Football Manager has pinpointed the top 25 free-kick specialists and penalty takers in the world.
With the World Cup on the horizon, the marginal details can make all the difference for nations looking to win the coveted prize in Qatar. Nothing quite produces ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ like a perfectly curling free-kick, while penalties are still the most surefire way to score goals.
And now Football Manager 2023 has given its own take on who tops the charts when it comes to specialists for both types of set-pieces.
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The award-winning football management simulator has awarded Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse the honour of being the only player in world football with a perfect rating of 20 when it comes to free-kicks. Ward-Prowse has netted the second most free-kicks in Premier League history (14) after David Beckham (18) – so the rating is fully deserved.
There are no 19-rated free-kick takers in the game, though 10 players have been awarded a rating of 18. Among them is Lionel Messi, who has netted a staggering 60 free-kicks throughout his career, putting him ninth on the all-time list.
Who do you think is the best set-piece taker in the world? Let us know in the comments section.
However, Football Manager players will be more spoilt for choice when it comes to penalty takers. The likes of Robert Lewandowski, Neymar and Harry Kane all possess that crucial rating of 20.
Romelu Lukaku, Raul Jimenez, Gabriel Barbosa, Henrique Dourado, Nestor Ortigoza and Aaron Muirhead make up the rest of the players with a perfect score from 12-yards. Manchester United skipper Bruno Fernandes finds himself one step below with 19, along with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Brentford’s Ivan Toney.
Football Manager's top 25 free-kick takers
(Name, club, attribute score)
James Ward-Prowse, Southampton, 20
Daniel Armstrong, Kilmarnock, 18
Tapelo Xoki, Orlando Pirates, 18
Leonardo Fernandez, Toluca, 18
Eirik Ulland Andersen, Molde, 18
Romulo Otero, Fortaleza, 18
Ignacio Malcorra, Lanus, 18
Ager Aketxe, Eibar, 18
Juan Fernando Quintero, River Plate, 18
Miralem Pjanic, Sharjah, 18
Lionel Messi, PSG, 18
Mohd Faiz Subri, Penang, 17
Iwan Murray, Chester, 17
Scott Tiffoney, Patrick Thistle, 17
Pedro Galvan, Balonpie, 17
Dylan Easton, Raith Rovers, 17
Gerald Tavara, Sporting Cristal, 17
Francesco Lodi, Catania, 17
Dan Spares, Maidenhead United, 17
Rene Lange, Carl Zeiss Jena, 17
Leonardo Baima, Richmond Kickers, 17
Cristian Ferreira, River Plate, 17
Adil Nabi, Atromitos,17
Juan Muniz, Atromitos, 17
Tomas Bastos, Operario Ferrovario, 17
Football Manager's top 25 penalty takers
Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona, 20
Neymar, PSG, 20
Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur, 20
Romelu Lukaku, Inter Milan, 20
Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wonderers, 20
Gabriel Barbosa, Flamengo, 20
Douardo Henrique, Henan Songshan Longmen, 20
Nestor Ortigoza, San Lorenzo, 20
Aaron Muirhead, Patrick Thistle, 20
Joel Coch, U.E. Valls, 19
Sandro Gotal, FC Montlingen, 19
Joe Jacobson, Wycombe Wanderers, 19
Reinaldo, Sao Paulo, 19
Nicolas Viola, Cagliari, 19
Raphael Veiga, Palmeiras, 19
Edenilson, Internacional, 19
Omar Al- Soma, Al-Ahli, 19
Ivan Toney, Brentford, 19
Fabio Quagliarella, Sampdoria, 19
Max Kruse, Wolfsburg, 19
Mikel Oyarzabal, Real Sociedad, 19
Eden Hazard, Real Madrid, 19
Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United, 19
Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, 19
Gustavo Marulanda, Sorrento, 18
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