Best And Worst Free-Kicks In History!

The Germans have been known in the past to build a decent wall but last night’s match against Algeria showed they might be better at defending than taking free-kicks.

Thomas Muller’s farcical routine was more Keystone Cops than Vorsprung Durch Technik, with the 2010 Golden Boot winner having the good grace to laugh at himself afterwards, proving there’s nothing funnier than a man falling over.

Germany’s failed routine is definitely the worst free-kick from this World Cup but we look at some other brilliant, and not so-good, intricate training-ground set pieces from down the years.

Kevin Steiner
We’re still not sure what Muller was actually planning last night but this free-kick leaves us even more befuddled. SC Weiz had won a free-kick in their Austrian league clash with SC Fürstenfeldbruck and it looks like they’d an intricate, clever training ground routine up their sleeves.

Kevin Steiner stood over the ball as two team-mates knelt mysteriously in front of the opposition wall. The crowd waited in anticipation of what was in store until Steiner simply smashed the ball into one of his kneeling team-mate’s face, almost knocking him out to ironic cheers from the crowd.

Tomas Brolin
It’s not often training-ground set pieces come off so when they do in a World Cup fixture it’s even more special. Tomas Brolin might be best remembered by UK football fans as a chubby Leeds United flop and Jayne Torvill lookalike but during the 1994 tournament he was at the top of his game, never more so than finishing off this clever free-kick that took the Romanian defence by complete surprise.

Sam Corcoran
When Muller slipped last night, whether intentionally or not, at least he’d a team-mate or two ready to follow up. Unfortunately for Chelmsford City’s Sam Corcoran he was going solo as he lined up a set piece against Hayes & Yeading a couple of years ago.

Corcoran managed to roll the ball forward a couple of yards, before it was intercepted by an opponent who duly started a counter attack that culminated in a goal. Possibly even worse than Germany’s effort last night which at least didn’t result in an Algerian goal.

Benedikt Koep
What makes it even more embarrassing for Muller and his German team-mates is that even their domestic lower league contemporaries are able to get their act together to pull off a crafty routine to bamboozle the opposition defence.

German fourth division side Rot Weiss-Essen must have spent quite a while practicing this on the training-ground before attempting it against Wattenscheid 09. Their elaborate move involving six players and a fake row could have ended embarrassingly were it not for Koep’s perfectly curled finish.

Yōsuke Ishibitsu
Finally, Japan had a disappointing World Cup but, despite their results, their footballers are always commended for their teamwork and hard work. These characteristics are demonstrated perfectly in this cheeky goal against Tokohama FC, involving more decoys than an episode of CSI.