​If you have ever played FIFA - and you probably have given you're here - you will understand that taking free kicks has to be one of the most difficult skills in the game. 


In an attempt to combat this, EA overhauled the mechanics of taking a free kick on the latest edition of FIFA, allowing people to change their stance, add spin to the ball and more accurately pinpoint where a strike will end up.


Spoiler: it doesn't work.


While the introduction of such a tool may benefit the die-hard FIFA elite who spend days and days honing their expertise from set pieces, mere mortals like ourselves are cast aside once more.


So, if you have any chance of scoring from a free kick, you'll need one of these dead-ball specialists to help you do it. Let's take a gander at the 30 best free-kick takers on the game - excluding overpowered icons.


30. Antoine Griezmann

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFIER-FRA-AND

85 Free Kick Accuracy


Good luck budging ​Lionel Messi off free kicks, pal. 


While the striker will be forced to watch on at new club Barcelona at set pieces, the former Atletico Madrid star has proved his worth from dead ball situations. 


Scoring a number of gorgeous free kicks for both France and Los Rojiblancos, the attacker himself is somewhat of a dab hand when it comes to video games - even doing a Fortnite dance after scoring in the 2018 World Cup final.


29. Robert Lewandowski

85 Free Kick Accuracy


Without meaning to disrespect the Polish star, Lewandowski doesn't really look like a good free-kick taker. But yet he's one of the best.


A poacher, a finisher, a fox in the box, the Bayern Munich forward also has the ability to strike a sweet free kick, with plenty of competition within the German side's ranks, including Philippe Coutinho and David Alaba.


28. Yasuhito Endo

Yasuhito Endo

86 Free Kick Accuracy


There is one word to describe Yasuhito Endo: legend.


The midfielder is still playing football at the ripe old age of 40, and is one of FIFA 20's best free-kick-takers. The 152-time Japan international has just 31 pace on the game - meaning he's significantly older than his speed stat - but he's worth having in your team for free kicks alone.


27. Marcos Alonso

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-CHELSEA

86 Free Kick Accuracy


​Seemingly only competent at left-wing back under Antonio Conte, Alonso's lack of influence in recent times for Chelsea has affected his FIFA rating.


Still somehow 81 overall, ​Alonso boasts some of the best free-kick stats in the game - one of the few positive attributes the Blues defender still possesses on the field.


26. Juan Mata

86 Free Kick Accuracy


Manchester United midfielder Mata hasn't allowed age to hold him back. Arguably the Red Devils' most creative midfielder at 31, the Spaniard still possesses an eye for a goal from free kicks - when he gets on the field, that is.


25. Gylfi Sigurdsson

FBL-EUR-C3-EVERTON-APPOLLON LIMASSOL

86 Free Kick Accuracy


What on earth has happened to Gylfi? The midfielder's form has been woeful during the 2019/20 season, albeit playing for a pretty hapless Everton side for the majority of it.


But the Iceland international still has an overall rating of 83, as well as 86 free-kick accuracy, making him a useful asset to have from set pieces.


24. James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

86 Free Kick Accuracy


Despite having scored just six free kicks in his professional club career, the Real Madrid superstar sure knows how to hit a dead ball. With an eye for the extraordinary, you only have to go back to his breakout 2014 World Cup with Colombia to see what he can achieve from outside the penalty area.


23. Philippe Coutinho

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-EVERTON

86 Free Kick Accuracy


Oh, how Coutinho must wish he'd never left Anfield. The Brazilian forged his reputation on Merseyside, with one of his greatest attributes being his long-distance shooting. 


This extended to free kicks, with the dynamo netting a significant number of his Premier League goals from outside the box.


22. Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen

86 Free Kick Accuracy


Rather fittingly, ​Eriksen's last Tottenham goal was from a free kick. The Dane had a habit for the spectacular - something that will be enjoyed more in Milan than London nowadays.


The midfielder still has a pretty formidable FIFA card, which includes 86 free-kick accuracy, which is fair enough considering he's scored 14 goals directly from free kicks in his illustrious career. So far, anyway...


21. Marco Reus

86 Free Kick Accuracy


The midfielder has scored all his free kicks for Borussia Dortmund, despite having played over 150 games for two other German clubs, and is yet to net from such a situation this season. 


But the 88 OVR star can certainly change that on your FIFA career mode.


20. Kengo Nakamura

Kengo Nakamura

87 Free Kick Accuracy


There must be something about the name Nakamura that instantly makes you a free-kick god. 


Kengo (not former Celtic player Shunsuke) Nakamura plies his trade for Kawasaki Frontale in the J-League, so is unlikely to attract a great deal of attention on FIFA, but his 87 free-kick accuracy may grab him a little more interest.


19. Lasse Schone

87 Free Kick Accuracy


The second Dane on our list may be better known for his time at Ajax than his current stint at Genoa. However, you could put Schone on the moon and he'd still find a way of hitting a sumptuous dead ball.


The midfielder may feel hard done by to be so far down the list, and he almost certainly would find himself higher up if his overall rating got a significant boost. The playmaker has scored a staggering 22 goals directly from free kicks and has to be one of the most underrated set-piece specialists in Europe.


18. Ruslan Malinovskyi

Andrea Conti,Ruslan Malinovskyi

87 Free Kick Accuracy


The Atalanta midfielder is just 26, but has already bagged himself 14 goals directly from free kicks in his professional career. Touted for a big-money move to one of Europe's elite clubs sooner rather than later, the Ukrainian will only gather more FIFA followers as time progresses.


17. Anderson Talisca

Talisca

87 Free Kick Accuracy


Despite taking what some people would call an 'early retirement' by joining Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League, the Brazilian attacking midfielder is still an incredibly talented footballer.


12 free-kick goals across three different clubs in several continents suggests Talisca deserves his place on our list.


16. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes

87 Free Kick Accuracy


​We saw in Bruno Fernandes' Manchester United debut against Wolves that he fancies a go on free kicks, taking the ball off Juan Mata at several dead ball situations. And he'll need to be good at long-distance shooting if he's going to succeed at Old Trafford, given the Red Devils find it difficult to manoeuvre themselves into the opposition box.


Fernandes bagged seven goals from free kicks during his time at Sporting CP, so maybe it's time Marcus Rashford is brushed off them.


15. Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

87 Free Kick Accuracy


What can't this Champions League-winning golfer do?


Free kicks, overhead kicks, long-distance strikes - the Welshman is pretty much unstoppable with his wand of a left foot, caressing the ball with unrivalled levels of swerve and power. 


Will ​Bale add to his 13 free-kick goals at Real Madrid? That's the question.


14. Neymar

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87 Free Kick Accuracy


Another man who would maybe feel hard done by not to find his name higher on this list is ​Neymar. The third best player in the entirety of FIFA 20 is not too shabby when it comes to free kicks either, bagging 14 in his career.


Mind you, there isn't really anything this man can't do - including irritating the majority of football fans that are over the age of 16.


13. Aleksandar Kolarov

Aleksandar Kolarov

88 Free Kick Accuracy


Is the 34-year-old former Manchester City left back better than Neymar, Griezmann and Lewandowski? No, no he's not. 


But he's certainly competing with them when it comes to free kicks, with the power generated by the Serbia international measuring somewhere on the Richter scale. Having scored 18 career free kicks, the Roma defender is perhaps one of the best of his esteemed generation.


12. Memphis Depay

88 Free Kick Accuracy


The above Depay free kick against Guingamp is perhaps all we need to show you.


Just take a look, you'll soon understand.


11. Angel Di Maria

88 Free Kick Accuracy


Quite a few of the world's best free-kick takers are left-footed, and Di Maria is no exception. You wouldn't think Di Maria's skinny little legs would be able to generate the majesty and power needed to execute a near-perfect dead ball, but they do, with the Argentine having netted eight such goals in his career.


Undoubtedly that figure would be higher if he hadn't played alongside some of the greediest superstars around at Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.


10. Paulo Dybala

88 Free Kick Accuracy


​​Stealing the ball off Cristiano Ronaldo to take a free kick is not a task for the faint-hearted, hence why ​Dybala's free kick numbers are not as high as they should be. 


But if you needed any evidence of the Argentine's quality from set pieces, just take a wee look at his stunning strike in this season's Champions League group stage clash against Atletico. If you're a fan of goals from tight angles, it's simply a must-see.


9. Marvin Plattenhardt

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-HERTHA-BERLIN-MAINZ

89 Free Kick Accuracy


Now for something completely different. 


You may be surprised to see the Hertha Berlin left back on this list, as are we to be frank, with the German just 77 OVR on FIFA and having only scored nine free-kick goals since 2008. 


But hey ho, it's EA, there's a certain level of incompetence that must be maintained.


8. James Ward-Prowse

James Ward-Prowse

89 Free Kick Accuracy


Supposedly the best English free-kick taker in the world, according to the humble opinion of FIFA 20, the Southampton man is perhaps a little too high on this list. 


While Ward-Prowse's delivery in to the box is incredible, and he does grab the odd goal from a dead ball, the midfielder has scored just four goals from free kicks in his entire career.


We'll put this down to FIFA not having quite done their homework.


7. Robert Skov

90 Free Kick Accuracy


​Jesus, I fear for any goalkeeper coming up against Denmark at Euro 2020. Skov is the third Dane in our list, and has scored 15 goals from free kicks - more than Di Maria and James Rodriguez put together - at just the age of 23.


6. Hakan Calhanoglu

90 Free Kick Accuracy


One of FIFA's overpowered players from years gone by, Calhanoglu's 80 overall rating makes his card a shadow of its former self. But the Turkish winger still has 90 free-kick accuracy and incredible long-range shooting, and rightly so given he's netted a ridiculous 23 goals directly from free kicks in his career.


The pick of the bunch has to be the above goal he scored for Hamburg against Borussia Dortmund.


5. Dani Parejo

90 Free Kick Accuracy


The Valencia skipper has a bullet of a strike on him and his 86 OVR makes him an amazing asset to have on any game mode. However. 41 pace makes Parejo a difficult man to love on FIFA, despite his sensational technical ability.


4. Enis Bardhi

91 Free Kick Accuracy


​To have scored ten free-kick goals by the time you're 24 is not too bad. Enis Bardhi may be a relative unknown to the majority of FIFA players out there, but you may want to make note of the Levante midfielder who offers great value for money in career mode and Ultimate Team.


3. Miralem Pjanic

92 Free Kick Accuracy


​The Bosnia international is one of the great all-round midfielders of the modern era, and is just as adept at taking free kicks. The Juventus star has scored a sensational 21 goals direct from free kicks in his career, including seven match-winning goals, and his 86 OVR FIFA rating makes him a force to be reckoned with.


2. Sebastian Giovinco

Sebastian Giovinco

92 Free Kick Accuracy


This man is responsible for millions (yes, millions) of smashed controllers over the years. The Italian's pace made him unplayable for many a year on FIFA - thank god he went to play in the obscurity of the MLS and Saudi Arabian top tier.


One region that Giovinco isn't overpowered in is his free-kick accuracy, with the little man having netted 26 goals from free kicks in three separate continents.


1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

94 Free Kick Accuracy


Arguably the best player the world has ever seen (sorry, Ronaldo fans) might just be the best free-kick taker the world has ever seen as well. 


The Argentine has netted 46 free kicks in his illustrious career with Barcelona. Merely talking about the magician's proficiency from set pieces doesn't do the superstar justice, so just take a look at the goals above.


What are you still doing here? Take a look for crying out loud!