The top 20 free-kick takers in Europe over the last five seasons

Free-kick taking is one of the most-practised, yet hard to master skills in football.

It requires skill, technique and hours of practice to pull off, but once harnessed can provide a lethal weapon to the side.

One of the true greats of the set piece was former Lyon and Brazil playmaker Juninho Pernambucano – not to be confused with name-sake Juninho Paulista of Middlesbrough fame.

The Brazilian playmaker got so good at finding the net from a dead ball situation that goalkeepers knew they’d be tested almost no matter where he placed the ball down.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale may be the current proponents of the skill, but it is Juninho who patented the art of the ‘knuckleball’ free-kick, whereby the striker cuts underneath the ball causing it to dip and swerve en route to goal.

As Juninho turns 42 today, Squawka thought it wise to investigate the best free-kicks takers currently playing the game.

Taking into account goals scored from free-kicks and attempts taken, we have compiled the top 20 best by conversion rate from across Europe since the 2012/13 season. The player has to have scored a minimum of four free-kicks to be considered.

Click on the gallery above to see them ranked.