Despite struggling to find a regular starting place at Manchester United, latest data reveal that Juan Mata has the best free-kick conversion rate in the premier league during the last 14 years.
The Premier League has had its fair share of renowned dead-ball specialists down the years, with the likes of David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Leighton Baines among them. However, none of that trio are in the top three most clinical players when it comes to scoring direct from free-kicks.
According to the official Premier League data analysed by Press Association Sport, Manchester United’s Juan Mata has been the deadliest set-piece specialist since 2001/02 season. It is compiled from players who have scored five or more free-kicks in that period.
The Spain international has scored five of his 28 attempts in free kicks for both Chelsea and Manchester United, giving him a conversion rate of 17.9 per cent.
Second on the list is Sunderland’s Sebastian Larsson, who showed his prowess with a brilliant set-piece strike against Tottenham at the weekend. That was the 11th time the Sweden international has scored direct from 90 free-kick attempts in the Premier League, giving him a conversion rate of 12.2 per cent.
Fourth-placed is former Manchester United star David Beckham, who has scored five goals from 54 shots, giving him a conversion rate of of 9.3 per cent.
Ryan Giggs is at eight having scored five goals from 73 shots with a conversion rate of 6.8. Whereas, Leighton Baines is at ninth with five goals from 76 shots, giving him a conversion rate of 6.6 percent.
The highest number of free-kick goals scored in the last 14 years goes to former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry with 12 goals. He is sixth placed in the list, having scored them from 144 shots with a conversion rate of 8.3 per cent.
The other famous players who have failed to make the list of top ten players are Cristiano Ronaldo, 10 goals from 164 shots with a conversion rate of 6.1 percent, Steven Gerrard, six goals from 102 shots with a conversion rate of 5.9 and Frank Lampard, seven goals from 175 shots with a conversion rate of 4.0.
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