With over 1,000 goals for club and country, Lionel Messi has scored a free kick or two. While he may not match the dead ball specialist Juninho Pernambucano with 76 goals from free kicks, he has still scored some remarkable set pieces throughout his career. These are our top eleven kicks from the maestro.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid, La Liga, 2013/14
The quick-thinking Messi saw a flummoxed Atletico Madrid defense and put the ball right where he intended: the top right corner. The arch of the ball as it crosses fields is a thing of beauty, something Thibaut Courtois would like to forget.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid, La Liga 2012
Whipping and curling the ball outside the wall, Messi scored a world-class free kick against arch-rivals Real Madrid in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup. Los Blancos still held on to win the game 2-1.
Barcelona vs Celta de Vigo, La Liga 2016
In a La Liga match in the 2015/16 season, Lionel Messi winds up at a 30-yard free kick to bury it beautifully in the top right corner. Just another piece of skill from the little magician.
Barcelona vs Espanyol, La Liga 2015/16 season
In a 2015/16 La Liga match between Barcelona and Espanyol, Messi delivered one of his trademark curlers, this time leveraging the top bar to pin it down into the net. The goalie could not tame the thunderbolt.
Barcelona vs. UD Almeria 2013/14
With a deft, controlled free kick Messi tucks this ball strategically into the top left corner out of the goalie’s reach. He scored over 40 goals in La Liga that season.
Barcelona vs. Deportivo, 2010/11
With an infectious curve, Messi scored a golazo against the Deportivo La Coruña side in the 2010/11 season. The goalie even raises his hand after the goal to acknowledge the high-quality kick.
Barcelona vs Espanyol, La Liga 2015/16
This free kick against Espanyol in the second to last game of the 2015/16 season all but ensured another La Liga trophy for the Catalan side. Messi somehow spun the ball in orbit while it elevated and wobbled and dipped into the goal.
Argentina vs USA, 2016 Copa America Semifinals
In a stunning free kick against the United States in the 2016 Copa America semi-final, Messi bent the ball with unreal precision to send it over goalie Brad Guzan into the goal.
Argentina vs. Colombia, 2016 World Cup Qualifier
In a World Cup qualifier against Colombia, Messi delivered yet another superb free-kick that left goalie David Ospina diving for nothing but air.
Barcelona vs. Sevilla, 2015/16
In a La Liga match against Sevilla in 2015/16, Messi rocketed in a powerful strike just outside the 18-yard box.
Barcelona vs Villareal, La Liga 2016/17
In a moment of desperation, Messi tied up the game in the 90th minute with a free kick taken at the penalty arc. It was yet another glorious strike into the top left corner to add to his tally of infinite goals.