Skip to content

Who Has Scored the Longest Free Kick Goal in Football History?

The longest free kick goal ever scored was an epic 56.1 yards by Lionel Messi playing for Barcelona against Liverpool in the 2019 Champions League. With that incredible strike, the Argentine legend cemented his name in the record books for scoring from farther out than any other player in football history.

Scoring from free kicks is one of the most exciting and beautiful aspects of football. Let‘s dive deeper into the legends who have scored the most jaw-dropping long distance free kick goals that fans will never forget.

Juninho Pernambucano: The Free Kick Master

Friend, if you ask me who the greatest free kick taker of all time is, my answer would be Juninho Pernambucano without hesitation. Juninho may not have the longest goal ever, but he perfected the technique and skill of free kick taking during his prime years with French club Olympique Lyonnais from 2001-2009.

The Brazilian midfielder became famous for his ability to bend shots with pace and lateral movement that bamboozled opposing keepers. Juninho used a shooting technique called the "knuckleball" that gives the ball unpredictable swerve and dip as it rockets towards goal.

He could score from 20, 30, even 40 yards out! Juninho scored over 100 free kicks in his career, many of them absolute beauties. In my eyes, he will always be the true free kick king and set the standard that all other specialists aspire to reach.

Messi vs. Ronaldo: By the Numbers

When looking at stats, two modern superstars have scored more direct free kick goals than any other players – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Let‘s compare their numbers:

  • Lionel Messi: 62 free kick goals
  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 60 free kick goals

At the club level, Messi has scored an astonishing 50 free kicks for Barcelona and PSG. Ronaldo, while playing for Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, has 48 free kick goals.

In league competition alone, Messi has 39 free kick goals compared to Ronaldo‘s 33. While the Portuguese legend relies more on sheer power, Messi is surgical with his placement in the corners and over the wall.

Both players can regularly be counted on to thrill fans by scoring from 20+ yards on free kicks. But Messi currently holds the slight edge in this iconic area of the game.

Longest Free Kick Goals in Football History

Let‘s look at some of the longest range free kick goals ever scored:

  • 56.1 yards – Lionel Messi (Barcelona vs. Liverpool – 2019)
  • 55 yards – Socrates (Brazil vs. USSR – 1982)
  • 51 yards – Ronaldinho (Barcelona vs. Werder Bremen – 2006)
  • 50 yards – Wesley Sonck (Ajax Amsterdam vs. NAC Breda – 2004)
  • 49 yards – Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid vs. Espanyol – 2014)

As you can see, Messi‘s legendary strike surpasses even other all-time greats like Socrates and Ronaldinho for the longest goal. Ronaldo also makes the list for a 49-yard rocket he scored while at Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi56.1 yardsBarcelona vs. Liverpool2019 Champions League
Socrates55 yardsBrazil vs. USSR1982 Friendly
Ronaldinho51 yardsBarcelona vs. Werder Bremen2006 Friendly
Wesley Sonck50 yardsAjax vs. NAC Breda2004 Eredivisie
Cristiano Ronaldo49 yardsReal Madrid vs. Espanyol2014 La Liga

These goals represent incredible skill to get so much power and bend while striking the ball precisely from nearly midfield. Any free kick goal from beyond 40 yards out is a truly special achievement.

Giuseppe Signori‘s Record-Setting Hat Trick

In April 1994, Italian striker Giuseppe Signori cemented his legend by scoring an improbable hat trick of free kick goals in a single match. All three goals came from direct free kicks during a 3-1 win for his club Lazio over rivals Inter Milan in Serie A play.

To score three free kick goals in one game is extraordinary enough. But the fact Signori did it against a league powerhouse like Inter makes his record-setting performance even more iconic. Each goal was struck with power and precision that gave the keeper no chance.

Signori‘s historic hat trick demonstrates how free kicks can single-handedly change the complexion of a match when placed in the capable foot of a master.

When Goalkeepers Join the Fun

Some of the most entertaining long distance goals come from an unlikely source – goalkeepers! By using their leg strength on free kicks from inside their own penalty area, keepers can actually score by lofting the ball downfield and into the opponent‘s net.

Two goalkeepers known for their pinpoint free kick accuracy are:

  • Jose Luis Chilavert – The Paraguayan eccentric scored over 60 goals in his career, many directly from free kicks near midfield. His long distance strikes captured fans‘ imaginations in the 1990s.

  • Rogerio Ceni – Playing for Sao Paulo in Brazil, Ceni scored an astonishing 131 goals as a keeper thanks to his free kick prowess from inside his own half.

There‘s something special about seeing a keeper catch the opponent off guard by slotting home a free kick goal from beyond the halfway line. While rare, these strikes require incredible skill and are always a welcome surprise.

Long Free Kicks Capture Football‘s Beauty

My friend, I hope you‘ve enjoyed this overview of some of the greatest and most jaw-dropping long free kick goals ever scored. Players that can consistently strike the ball into the net from 20, 30, even 40+ yards capture everything beautiful about football.

While statistics and records are fun to debate, long free kick goals should first and foremost be appreciated for their incredible difficulty and rarity. A perfectly struck ball soaring and bending towards the top corner is a real work of art.

So next time you see a player lining up a free kick from way outside the box, stop and pay attention. You may be about to witness a legendary strike for the ages!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.