Gareth Bale And The World’s Strangest Free Kick

Gareth Bale’s free kick goal against England led me down a strange path.

Allow me to explain:

Bale’s free kick was pretty good. But Joe Hart should have saved it. No world class keeper should be beaten from that distance. Not by Gareth Bale, not by Roberto Carlos, not by anyone.

Goalkeeping legends Oliver Kahn and Peter Schmeichel publicly denounced Hart’s decision to make a wall for a free kick from 35 yards out.

Building a wall gives Bale a frame of reference that he wouldn’t otherwise have. Without a wall, he’s just an asteroid drifting though space. The wall allows him to plot a collision course.

Then someone said “you think that’s weird…van Hooijdank once scored after building a wall with his own players.”

What!?

A little internet detective work legitimized that ludicrous claim:

Then I dug a little deeper into Pierre von Hooijdank. Dutch striker, noted for his free kicks. Nothing too unusual, until:

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Huh?! At this point, I had to go deeper down the rabbit hole:

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If only he was as careful with his money as he was with his free kicks…