EA Sports’ new game will be available to the public in just over a week, so we have taken it upon ourselves to rate the best free kick takers that will feature in the game.
Each of these players hit fantastic form in the 2018-19 season, and will likely hone their talents as the upcoming season progresses.
Ranging from seasoned veterans to talented youngsters, here are the set-piece specialists that you NEED to know about.
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Lionel Messi (OVR 94)
Position: RW, CF, ST
Free Kick stats: 93 Curve, 94 Free Kick Accuracy, 85 Power
One of the most prolific goalscorers and clinical finishers of all time, Lionel Messi is known for his powerful and accurate striking ability from both inside and outside the area, as well as his positioning, quick reactions, and ability to make attacking runs to beat the defensive line.
In Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Liverpool in May, Messi had Alisson beaten twice, most memorably with a 30-yard free kick in the 81st minute that arrowed into the top corner.
Although Messi has scored 42 free kicks for Barcelona, and a further six for Argentina, he is widely considered as the best set piece taker in the world, and takes FIFA 20’s number 1 spot.
Sebastian Giovinco (OVR 81)
Position: CF, ST
Club: Al Hilal
Free Kick stats: 90 Curve, 93 Free Kick Accuracy, 80 Power
Widely known as the ‘Free-Kick King’, Sebastian Giovinco takes the number 2 spot in FIFA 20. His conversion rate comes in at 9.7% (impressive considering how he attempts free-kicks from 35 yards out), and scores a direct free-kick every 580.47 minutes, which is around half of the time it takes for Messi, Pjanic or Neymar to score one.
No one has scored more direct free kicks in the world game than Sebastien Giovinco, with Lionel Messi sitting a few goals behind him in second.
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Enis Bardhi (OVR 78)
Position: CM, LM, CAM
Country: North Macedonia
Free Kick stats: 89 Curve, 91 Free Kick Accuracy, 85 Power
In August 2017 Bardhi joined Levante and scored his first goal in the top tier, netting his team’s first goal through a direct free-kick in a 2–2 home draw against Deportivo La Coruna.
Bardhi’s set-piece prowess has gone under the radar, considering that the only person to score more free kicks than him in the 2017-18 season was Lionel Messi.
Miralem Pjanic (OVR 86)
Position: CM, CDM
Club: Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)
Free Kick stats: 86 Curve, 92 Free Kick Accuracy, 85 Power
Pjanic was Juventus’s first choice free-kick taker for years, until Cristiano Ronaldo signed for the club in July 2018 – he bagged some absolute screamers from distance, most notably against AC Milan, Genoa and Chievo Verona.
It is understood that he handed over the mantle to five-time Ballon d’Or winner without much of a fight, but considering how Ronaldo scored one free kick for every 185 games he played in a Real Madrid kit, we have no idea why.
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Hakan Calhanoglu (OVR 80)
Position: LW, CAM, CM
Club: AC Milan
Free Kick stats: 92 Curve, 90 Free Kick Accuracy, 86 Power
Hakan Calhanoglu is known for scoring from free-kicks, and models his set-piece technique on those of Cristiano Ronaldo and Juninho.
However, the talented free-kick taker has drawn some criticism upon himself in recent years, as his pace has held him back from becoming a dominant winger in Serie A.
Robert Skov (OVR 75)
Position: RW, RM
Free Kick stats: 87 Curve, 90 Free Kick Accuracy, 88 Power
Christian Eriksen has admitted he is worried about losing the free-kick taking duties for Denmark to Hoffenheim forward Robert Skov.
Of the 23-year-old’s 30 goals last season, eight came from direct free-kicks, while four more came from shots from outside the penalty area.
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Daniel Parejo (OVR 86)
Free Kick stats: 89 Curve, 90 Free Kick Accuracy, 79 Power
Daniel Parejo was Valencia’s top scorer in the 2018-19 season, bagging a handful of free-kicks throughout the year.
Parejo’s leadership abilities have come to define him as a player, but he’s honed a reputation as one of La Liga’s best passers whilst also becoming a serious goal threat from free kicks.
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