Whether you are playing Career Mode, Ultimate Team, Seasons or just a straight Kick-Off, it is always useful to have a star set-piece taker up your sleeve. They can be the difference between a loss and a draw, or snatching a victory in a tight game. RealSport takes you through the top 10 free-kick takers to give you the edge over your opponent.
Hakan Calhanoglu (FKA 93 – CRV 92)
It’s no secret that the Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder is one of the best set-piece specialists, and FIFA 17 have made the 80-rated Turk the best on the game. His free-kick accuracy comes in at 93, with curve just behind on 92. His shot power of 87 means he is still dangerous around the 30-yard mark. The 22-year-old, who can also play as a left or central midfielder, will cost you around £20 million on Career Mode, and considering his potential of 84, that could be money well spent. On FIFA Ultimate Team he should cost you upwards of 2,700 coins on PlayStation 4 and 1,900 coins on Xbox One.
Andrea Pirlo (FKA 93 – CRV 92)
Andrea Pirlo has been hitting in free-kicks for 20 years, and he’s still doing it in The States with New York City FC. The 82-rated central or defensive midfielder also has a free-kick accuracy of 93 with curve 92, but his shot power of 75 only makes him useful within 25 yards. The 37-year-old Italian has a long contract until 2023 (he will be 44!), but at his age, it’s very likely that he will retire at the end of the season. On Ultimate Team, however, he can be yours from 1,900 and 2,500 on PS4 and XB1 respectively.
Dimitri Payet (FKA 91 – CRV 90)
Probably the best free-kick taker in the Premier League, we saw countless times for club and country last season Dimitri Payet torment goalkeepers from dead ball situations. West Ham’s left or attacking midfielder has been rewarded with stats of 91 free kick accuracy and 90 curve on FIFA 17, to go with his 86 rating. His shot power of 78 makes him very reliable from 25 yards, but his Career Mode price of £40 million may scare you off. But you can secure the 29-year-old Frenchman on Ultimate Team for just over the 40,000 mark on both consoles.
Lionel Messi (FKA 90 – CRV 89)
He had to appear somewhere, didn’t he? Lionel Messi may have been upset that his passing was less than Dimitri Payet’s, and his free kick attributes are a fraction lower too. The Barca right winger is now 29, but with 90-rated free kick accuracy and 89 curve going with his 93 overall, there is almost nothing he can’t do with the ball at his feet. His shot power of 83 means you will still have a chance with the Argentine from the 30-yard mark, but ability like his doesn’t come cheap. Despite only having two years remaining on his contract, Messi is still very difficult to sign in terms of finances and calibre. You need to be at a top, top club fighting for the title and in Europe, so you may be limited to just Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Only then will you be able to sign him for somewhere upwards of £80 million. As for Ultimate Team, it doesn’t get any easier, as you will need almost £1,000,000 coins on either console to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Mehmet Ekici (FKA 90 – CRV 88)
Not a name you would have heard of, but Turkey have another free-kick star in the form of Mehmet Ekici. The Trabzonspor attacking, central or defensive midfielder has 90 free-kick accuracy and 88 curve on FIFA 17, with 85 shot power. With a 77 overall rating, the 26-year-old is a cheaper option than many on this list, and with his contract up at the end of the season, you could sign him for less than £5 million. His Ultimate Team price is incredibly low, with Ekici costing just 700 coins on either console.
Duda (FKA 86 – CRV 91)
Another unknown, Malaga’s Duda is another cheap option if you want a free-kick specialist. The 36-year-old attacking or right midfielder has 86 free kick accuracy and 91 curve, with 84 shot power. He may only be rated 72, but if you want an experienced head in the middle of the park to bring off the bench (his stamina is only 31), then Duda could be your man. The Portuguese is in the final year of his contract in La Liga, so you may think he is likely to retire, but you can still sign him. He will only cost you £100,000 in Career Mode, and 300 coins on PS4 Ultimate Team. He comes in slightly more expensive on XB1 at 1,000
Miralem Pjanic (FKA 91 – CRV 86)
Free-kick taking may not be the first thing you think of when talking about Juventus man Miralem Pjanic, but it’s one of his strongest attributes. He has 91 free kick accuracy and 86 curve on FIFA 17, which is a part of his 85 overall rating and 87 potential. The new Juventus central midfielder has a lengthy contract at the Italian champions, and if you do wish to sign him in January, he is going to cost you around £45 million or more. The Bosnian isn’t much cheaper on Ultimate Team as you will be looking at a buy-it-now price of 43,000 on PS4 and 35,000 on XB1.
Zlatko Junuzovic (FKA 88 – CRV 89)
Only followers of German football will know anything of Zlatko Junuzovic, you plays as a central, attacking or left midfielder for Werder Bremen. The 79-rated Austrian has a free kick accuracy of 88 and curve of 89, with shot power at 78. The 28-year-old is a more balanced ability to price option than others on this list, as he will only cost you around £8 million on Career Mode, and 750 coins on Ultimate Team, regardless of console.
Johannes Geis (FKA 86 – CRV 90)
A stalwart of the German youth set-up, Schalke defensive or central midfielder Johannes Geis has come through every German age group team from U16 to U21. With a 79 overall rating and 84 potential of FIFA 17 Career Mode, he may be a player you would consider anyway, but his free kick stats make him all the more tempting. His free-kick accuracy comes in at 86, with curve at 90 and shot power also at 90, meaning he can be dangerous even from 35 yards out. The 22-year-old will cost you around £17 million on Career Mode, but only 750 coins on XB1 Ultimate Team, and 900 on PS4.
Shunsuke Nakamura (FKA 88 – CRV 87)
Yes, it’s him, no not the WWE NXT wrestler, but former Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura. The former Japanese international is perhaps best remembered for curling home free-kicks against Manchester United, both home and away, the second of which sent The Bhoys through to the Champions League knockout stages for the first time. The 38-year-old has been at hometown club Yokohama F. Marinos since 2010, with his FIFA 17 rating now 73. The attacking or right midfielder has an 88 free kick accuracy, 87 curve and 79 shot power in the game, still making him dangerous from set-pieces. Despite his contract running until 2021, he looks set to retire on Career Mode, but you can still sign him for 700 coins on Ultimate Team.
FIFA 17 Best Contract Expiry Signings
Fifa 17 Best Young Goalkeepers
Fifa 17 Best Young Wingers
Fifa 17 Best Young Defenders
Fifa 17 Best Young Strikers
Fifa 17 Best Young Midfielders
Fifa 17 Best Young Left Backs
Fifa 17 Best Young Right Backs