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Why players lie down to defend free kicks

by News Desk
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Doha, Qatar — Brazilian star Neymar lined up a dangerous free-kick in his side’s squad on Thursday 2022 World Cup In the opener, Andrija Zivković, one of the Serbian opponents, did something that seemed curious to the untrained eye. He crouched on the lawn, his back to the ball, and just lay there as if he was going to sleep.

But he won’t be the first player to go mad to defend a free kick, nor will he be the last. This ploy has spread across European football in recent years to counter the sport’s dead-ball wizards.After decades of curling free kicks that’s all wall, some started voyeur under wall to jump. So the defending team also began cleverly walling off that low route.

Evolution of free kicks and walls

This back-and-forth evolutionary cycle began decades ago. Since 1913, a defensive player must stand at least 10 yards away from the spot of his free kick. For the better part of a century, football teams of all kinds have lined up multiple players on his “wall” ten yards away. It often covers the near side of the goal and the goalkeeper covers the far side.

In the 1980s or so, free-kick takers began to rise over the wall. When jumping became the norm, the sport’s legends had new plans. Rivaldo went through AC Milan’s wall in 2000 with a hat-trick in the Champions League.. Ronaldinho did it against Wolfsburg in 2006. Lionel Messi has done it 3 times. Cristiano Ronaldo did it with Manchester United in the Premier League and Back to Real Madrid The road to winning the Champions League.

A simple solution is to keep the wall grounded. However, climbing over the wall was the preferred route. A myriad of curlers and ladle have been blocked by the jumping wall. For years, defending them became a guesswork game, ultimately a flawed choice: jump or don’t.

Origin and History of Nesoberi

But over the past decade, the seeds of a solution have been sown in Brazil. Ronaldinho scored a free-kick under the wall for his home countryA few years later, Figuellense had the transfer of journeyman midfielder Ricardinho on loan. semi-virus when he Standing behind a wall, fell to the ground Palmeiras playmaker Jorge Valdivia took aim from 20 yards.

This tactic slowly caught on in South America, and the natural force of innovation refined it. By 2014, some defenders were fully prone.

By 2017, it had moved to Europe — in many ways, albeit modestly. (Horizontal allows for more complete coverage, but can make players more susceptible to injury and react a bit slower to set pieces.)

In 2019 Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic famously slipped behind the wall when Luis Suarez tried to get under it.

By last season, this tactic had become almost universal. Some defenders dragged their teammates into the neck position.

However, Qatar 2022 is the first World Cup anywhere.

Due to the spread, free-kick goals under the wall are all but gone in the past. For now, there’s no downside to lying behind the wall – until a savvy coach or player devise a set piece that takes advantage of it.

Brazilian forward #10 Neymar (left) takes a free kick between Brazil and Serbia during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group G football match at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha, 24 November 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP of him via Getty Images)

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