Dimitri Payet. What a breath of fresh air the 29-year-old Frenchman has been this season. His influence in a West Ham shirt this season has been second to none, but his exquisite free-kick technique is the main cause for excitement.
For both club and country Payet has been scoring free-kicks for fun. Breaking into the French squad, the West Ham wonder is now a key member of the international side attempting to win the Euro’s on home turf.
Payet is now one of those rare footballing talents, where it’s more dangerous to give away a free-kick rather than a penalty.
But what is it that makes Payet’s technique so good?
In one word. Simplicity.
None of this stand with your legs as far apart as possible, take 5 deep breaths, stare at the ball for 30 seconds then strike it into the wall. No.
Not taking away anything from Ronaldo and Bales technique, however, it requires a high level of skill, technique and in some cases, luck.
The main positive of Payet’s technique is that the keeper might have set his wall up well, he might be in the best position possible, but you just can’t stop a ball that is destined for the back of the net like that. In contrast to this, Ronaldo’s technique seems a bit ‘hit and hope’ as if he’s not too sure where it is going to go but if he gets some swerve, height and then dip on it then it ‘could’ go in.
Alongside every football fan in the world, I am incredibly excited for Euro 2016 to kick off and I believe we are going to see Payet’s incredible free-kick skill showcased at this tournament. I also hope to see others players emulate Payet’s technique and hopefully get rid of the awful Ronaldo stance free kick technique for good.
P.S. Ronaldo’s free-kick against Portsmouth in 2008 isn’t involved in this debate as that was just an absolute strike from God himself.
The author of this article will be tweeting throughout the Euro 2016 tournament, follow him on Twitter ‘@Toytweets_’ for more footballing opinions and analysis.
(Images sourced from the Telegraph and Youtube)