Can good football player "put it where he wants to"?

If very good football (or soccer for you american blasphemers) player was given free kick, wasn’t disturbed and had no obscured view (like defenders wall during match) would he be able to perfectly aim at a certain point?

No, as any penalty shoot-out will testify.


If you asked a skilled player to take a free kick from 20 yards out, empty pitch with no players, and hit the cross-bar they couldn’t guarantee it. Might do it something like 6 or 7 times out of 10 I would guess, but not 10 out of 10.

If you made things harder and said you wanted them to hit the precise point where the crossbar meets the post, so a much smaller area, then that would be really difficult. 1 out of 10 would probably be good going here.

You mean that Nike ad with Ronaldinho repeatedly nailing the crossbar while juggling was a fake? I’m crushed :frowning:

Well, penalty is not only about shooting but also deceiving the goalkeeper.

I think thisguy could.

Remi Gaillard is quite good, no doubt, but when you make videos like this you just try till you succeed, it may take 10, 50 or even more tries…

Penalty shoot-outs are different because the soccer players have to put a lot of force behind it to beat the keeper. The OP is suggesting the player only needs to hit a certain point; they don’t need to smash it.

If you gave a top-level soccer player a free kick just outside the penalty area, and their specialty is taking free kicks, they could put the strike pretty much where they want it, yes. Not to the exact yard but something approaching that.

So if I understand what other posters are saying, he can put it where he wants to if he keeps it up long enough, but it’s really hard.

(OK, that’s the best I got – anyone else wanna try?)

Moving to the Game Room from GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Moved to the Game Room.

If you can put it away in the upper corner every time you don’t need to deceive the goalkeeper, because he’s not going to get it anyway. You could tell him where it’s going and it’ll still go in.

But then you have to do what isaiahrobinson said - smash it really hard. And with power aim goes off.

You don’t have to hit it very hard if you place it correctly.

The answer to this is no, unless you give a very generous definition of “a certain point.”

The crossbar game is a pretty good example of this. Going ten out of ten doesn’t happen on a regular basis.

From this thread, I learned that it’s difficult if you want it to go hard and fast into the box. But slow and comfortable against the post is easier to do.

Anyone who has ever watched an NFL Quarterback challenge knows that even the world’s best can’t hit a spot every time. Hell, not even most of the time.

Kicking an egg instead of a ball may have something to do with it.

And most quarterbacks are terrible kickers…

I can’t speak for soccer players (Bend it like Beckman) or American football kickers but I am impressed at how good the field goal kickers in the NFL have gotten. It’s quite amazing.

Several years ago I was watching the instructors at an ice hockey camp engaging in an ad-hock slap shot competition. These were guys that were Junior or minor league players, not NHL players. They would stand at the top of the circles and take turns at slap shots with the purpose of hitting the cross bar of the goal. No goalie. (Wrist shots can be far more accurate, slap shots tend to go where the want to.)

Nevertheless, inevitably one of the contestants would hit the crossbar within three rounds. It was amazing.

That being said, I tend to think that elite athletes, being what they are, can do things at a level that is not always apparent in competition. Go to an NHL practice and you will see players doing amazing stuff that they don’t attempt to do in games. The same must be true of soccer and football. These guys are good. They are a cut above. When they miss it is magnified but their basic level of talent and ability to do what they are asked to do is really impressive. They have their job for a reason. Few can do it. That’s why they get paid.

Good observation. In a slapshot competition, the player is alone and has time to wind up and aim (more or less). In a game, a big wind up means the other team’s player takes the puck from you and skates away! Same with target practice- you just don’t have the same time or vision of the net to aim that accurately in a real game.

I’m sure there are parallels in pretty much every sport; given time to aim and no pressure, it’s really rather amazing what a pro athlete can do!