Do you remember last year's Mesut Ozil free kick at the Emirates against Liverpool, or the Ronaldo long-ranger that he hit against Arsenal so many years ago in the UEFA Champions League? We all love a good free kick, and the thrill is often multiplied when a set play works out perfectly when playing any FIFA title.
As of now, there's a new FIFA that's almost upon us – FIFA 16. The new game has been treated to a number of major tweaks and overhauls to make the game as lifelike possible, compared to its predecessors. We have already received word on improved defending and a revamped Career Mode, but there's still a lot that needs to be answered about the game.
One of the most potent questions related to the new FIFA is whether we will have an even more improved free kick system that will result in more accurate finished products from a dead-ball situation. Sure each of the teams will have their own dead-ball specialists, but who are the ones that stand out from the others?
We take a closer look and predict the top 5 free kick takers in FIFA 16.
FIFA 16 – Predicting 5 Best Free Kick Takers
Gareth Bale, Real Madrid – Predicted FK Accuracy: 88 – Irrespective of what the Bernabeu faithful thinks, Bale is still one of top strikers of the ball in the planet from a dead-ball situation. Sure, by his standards, he had quite a mediocre season last time around, but that doesn't mean he will continue to falter. Bale is expected to partner Ronaldo more significantly this season under a much tweaked formation of Rafa Benitez (is Benzema going to Arsenal or not?). Bale's FK accuracy last year was 85, and expect significant increase to that in FIFA 16.
Rasmus Elm, Kalmar FF – Predicted FK Accuracy: 87 – If you haven't heard of Elm, it's probably because you haven't looked beyond the Premier League in recent times. Swedish international Rasmus Elm was a threat to deal with from set-piece situations during his initial years with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, and although the 27-year old has found it hard to find form recently, he still knows a thing or two about driving the ball into the back of the net from set-play. Keep a lookout for Elm as soon as FIFA 16 arrives.
Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Bayer Leverkusen – Predicted FK Accuracy: 90 – Çalhanoğlu is just 21, and he has already scored as many as 11 times from a free kick situation. And if that doesn't ring a bell, note that no player has scored more direct free kicks in Europe's top five leagues than Turkey international Çalhanoğlu in the last two seasons. The youngster had a fine season with Leverkusen, and was rated with FK accuracy of 87 in FIFA 15. With another breakthrough season on the cards for Çalhanoğlu, expect the accuracy rating to increase.
Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund – Predicted FK Accuracy: 87 – While there's still a bit of confusion related to where Rues will end up before the transfer window for the season closes, rest assured that wherever he goes, he will light up the team with his skills on and off the ball. Rues, 26, is renowned for his free kick style, and has been harbouring a free kick accuracy of 85 for the last few years. And although the winger was restricted to a handful of appearances in the Dortmund shirt last season (due to injury), we are expecting some increase to that FK overall.
Juan Arango, Club Tijuana – Predicted FK Accuracy: 91 – Talking about hidden gems, Club Tijuana's Juan Arango deserves a special mention in this slot. Arango has been a professional footballer for the last 19 years, and at 35, he is still one of the most potent free kick takers in the game. Venezuelan Arango has scored more than 120 goals from the midfield position, and may already have retired from international football, but he could still harbour a more than decent 91 FK accuracy rating for the new game.
Stay tuned for more updates.