Italy’s bearded genius Andrea Pirlo steps up for a free kick versus England in their World Cup match and smashes the ball off the cross bar.
England keeper Joe Hart had no chance if the soccer ball just went a bit lower. Pirlo hits the ball like Cristiano Ronaldo here, striking through the center of the ball but pulling the ball away so it bends and knuckles as it heads towards the goal – Pirlo doesn’t follow through straight on when he hits the ball but pulls his leg to the side, that’s why the ball knuckles and goes in the other direction.
Usually Pirlo likes to gracefully bend the ball when he takes a free kick, so this was a unique attempt by him – going with a different style of kick. Pirlo will go down in history as one of the best free kick takers of all time.
At the end of the game, Joe Hart tells Pirlo just how amazing that free kick was – caught on camera here. Would have been very embarrassing for Hart if that ball had actually gone in. Although it was from a long ways out and it is Pirlo taking it so I’m sure Hart woudn’t have taken too much heat for not saving it, really:
Oh, and here’s Pirlo working on his free kick skills during a training session with New York City FC. It’s like Pirlo can bend balls into the upper corner in his sleep.
But yes, even Pirlo has to work on his skills and free kicks. So there’s that. Nice to know some of the best players in the world never start trying to get better. I think what separates them from other players is that they always want to get better.
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