Once upon time at Juventus, we were spoiled in the presence of two excellent freekick specialists in Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic. With the Argentine possessing a fabulous left foot and the Bosnian an equally-dangerous right foot, the Bianconeri caused terror for their opponents from all various angles.
While things were supposed to improve even further with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, for one reason or another, it ultimately backfired, as the team no longer posed the same threat from dead ball situations with the Portuguese’s shots mostly hitting the defensive wall.
So following Dybala’s departure, Max Allegri must now find himself a new designated freekick taker. Thus, we’ll take a look at five candidates and rank them based on their abilities in this particular department.
5- Leonardo Bonucci
Aside from actual skills, taking freekicks requires a certain character. A player must have a strong personality and some confidence to stand over the ball and tell his teammates to back off.
And this is probably where Leonardo Bonucci excels. However, when it comes to his abilities, he probably falls short behind the other players on the list, even if he doesn’t disgrace himself with his attempts.
4- Dusan Vlahovic
The Serbian isn’t only a big classic centre forward who’s job is to nod the ball home from inside the penalty box. In fact, the 22-year-old possesses a stunning left foot that allows him to score from distance.
Perhaps he still needs additional time to sharpen his freekick skills, but he could rise in the pecking order sometime in the future.
3- Paul Pogba
While he doesn’t score freekicks on a recurring basis, Paul Pogba remains a threat when standing over the ball. Juventus fans can remember a time when he used to rotate with Dybala in freekick duties.
Unfortunately for the Frenchman, his injury woes will give others a head start.
2- Juan Cuadrado
The Colombian has never truly been the designated freekick taker in the presence of other specialists, but his prowess are surely underrated. Last season, he scored a freekick against Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia.
Moreover, if the man can score a direct goal from a corner kick, he’ll surely be able to land one or two when facing the net.
1- Angel Di Maria
The Argentine is arguably one of the most underrated players in his generation, and so are his dead ball skills.
Throughout his playing career, Di Maria has been featuring alongside some of the biggest superstars in the world, including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi, which ultimately hindered his chances of displaying his true potential from freekicks.
Nonetheless, the veteran winger remains one of the most dangerous players in this regard, and Juventus fans will be hoping that he delivers the goods this season.