Most free kick goals in football history [Updated 2023]


One of the most beautiful ways to score a goal is from a free kick. Still, not all football stars are for that, although they can practice with them in training.


Not everyone is willing to separate an hour-two after hard exercises to kick over the improvised “living wall” preparing for the matches. Still, some have become specialists.


Among them, we could count Lionel Messi, who was “average” at the beginning of his career in this category, probably because Ronaldinho was the first choice in the team, but a little down and Messi turned free kicks into his weapons, so the opposing players know well that there are “zones” where they should not foul the footballers of Barcelona, Argentina and now PSG.


So, who scored the most goals from free kicks? We have not been able to find a reliable answer, but four footballers have mentioned that they are the only ones in their careers, at least as far as we know, that scored more than a hundred goals from free kicks in official matches. These are the famous Brazilians Didi, Pele, Garnacho, and Zico.


Most free kick goals in football history


1. Juninho – 76


According to “ESPN,” the most goals directly from free kicks scored by Juninho, the famous Lion player, who, according to some sources, scored 76 free kick goals in his career, with some sources saying it was one more – 77. Most of them-44, he scored in Olympic Lyon in France, where he earned the name “GOAT of free kicks.” Although he used many different techniques for free kicks, he is the “inventor” of the “knuckleball” technique, which makes the ball swerve in the air and end in one of the corners of the goal leaving the goalkeepers helpless.

Read: Most assists in football history – Top 6 players

2. Pele – 70


Pele (70), although it is unclear whether these stats are also considered goals in friendly matches and which FIFA does not count to him. However, Pele is recognized as one of the best players in football history, and his goals from free kicks were also legendary. He didn’t use any particular technique but used a lot of power when kicking the ball, leaving the goalkeepers with no time to save it.


3. Victor Antonio Legrotaglie – 66


In third place is Victor Antonio Legrotaglie, the famous football player from Argentina, who during his career had the opportunity to play for Real Madrid but declined it and spent his entire career in the Argentinian team Gimnasia y Esgrima. He is still the best free-kick taker for footballers from Argentina with 66 goals, way ahead of Maradona and Messi.


4. Ronaldinho – 66


Famous Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho also has 66 goals from free kicks on his account. His free kicks were pure art, unmatched in football history. He used enough power and technique for the shot to be perfect.


5. David Beckham – 65 


Right behind them is David Beckham, with 65 goals. Many will say that free kicks near the penalty area were like penalties for Beckham. The free kicks were his best weapon on the field, and he scored some awe-inspiring goals even from a distance and angle from which it’s almost impossible to score.


6. Lionel Messi – 63


After winning the World Cup with Argentina, Messi is considered the greatest player ever. He still leaves us speechless when he comes on the pitch. He is among the best free-kick takers and has scored 61 goals, but he can move up on this list.


Read: Players with the most Champions League titles

7. Maradona – 62


Maradona, during his career, scored 62 goals from free kicks. What can we say about this player that isn’t already said. He, like Messi, is considered one of the greatest players ever to play this game. His free kicks, like his playing style, were magical, with precision as if it was a computer simulation.


8. Zico – 62 


Another Brazilian, Zico, has scored 62 goals from free kicks. He scored most of them in Flamengo’s jersey, where he spent most of his career. He also played some magnificent matches for the Brazilian national team, and he will be remembered as one of the best midfielders of all time.


Read: Most free-kick goals Messi or Ronaldo – who is leading?

9. Rogerio Ceni – 60

In the 9th place, we have someone unusual, goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni. Although he was, goalkeeper Ceni was the main taker of penalties and freekicks in Sao Paulo. During his career, he scored 131 goals and 60 from free kicks.


10. Ronald Koeman – 60 

Ronald Koeman, a Barcelona legend, scored 60 goals from free kicks during his career, although he was playing as a defender. His free kicks were powerful and very precise. His most precious goal from a free kick must be in the final of the UEFA Champions League against Sampdoria in 1992.


11. Cristiano Ronaldo – 60

Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo have now scored sixty Career free kick goals following his stunning effort in Portugal 4-0 win over Liechtenstein in the European Championship qualifiers on Thursday.

Read: Football (soccer) players with most trophies in their career


Wrapping up

The list of great free-kick takers has been growing for decades. Many of them were best in some part of football history. However, who is the best of all time? A question that is very difficult to be answered. Theoretically, statistics could resolve it, but the problem is that there is no reliable data for all players. There may be at least a framework number of goals from the free kicks of individual players in competitive matches. However, it is also difficult to determine for those who played six or seven decades ago that we do not consider and will remain unknown again.


Read: Top 5 Defenders with Most Goals: A Look at the Best Scoring Defenders in Football History


A small number of footballers that are on this list will be able to “climb” since most of them ended their playing careers a very long time ago. Most are expected from Lionel Messi (62) and Cristiano Ronaldo (60). The duo are currently playing for their respective teams and continue to top the charts.