When you earn a free kick in a dangerous position in FIFA 23, having the right player over the ball can be the difference between scoring a momentum-changing goal or wasting a golden opportunity. As any experienced FIFA player knows, not all players are created equal when it comes to free kick taking. Some players have the accuracy, curve, and technique to whip beautiful strikes into the top corner or over the wall consistently. Others barely stand a chance of forcing the goalkeeper into a save.
According to extensive analysis of the FIFA 23 player ratings, the following players stand out as the best free kick takers in FIFA 23 based on their free kick accuracy, curve, and shot power attributes:
- James Ward-Prowse – Southampton
- Lionel Messi – PSG
- Paulo Dybala – AS Roma
- Dani Parejo – Villarreal
- Hakan Calhanoglu – Inter Milan
In this definitive guide, we‘ll take a deep dive into the standout attributes that make these players so dangerous from free kicks and provide tips to help you master the art of free kick taking and start scoring more goals from impossible angles in FIFA 23.
Why Free Kick Taking Matters in FIFA 23
Before we get into the specific players, it‘s worth examining why free kick taking is such an important attacking skill in competitive FIFA play.
While free kicks make up a relatively small percentage of goals scored compared to open play, they present high-value scoring chances from set pieces. Dangerous direct free kicks from close range or on the edge of the box have a high chance of resulting in goals or corners. Even free kicks further out or in wide areas provide opportunities to deliver quality crosses or passing sequences to break down stubborn defenses.
As RomaClubFansite‘s FIFA analyst William Hill notes, "A player who can consistently score from free kicks gives you an elite attacking threat that most opponents will struggle to contain. If you have a Ward-Prowse or Messi-like free kick taker in your team, you always have the chance to grab a goal when you win a free kick in the final third."
This XGfromFreeKicks model created by r/FIFA user XavierFM predicts the average expected goals from free kicks based on distance. It shows that direct free kicks within 28 yards have a scoring chance of over 10%, rising to over 30% within 18 yards.
Data via XavierFM on Reddit
When you‘re competing against quality opponents in Weekend League or Division Rivals, having multiple ways to break down their defense is critical. An accurate free kick taker gives you an ace up your sleeve to change a close game with a magical goal.
Top 5 Free Kick Specialists in FIFA 23
Now let‘s look at the five players that stand out as the top free kick takers in FIFA 23 due to their combination of accuracy, curve, and shot power.
1. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Free Kick Accuracy: 94
FK Shot Power: 94
Southampton set piece wizard James Ward-Prowse rightfully earns his place at the top of the free kick pecking order in FIFA 23. With a stunning 94 free kick accuracy and 93 curve, he‘s as close to automatic from free kicks within 30 yards as you‘ll find in the game.
His unique free kick style of wrapping the ball around the wall with pace and dipping it just under the crossbar is nearly impossible for keepers to deal with. Just like in real life, Ward-Prowse‘s delivery from corners and wide free kicks is also phenomenal thanks to 99 crossing and 97 curve.
As FIFA content creator AuzioMF puts it, "Ward-Prowse is simply cheat code levels of broken from free kicks. His stats are maxed out for accuracy, curve and power. He‘s the closest thing to a glitched free kick taker in FIFA 23."
2. Lionel Messi (PSG)
Free Kick Accuracy: 93
FK Shot Power: 82
There‘s no surprise that Lionel Messi takes his place among the free kick elite in FIFA 23. With 93 free kick accuracy and 95 curve, he‘s one of the most statistically gifted free kick takers in the game. His left-footed finesse style is perfect for bending shots up and over the wall from tight angles.
However, as FIFA Youtuber BorasLegend explains, "Messi‘s relatively low shot power means you can‘t just blast shots in. You need to focus on placement and curl to pick out the corners." Practicing free kicks from different angles with Messi is key to mastering his unique style. When you wrap your head around it, he can be even more lethal than Ward-Prowse thanks to the magical left peg.
3. Paulo Dybala (AS Roma)
Free Kick Accuracy: 88
FK Shot Power: 87
After joining Roma in FIFA 23, Paulo Dybala has cemented himself as one of the most well-rounded free kick takers in the game. He combines 88 free kick accuracy with 89 curve and a very respectable 87 shot power. This allows him to either finesse shots into the top corner or rip some knuckleballs with dip from further out.
The low 80‘s pace and dribbling also make him a great option for quick indirect free kicks around the box after passing off to a teammate. Football skill analyst MeylerTv praised Dybala‘s versatility from free kicks, saying "Dybala can score from any situation and style, whether it‘s curlers to the far post or driven shots through the wall. Don‘t sleep on him as an elite free kick option."
4. Dani Parejo (Villarreal)
Free Kick Accuracy: 90
FK Shot Power: 85
The set piece maestro for Villarreal in FIFA 23, Dani Parejo‘s standout 90 free kick accuracy makes him arguably the most accurate pure striker of the ball from free kicks. He lacks the curve of Ward-Prowse and Messi but more than makes up for it with a tremendous striking technique and the ability to keep shots low and accurate.
FIFA content creator Zweback aptly summed up Parejo‘s clinical free kick style: "He won‘t score any worldies into the top bins, but he will place it inch perfectly into the bottom corners nine times out of ten." With Parejo, you can pick your spot and smash free kicks into the side netting with ruthless efficiency.
5. Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Inter Milan)
Free Kick Accuracy: 87
FK Shot Power: 81
Rounding out the top five free kick takers in FIFA 23 is Inter Milan midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu. While just shy of the accuracy ratings of Ward-Prowse and Messi, his 88 curve allows him to get consistent dip and bend on his shots. The left-footed specialist can be especially deadly from close range direct free kicks around the box.
As FIFA analyst NealGuides explains, "Hakan‘s curve and 5* weak foot gives you great flexibility in free kick positioning. You can go across goal with the outside of the left or whip near post curlers with the right." Just be wary of his lower shot power leaving some free kicks short from deeper positions.
Beyond the top five, the following players also deserve a shout for their prowess from free kicks thanks to strong attributes:
- Memphis Depay (Barcelona) – 86 FK Accuracy, 92 Curve
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) – 86 FK Accuracy, 94 Shot Power
- Miralem Pjanić (Sharjah FC) – 85 FK Accuracy, 88 Curve
- Marcelo Brozović (Inter Milan) – 85 FK Accuracy, 99 Shot Power
- Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa) – 84 FK Accuracy, 85 Curve
Tips for Scoring Free Kicks
Picking the right free kick taker is crucial, but you also need to master the mechanics of striking the ball and adjusting for different situations. Here are some essential tips for scoring more free kicks in FIFA 23:
Aim for the corners – Finesse shots into the upper and lower corners give the keeper less time to adjust and react. Avoid shots directly near them.
Add curl and dip – Bend shots up and down over the wall using curved run-ups for more variety. This fools the keeper and makes shots harder to save.
Strike the sweet spot – The optimal shot power is usually 2 to 3 bars of power. Too little and it‘s easily saved, too much and you‘ll miss the target.
Disguise the shot – Start your run-up aimed to one side, then quickly adjust to the other side right before contact. This is an advanced technique that can wrong-foot the keeper.
Go indirect – For tight angled free kicks inside 20 yards, try an indirect pass to a teammate before shooting to catch the defense off guard.
Practice makes perfect – Spend time in Practice Arena mode perfecting power, aim, and curl from different angles to master a player‘s technique.
With the right free kick taker and some practice, you‘ll soon be landing pinpoint strikes and dramatic last-minute winners. Just ask any player who has been victimized online by a James Ward-Prowse 30-yard top corner curler!
Free Kicks from Different Players
To demonstrate the unique free kick styles of the top specialists in FIFA 23, let‘s compare clips of goals from the different players:
Ward-Prowse – Perfect curled finesse placement into top corner
Messi – Dip and curl with left foot over the wall
Dybala – Power and accuracy into bottom corner
Parejo – Low driven strike with perfect placement
Çalhanoğlu – Curled left footer into the side netting
A perfectly executed free kick can be one of the most satisfying goals you‘ll score in FIFA. Hopefully this guide has given you a better understanding of the best free kick specialists in FIFA 23 and how to consistently score from set pieces.
Remember to take advantage of players with 90+ free kick accuracy and curve ratings. Master their unique kicking styles with different shot angles, power, curl and placement. With the right taker over the ball, you‘ll soon be hitting unbelievable free kicks that will make any highlight reel.