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How to Take Free Kicks Like Gareth Bale

No Spin

The theory is that you strike the ball without spin so that the airflow will react with the ball’s stitching, making it dip and swerve unpredictably through the air. The ball has its own sweet spot and if hit hard in this place, the balls flight will be very difficult for the goalkeeper to judge.

Clean the Ball

Mud and grass can get attached to the ball during play and removing it can help it’s flight after the shot has been taken. This is one of the reasons you see Gareth Bale pick the ball up and wipe it on his shirt before placing it on the ground.

The Valve is Key

Cristiano Ronaldo believes that striking the ball on the valve helps with propulsion, so positioning the ball with the valve facing you is ideal to achieve this.

Step back

Place your foot underneath the ball where you want to strike it and take your chosen number of steps back. Three or four is usually fine and also remember to take two steps to the left if you’re right-footed, or to the right if you’re left-footed. This will help ensure you get the correct angle required to approach the ball.

The Perfect Stance

Your standing foot should be firmly planted into the ground beside the ball, as this will help the ball arch towards the goal. Make sure that your body is balanced and as upright as possible as you move towards the ball to strike it.

Strike the Ball Hard

Connect with the ball just below the centre and hit it as hard as you can, with your foot perpendicular to the ground. The ideal spot to strike the ball is at the top of your foot, between the edge of your laces and the side of your foot.

Follow through

To make sure the ball clears the wall and dips, you may need topspin on the ball. Moving your striking foot upwards and across as you swing your leg, will give more control, and a shorter follow through means a more powerful strike.

Practice Practice and more Practice

As is the same with any new skill, practice is key to mastering it. Gareth Bale practices for around an hour after each training session, so it will take time to grasp this technique.

Goal

All going well, you’ve scored. Your next step is to perfect the celebration.

That concludes our list, you can find everything you need to brush up on your free kick skills with our football range here.