Lionel Messi reveals of studying goalkeeping to improve free-kicks

Lionel Messi Free-kicks
Lionel Messi
  • Lionel Messi has scored 52 goals from free kicks
  • The Argentine revealed the secrets of his success in dead ball situations 
  • He said that he would wait to see if a keeper moves before he strikes the ball

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has established himself as one of the players in the world from set-pieces – with 52 goals from free-kicks.

The Argentine captain has shared his secrets of success from the dead ball, admitting that studying the movements of a goalkeeper to get the upper hand. Messi scored 6 goals from 41 set-piece attempts in La Liga last season, as compared to 4 goals from 12 set-piece attempts in the current campaign – showing that he is only getting better with time.

Lionel Messi secret during free-kicks

Speaking to La Liga, the Barcelona legend said studying the goalkeeper behaviour standing opposite side of the wall was the key to his success in strike. ‘I started to study free-kicks more to see if the goalkeeper moves before [the ball is kicked], if he takes a step and if not how he reacts, where he places the wall.

‘The truth is that everything is work and training, and I’ve been getting better with training.’

Lionel Messi, who was named winner of Ballon d’Or, a record sixth time this year, has been scoring goals left, right and center this season – with 15 strikes in 18 appearances, despite having time on the sidelines with an injury.

Messi broke Telmo Zarra’s 251 goals record in 2014 and now standswith 432 strikes in the top flight – giving him a considerable lead to his next competitor – and he believes the accolade is one of his proudest achievements.

‘Being the top scorer in the league is special, and is one of the most beautiful records I have,’ he said.

Inspirational words from Samuel Eto

Messi revealed the conversation with former Barca striker Samuel Eto’o, and how the Cameroonian encouraged him to keep going as he was not having a great deal of luck in front of goal initially.

‘I remember many times that Eto’o told me: “The day you start to score goals is going to be…” because there were many chances, but I couldn’t convert them.

‘One day, I scored, and then they all started to go in. Every time I go out on the pitch, I am less focused on the goal and more on the game.’