Top 10: Number of goals from outside the area in European football last year…
Fanatix runs down the top ten players in the European league’s last year who scored the most goals from outside the area…
10) Andrea Pirlo – Juventus – 5 goals (5 overall)
Everyone’s favourite bearded Italian, Pirlo bagged four freekicks for the Italian Champions last year with his cultured right boot – and also bagged a screamer from open play from 25-yards.
9) Alain Traore – Lorient – 5 goals (6 overall)
Remarkably, the Burkina Faso international only featured in 14 matches last year, but still scored five times from outside the box.
8) Francesco Lodi – Catania – 5 goals (9 overall)
Lodi’s five left-foot thunderbolts earned him a move to Genoa this summer.
7) Luis Suarez – Liverpool – 5 goals (23 overall)
The enigmatic Uruguayan scored five of his 23 goals in the league last year from distance, which included three freekicks. He also added a brilliant freekick against Udinese in the Europa League.
6) Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG – 5 goals (30 overall)
Five of the giant Swede’s 30 league goals last year came from outside the box, and even with the arrival of Edinson Cavani, the Parisian club would be mad to let him go.
5) Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid – 5 goals (34 overall)
Ronaldo’s ability to make a ball dip and swerve is perhaps rivalled by only one other footballer (who may feature higher up this list) and the Portuguese star duly bagged five screamers from outside the area in 12/13.
4) Gokhan Inler – Napoli – 6 goals (6 overall)
The Swiss midfielder only scores from outside the box – and brilliantly bagged three apiece with his left and right feet for the Italian Champions League qualifiers last season.
3) Hernanes – Lazio – 6 goals (11 overall)
The cultured Brazilian showed his pedigree last year, by scoring six goals outside the box – two with his left foot and four with his right.
2) Lionel Messi – Barcelona – 7 goals (46 overall)
The world’s best player scored seven times from outside the box last year, all with his wonderful left-boot. Seven in a league season is an outstanding total – but last term it wasn’t enough to top the European table…
1) Gareth Bale – Tottenham – 9 goals (21 overall)
Bale’s ability to bamboozle goalkeepers with his left-foot last season got Spurs out of trouble time and time again. Wonderful efforts against Liverpool, Norwich and West Ham stick out for fans, and it is no surprise whatsoever that Real Madrid could be willing to smash the world transfer record for the 23-year-old Welsh wizard.
Stats courtesy of Squawka.