Beckham or Ronaldo: Who was the best at free-kicks?

Sunday 13 June 2021 12:00

David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo scored some of the most memorable Manchester United free-kicks of the modern era. But which of the pair was the don when it came to dead-ball situations?

It's a question that would torment many fans. But help is at hand in the form of Marcus Rashford, who has revealed which of the duo he'd pick as his number one.
The Wythenshawe-born forward isn't too shabby himself when it comes to free-kicks – who doesn't remember his outrageous effort at Stamford Bridge in 2019?
And perhaps it's no surprise that Rashford prefers Ronaldo – whose technique is closer to his own – over Beckham when it comes to this aspect of the game.
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“I would say Ronaldo, as I've seen more of him in my era and my generation,” said the Academy graduate, who is currently preparing for Euro 2020 with England.
“But then at the same time, I've watched clips of Beckham and I remember, when I was really young, I used to watch him at Salford, at the Cliff, practising his technique really.”
Like Ronaldo, Rashford typically hits free-kicks within shooting range using the knuckleball technique, which has been popularised in recent years by the Portuguese superstar and Didier Drogba, among others.
By contrast, Beckham used a more classical style, usually attempting to arc and curl the ball towards its intended target.
Interestingly, Beckham outperformed Ronaldo when it came to Premier League free-kick-taking, with 18 efforts to Ronaldo's 11 – plus a better minutes per direct free-kick goal ratio (1,198 mins to 1,322).
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But Rashford clearly can't shake Ronnie's clear and obvious influential contribution to his own game.
They are both top free-kick takers so I'd probably choose Ronaldo, purely based on the fact I just got to see it live more,” he concluded.
Rashford was taking part in a fans' Q&A, which you can read in full here on