United have had loads of superstars in their ranks over their years who’ve been famous for their scintillating free-kick ability. They’ve scored many nostalgic goals that have been inked into the memories of their supporters for ever. With that being said, here’s a look at the 7 most iconic free-kick goals by the Red Devils in the Premier League Era. Keep in mind, its one entry per player (Choosing Beckham’s best one is like choosing which eye of yours you like better!)

Ronaldo’s Rocket Against Portsmouth

Arguably United’s best free-kick in recent years, Ronaldo’s screamer in the 2-0 win stunned the supporters of both the clubs. The free-kick was his second goal in under two minutes, and the brilliant effort from 30 yards was perfectly placed into the top right corner, finding its way past a hapless David James, who stood glued to his spot. The shot got a lot of swerve in the air, and Sir Alex Ferguson claimed in the post-match conference that it was the best free-kick he had ever seen.

Beckham’s Swansong Curler

David Beckham- the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the legend’s name is not his charisma or his great career, its his free kick ability. He has scored numerous sensational direct free-kicks in his United career (27 in the league to be exact) but his goal against Everton, which came in his final appearance for the club at Old Trafford, is arguably one of the most memorable free-kicks ever. His curler from outside the box gave Richard Wright no chance, who was wrong footed simply due to the confusing swerve. Beckham signed off in brilliant fashion as his kick surged over the opposition wall, which included future United legend Rooney.

RVP’s Stunner

Robin van Persie’s free kick against City in the Manchester derby was one of his best-ever goals in a United shirt. The goal holds huge significance also because of the fact that it won them the derby 3-2 in the final stages of the game. His free kick curled into the bottom corner following a deflection from the wall, but beat Joe Hart well as RVP ran off towards Sir Alex Ferguson to celebrate a huge win.

Giggsy’s Cracker

Ryan Giggs scored one of the first few free-kicks for United in the Premier League Era, and his super shot against Blackburn in 1993 continued their party as they had ended a 26-year long title drought just a day earlier. The goal found its way into the top left corner, and brought United back into the game after they had conceded a goal in the first half.

Rooney’s Record Breaker

Rooney’s super free kick against Stoke is iconic not just for its importance as it earned United a point- its actually more famous as it was his record breaking 250th goal for United as he edged past Sir Bobby Charlton’s tally. His goal from just outside the box found its way past an outstretched Lee Grant, and his lack of celebration to try and score another showed his class.

Irwin’s Anfield Silencer

Denis Irwin’s free kick against Liverpool midway through the 1993-94 season holds immense importance as it gave the visitors a three-goal advantage. Steve Bruce and Giggs had scored in the first half, and Irwin’s shot swerved into the top left corner gave Grobbelaar no chance. However, Liverpool somehow managed to find their back into the game, as they finished the game at 3-3.

Hargreaves’ Surprise Attack

Owen Hargreaves’ free-kick in their must-win game against Arsenal in the 2007-08 season was a beautifully taken set piece, which took the opposition by surprise after Evra was fouled outside the box. Everybody was expecting Ronaldo to take the set piece, but it was the No. 4 who curled in a beautiful kick in the left side of the goal, as United came from behind to triumph over title rivals Arsenal.