Scoring with a side-foot

Taking a direct free kick

Want to learn how to score from a free kick? Watch our video and you'll soon be turning your direct free kicks into genuine goalscoring opportunities.

Scoring a goal

Want to try a direct free kick?

In football, free kicks are a whole different ball game. Whether you want to have fun practising free kicks with friends or you want to take on this role for your club or team, we explain how to score from a direct free kick.

This programme has been put together in partnership with the NGO Sikana.
With Decathlon's support, Sikana has developed a universal learning platform to help players, schools, associations and NGOs make the fun and the benefits of sport accessible to everyone. You can access dozens of digital programmes and hundreds of videos free of charge on

Video transcript:

To learn how to take free kicks in match conditions, you'll need at least 4 team-mates: 3 to form the wall and 1 to stand in goal and pick up the ball from the back of the net.

In matches, you're awarded a direct free kick when the referee signals a foul against your team. If the place where the foul occurred is close enough to the other side's penalty area, the direct free kick is an opportunity to score.

To take a direct free kick, you must position the ball in the place where the foul occurred. The other team forms a wall as a means of blocking your aim and protecting their goal: the players stand side by side between you and the goal, 9.15 m (10 yards) from the ball. As the player responsible for taking the free kick, you have to try to score in spite of the wall.

As for defence, it's the opposing goalkeeper who decides how many people are in the wall and where exactly they position themselves. The principle is that the wall should be on the shortest path between the ball and the goal. This means that part of the goal is blocked by the wall, while the keeper covers the rest of the open goal.

It leaves you with two possibilities for scoring off a free kick and becoming the hero of the hour: shooting to the goalkeeper side, or shooting to the wall side.

Let's start with shooting to the side of the wall. As the keeper is covering this zone, we recommend a strong kick to make it harder to save. If you want more information about shooting from outside the penalty area, check out our video on straight shots.

The second option is to shoot over the wall. Obviously, the key here is to send the ball over the wall without it sailing over the top of the goal as well. You therefore need to curl the ball: it will curve over the wall before dropping back down into the goal. To pull off this shot, take a look at our video on curling the ball.

At this point, you might be wondering why you wouldn't attempt to chip the ball over the wall. The answer is simple: so the defence doesn't burst out laughing. A chip won't have enough power or speed to beat the keeper.


To score from a direct free kick, you need to choose your weapon: a powerful kick on the goalkeeper side, or a curled shot with the inside of your foot on the wall side.

To learn more ways to score goals, check out our other videos:

Curling the ball

Curling the ball

Want to work on bending or curling the ball? Our video shows you how to put spin on your shots so you can score in style.



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