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Remembering when AC Milan had all the world’s best free-kick takers in the same team

Between 2008 - 2010 AC Milan assembled arguably the greatest crop of free-kick takers on the planet

We’ve expressed our undying love for the Milan sides on the 2000s on numerous occasions.

Captain Maldini, the Christmas tree formation, the Brazilians… it was a wonderful time to be alive.

If this image doesn’t stir something in you then you’re probably a heartless robot

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If this image doesn’t stir something in you then you’re probably a heartless robot

Here we’re going to focus on one specific element that was unbelievably impressive and needlessly decadent in equal measure.

Between 2008 – 2010, Milan somehow ended up with all the world’s best free-kick takers in the same team.

Okay, they didn’t have Juninho Pernambucano, but they had all the others.

Imagine the scenario, the whistle goes and the referee awards a free-kick 25 yards from goal.

Which of these do you choose to take it?

David Beckham

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And goal in 3…2…1

Golden Balls spent two loan spells with Milan during the months LA Galaxy did not require his services.

Beckham’s right foot (along with his jawline) was a gift from the footballing gods and his steely gaze towards goal when standing over a dead ball often came moments before a satisfying net bulge.

Real Madrid 2003, Barcelona 1998, Greece 2001… so many iconic free-kicks.

Andrea Pirlo

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Not a bad second option

Class personified.

The Italian maestro was too cool to busy himself with goals from open play but, just large glasses of red wine, free-kicks were one of his favourite indulgences.

Capable of in-step curlers, knuckleballs and under-the-wall sneakers, Pirlo was a sight to behold in his prime.

Ronaldinho

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This is getting ridiculous now

Given his electric dribbling and penchant for performing magic tricks with his feet, it’s easy to forget the legendary Brazilian had a mean free-kick on him.

Ronaldinho scored over 60 free-kicks in his career but England fans (and David Seaman) will remember one above all…

Kaka

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Bloody hell, him as well

Milan’s creator-in-chief was rather preoccupied with being the best player in the world for some of the late 2000s and, given the other names on this list, he mostly just left his team-mates to it.

But the boy can strike a ball as good as anyone.

Those who have followed his MLS career with Orlando City would have been treated to some delightful free-kicks in recent years.

Alexandre Pato

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This must have broken some sort of rule

You may remember the baby-faced Brazilian once jumped the queue in a match against FC Zurich to score a stunning long-range free-kick.

His opportunities at Milan were few and far between in the late 2000s but in most other teams he would have been first-choice for all set pieces.

Clarence Seedorf

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So Seedorf is at the back of the line… wow

It’s utterly insane that a player of Seedorf’s ability had several other players ahead of him in the free-kick pecking order at one time in his life.

The only man to win the Champions League with three different clubs, he took many free-kicks at Milan in the years before and after the Beckham/Ronaldinho/Pirlo apex.

Fans will remember his beautiful 2011 strike against Juventus in the Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi and a breathtaking last-minute free-kick against Chievo in 2007 as evidence of his dead-ball prowess.

So then… who will it be?


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