Brazil: Roberto Carlos Admits His Famous ‘Banana’ Freekick Against France In 1997 Was A Wind-Assisted Fluke

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Like arriving at the stark realisation that the middle-aged man doling out Kinder Eggs and cuddles in the back of his boarded up Transit van probably wasn't the Easter Bunny after all, Roberto Carlos has delivered a thundering hammer blow to Pies' already faltering grasp of all we assume to be true.

World Cup Play-Offs: Mile Jedinak The Unlikely Hat-Trick Hero As Australia Book Berth At Russia 2018 (Photos & Video)

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After Tim Cahill's headstrong heroics in the previous round, it was Mile Jedinak who emerged as the somewhat unlikely catalyst for Australia as they booked themselves a berth at the 2018 World Cup with a cross-continental play-off win over Honduras.

The two sides produced a goalless draw in the first leg in San Pedro Sula on Friday, so a 3-1 victory on home soil in Sydney this morning was enough to swing it for the Socceroos.

Set-Piece Pioneers: Chelmsford City Concede Within 15 Seconds Of Taking Their Own Attacking Freekick (Video)

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Sam Corcoran slips (Image: Hayes & Yeading United/Youtube)

On a biting November night in deepest, darkest Middlesex, poor old Chelmsford City fell to a disheartening 3-0 defeat to Hayes & Yeading in what was the old Blue Square South division back in 2012.

Alas, the unmitigated misery was at least partially self-inflicted too, with Chelmsford demonstrating a free-kick delivery so bad that it ultimately saw them concede a goal almost instantly in the confusion that ensued.

Set-Piece Pioneers: Polish Side Use Attacking Freekick To Cooly, Calmly Concede Goal-Kick In Most Efficient Manner Possible, 2016 (Video)

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The Puszcza Niepolomice brains trust, in their element...

Concerned about leaving their defence so exposed having won an attacking freekick so far up the pitch, several Puszcza Niepolomice players got their heads together and decided to play it safe.

Indeed, during a Polish Cup quarter-final tie against Pogon Szczecin last season, the Puszcza set-piece special committee decided the best course of action was to concede possession in the most efficient manner possible to allow themselves to get back and assume their defensive positions.

Set-Piece Pioneers: Non-League Boreham Wood Trick Arsenal With The Old Freekick Switcheroo, 2013 (Video)

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The annual pre-season friendly between Boreham Wood FC and Arsenal has become something of along-standing staple over the past couple of decades, with both clubs using the meeting as a chance to test their respective mettle before getting into the real nitty-gritty of the new campaign.

As it bloomin' well happens, the 2013 encounter was a vintage affair.

Set-Piece Pioneers: Catania Dispatch Freekick After Using Bare Buttocks To Distract Torino Goalkeeper, 2008 (Video)

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Walter Zenga took over as Catania coach in April of the 2007/08 campaign and proceeded to stave off relegation by the skin of his teeth, retaining Serie A status in the final minutes of the very last match of the season.

Indeed, it was Javi Martinez's 85th-minute equaliser in an unlikely 1-1 draw against Roma that delivered Catania from Serie B in dramatic, cathartic fashion.

Set-Piece Pioneers: Japanese High School Team Successfully Deploy Ingenious ‘Walking Wall’ Freekick Ruse, 2016 (Video)

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These days it's positively ubiquitous, but as strange as it is to think, the world had never seen the now-humdrum "walking wall" set-piece routine before January of last year.

Largely uncredited as they may be for innovating and subsequently adding such an instant staple to the football repertoire, 'twas the football team from East Fukuoka High School who first demonstrated the Monkees-style routine.

Set-Piece Pioneers: Austrian Trailblazers SC Weiz Manage To Decimate Their Own Wall, 2013 (Video)

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The calm before the storm...

Continuing with our nascent exploration of the players and teams that have served to expand the parameters of set-piece execution over the years, we find ourselves plonked slap, bang in the lower tiers of the Austrian pyramid.

The year was 2013 and, unfettered by sporting norms, SC Weiz decided that their crunch encounter withSC Fürstenfeldbruck was the perfect time to deploy what has since come to be known as "The Crappest Freekick Routine Ever Attempted By Anyone Ever".

Set-Piece Pioneers: Man Utd Pair Ryan Giggs And David Beckham Attempt Simultaneous Freekick Routine, 2001 (Video)

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In the first of what we might turn into a semi-regular series on Pies, we examine some of the oddest, most esoteric set-pieces to have ever been unleashed, both in anger and in muddled incompetence.

Three games into the 2001/02 season, Manchester United came up against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Diego Maradona Rolls Back Years To Score Impudent 20-Yard Freekick During Al-Fujairah Training Session (Video)

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Photo: @Fuj_FC/Twitter

There's every chance you may have missed the latest update, but Diego Maradona is currently under gainful employ out in the United Arab Emirates where he is head coach at Al-Fujairah SC.

Despite being a couple of months shy of his 57th birthday, Maradona has set about providing an example to his players, tucking away a lovely freekick during Tuesday morning's training session.

Bayern Munich: Franck Ribery Cheekily Unties Referee’s Boot Laces Before Whipping Home 20-Yard Freekick (Video)

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Bayern Munich got their DFB Pokal campaign off to a flying start on Saturday afternoon with a 5-0 rollicking of third-tier Chemnitzer FC.

Franck Ribery scored the fourth goal of the onslaught by tucking away a smart 20-yard free-kick, but not before having a cheeky fiddle with the referee's boot laces.

Ligue 2: Nancy Striker Patrik Eler Marks Debut By Belting The Absolute Living Sh*t Out Of 40-Yard Freekick (Video)

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Photo: @asnlofficiel/Twitter

Having only signed for the club a few days prior, striker Patrik Eler made his debut for AS Nancy-Lorraine in their Ligue 2 season opener against US Orleans on Friday evening.

Nancy ended up losing 3-1, though Eler was responsible for grabbing the consolation goal chiefly by belting the ever-loving sh*t out of a long-range freekick just 19 minutes into his first ever appearance for the club.

Paulo Dybala Scores ‘Impossible’ Freekick Against 18 Defenders And Two Goalkeepers In Hometown Charity Match (Video)

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Twitter: @AxelOfficial/Twitter

With proper football on the back-burner for a few more weeks, Paulo Dybala returned home to Argentina on Saturday to take partin a light-hearted charity match in his hometown of Laguna Larga.

Twas during said game that Dybala was challenged with scoring an 'impossible' freekick as the entire opposing team (along with several stowaways from the crowd) filled the goalmouth in an attempt to block the Juventus forward's shot.

Classic Moments: Claudio Bravo Scores Match-Winning Freekick For Real Sociedad, 2010 (Video)

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Photo: Pablo Gomez (via Mundo Deportivo)

After becoming something of a punchline for his error-strewn handling at Man City last season, Claudio Bravo gave his flagging reputation a much-needed shot in the arm with a heroic display at the end ofChile's tenseknock-outvictory over Portugal in the Confederations Cup.

Rather Nifty: Watch Everton Midfielder Ross Barkley Take Freekicks In 360° Virtual Reality (Video)

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If you've ever wanted to watch Ross Barkley take a free-kick from every single conceivable angle, then now's your chance muchacho.

Thanks to some superb camera work from virtual reality pioneers Laduma,the following clip of Barkley knocking balls around is fully interactive alongevery axis.

Championship: Nott’m Forest Midfielder Ben Osborn Scores Superb ‘Le Tissier-Style’ Freekick To Sink Bristol City (Official Video)

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Amid a season chock full of dirge and drudgery, Nottingham Forest youngling Ben Osborn produced a rare moment of brilliance in Saturday's narrow win over Bristol City.

Indeed, the game was settled by a single goal, which emanatedfrom a 67th-minute set-piece routine devised and executed superbly by Osborn and fellow midfield prospect Matty Cash.

Did You See Miralem Pjanic’s Freekick vs Atalanta? Nope, Neither Did Anyone Else… (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Things got a little obscure during the Roma-Atalanta game last night. Snow was a factor...

Great goal... we think.

Mario Balotelli Sticks Away Sumptuous 25-Yard Freekick vs Parma (Video)

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By Chris Wright

AC Milan beat Parma 2-1 in Serie A last night to go level third in the table with Lazio, with Mario Balotelli scoring their second with a delightful 25-yard freekick...

Though he had a bit of a stinker against Parma by all acounts, that now four goals in three games for Balotelli at Milan now, all in the space of three weeks.

Splat! Sao Paulo’s Rafael Toloi scores 40-yard free-kick clocked at 80mph

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a ferocious free-kick that makes Roberto Carlos strikes look like apologetic scuffs. Playing mid-week against Universidad de Chile, Sao Paolo's Rafael Toloi ran-up to the ball and smacked it as if he had caught it in bed with his wife. The ensuing abuse of physics [.

FC Lorient’s Alain Traore Scores Exceptional Picture Perfect 30-Yard Freekick vs Stade Rennes (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Despite being reduced to nine men by the end of the afternoon, FC Lorient managed to beat near-neighbours Rennes 2-1 in Ligue 1 at the weekend, thanks largely to a couple of absolute blooters from Alain Traore, with the Burkinabé striker scoring a belting brace from a cumulative distance of about 60 yards the second being this picture perfect freekick.

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TweetFrom Marco Van Basten, to Paul Gascoigne and Davor Suker, In The Stands' Rolly Pelovangu picks out five great goals which have lit up the Euros. Of course there have been many fantastic strikes throughout the history of the Euro from Henrik Larson's unbelievably photogenic diving header against Bulgaria, Zinedine Zidane's superb freekick against Spain [.

Suwon Bluewings’ Eddy Bosnar Leathers Home 75mph Exocet Freekick vs Ulsan Hyundai (Video)

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By Chris Wright

In which Suwon Bluewings' Aussie centre-half Eddy Bosnar leathers home an absolute monster freekick against Ulsan Hyundai in the South Korean top flight...

F**king Aida! How did the ball not just liquefy on contact? 123km/h (approx 75mph) if you were wondering.

Suwon Bluewings’ Eddy Bosnar Leathers Home 75mph Exocet Freekick vs Ulsan Hyundai (Video)

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By Chris Wright

In which Suwon Bluewings' Aussie centre-half Eddy Bosnar leathers home an absolute monster freekick against Ulsan Hyundai in the South Korean top flight...

F**king Aida! How did the ball not just liquefy on contact? 123km/h (approx 75mph) if you were wondering.


Michael Farfan and DC down the Union

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DC United have maintained their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference after a scrappy 1-0 win at the Philadelphia Union in the MLS. It was the hosts though who had the better of the early stages. A fine solo effort from Michael Farfan flew just wide of DC keeper Bill Hamid's left hand post. And Philadelphia continued to press in the first half.

Philadelphia Union Win 2-1, Upset Nearly Full Strength FC Schalke 04

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Chandler Hoffman's first professional goal may go down as one of the most exciting of his young life, as the rookie striker slotted home a 12-yard shot to give the Philadelphia Union a 2-1 win over FC Schalke 04.

Schalke played a strong lineup consisting of many of their starters, including Raul and star striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

HIGHLIGHTS Game #8: Philadelphia Union 0 - 1 Seattle Sounders

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  • 00:25 - Kickoff.
  • 00:36 - Seattle takes a corner at 6:52 into the game. The corner is headed deep into the box toward Fredy Montero, who manages to kick it on target, but Union rookie right back Raymon Gaddis cleared it off of the line.
  • 00:58 - The ball is sent to the right side of the Union 18, then crossed into the six.

HIGHLIGHTS: Philadelphia Union 1 - 0 Chivas USA

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  • 0:33 - Kickoff.
  • 0:54 - Ryan Smith sends a dangerous cross into the Philadelphia Union's box. Gabriel Farfan kicks the ball out to around the 30.
  • 1:04 - Michael Farfan tears apart the Chivas USA defense and places a low ball across the goal mouth toward a waiting Freddy Adu.

Euro 2012

Euro 2012: Russia v Czech Republic – live!

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This article titled "Euro 2012: Russia v Czech Republic – live!" was written by Paul Doyle, for on Friday 8th June 2012 20.36 UTC

Full-time: A richly entertaining game ruined only by the wonky shooting of Kerzakhov. Russian were brilliant with the ball, yet strangely prone to lapses of interest, which could cost them against better opposition.

Euro 2012: Poland 1 Greece 1

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Euro 2012 kicked off with a bang as the opening game served up something for everyone. Two goals from comedy goalkeeping errors, a controversial sending off, a cast-iron sending off, a saved penalty and an inspired substitution gave more memorable moments than most opening games put together.


Match of the Weekend 2 – The Scottish Cup Final: Hibernian 1 Heart of Midlothian 5

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Having waited 118 years for a second all-Edinburgh Final, the Scottish Cup final ended up being a disappointment for neutrals, and especially Hibernian fans, as Heart of Midlothian ran out comfortable 5-1 winners, for their eight victory in the competition, their third Cup win in fourteen years. It was a game overshadowed by controversy, especially concerning the decision at the start of the second half, which saw Hearts awarded a penalty and Hibernian reduced to ten men.

Highlights - Friendly #1: Philadelphia Union 2 - 1 FC Schalke 04

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  • 00:05 - Pregame handshakes.
  • 00:20 - Chase Harrison and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar collide inside of the Philadelphia Union 18. Huntelaar was accidentally hit in the face by Harrison, who was attempting to punch a cross out of his area. The Dutch striker was diagnosed with a concussion and his face had already begun to swell up.

injury time

Singing For England?

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"Did you cheer, did you cheer, did you cheer when Beckham scored?" we would sing to opposition fans following David Beckham's transformation from villain to hero in the eyes of England fans. After his sending off in the World Cup 1998 he was given an awful time in this country, with effigies of him being hung in London, his face at the centre of cut out dart boards in the tabloids and vile abuse from the stands.

Rumors Of A Rumble Between Franck Ribery & Arjen Robben

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And at the heart of it, of course, is Bild. Bless them.

There are rumblings of some rumbling between Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben at halftime of the Bayern v Real Champions League semifinal earlier in the week, escalating to the point of Franck punching Arjen in the face.

The Rest

Legendary: Adidas Revive Predator Precision Boots With Trademark Assist From David Beckham (Photos)

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Photo: Adidas Football

As part of their new 'Limited Collection, Adidas have revived their classic Predator Precision, as famously favoured by David Beckham in the early 2000s.

Indeed, it was the original Precision that Beckham wore while dispatching *that* freekick against Greece at Old Trafford in 2001, thus cementing their place in English football boot folklore, should such a thing exist.

LvG: We learnt “offside” freekick technique from Midtjylland

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Manchester United were comfortable winners against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup tonight, finishing the game with a deserved 3-0 victory.

There was some controversy surrounding United's second goal though. Juan Mata scored a lovely freekick, with Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial blocking the view of the goalkeeper, from an offside position.

VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Spurs fan on signing Rooney, losing to United and AVB

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Nothing is certain but death and taxes... and not losing to Spurs. They may score from the half way line in the last minute, plain for all to see, but it won't be given. They may be 3-0 up at half-time, but we'll score five in the second half. They may believe they have a freekick after one of our players blatantly handballs it, but the ref will play advantage and we will score a goal regardless.

VIDEO: De Gea Scores Freekick In Olympics Training

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"VIDEO: De Gea Scores Freekick In Olympics Training" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

WCQ: Guatemala 1 - USA 1

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The USA remain atop their group in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying after drawing 1-1 with Guatemala in Guatemala City. Clint Dempsey opened the scoring for the United States in the 40th minute. Guatemala's Marco Pappa equalized in the 83rd minute from a freekick just outside the arc. The US now leads Jamaica at the top of Group A by goal difference.

Breakers Make It Five Straight

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Katie Schoepfer scored two goals in Friday's 4-0 win over FC Indiana. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

The Boston Breakers extended their winning streak to five in Friday night's 4-0 thumping of FC Indiana.

Katie Schoepfer scored two goals while Kyah Simon and Bianca D'Agostino each put one through while goalkeeper Alice Binns made six saves to preserve her league-leading third shutout of the season.

Schoepfer’s Hat Trick Lifts Breakers Over Flash

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SOMERVILLE, Mass. When Katie Schoepfer was substituted out of the game in the 70th minute of Saturday night's 3-2 Breakers victory over the Western New York Flash, the sellout crowd at Dilboy Stadium erupted in applause. With the help of Schoepfer and her first career hat trick, the Breakers solidified their place as the top team in WPSL Elite and extended their unbeaten streak to four.