Free kicks are probably the hardest plays to score unless you have Messi or some other famous guy. The percentage/chance of scoring is quite unclear to me. It seems to change every single second. What is the chance of scoring a free kick?

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    I'd disagree with the premise of this question - free kicks are not the hardest play to score from; open play is far harder. If free kicks were harder than open play, the obvious tactic would just be to never to shoot on goal from a free kick, but always just to put the ball back into regular play.
    – Philip Kendall
    Mar 2, 2015 at 10:33
  • I get the feeling that the questioner meant set plays / set pieces, not just plays in general. However, in spite of that, in some positions it may be harder to score from free kicks than open play. Check this article: statsbettor.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/… (I am worried that no source is provided here / the sample size may be very small, hence why I said 'may') Mar 2, 2015 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


This differs widely, based on a large number of factors. Unlike a penalty kick, which is always taken from the same location, with no wall and only the goalkeeper to beat, free kicks can be influenced by defenders in the wall, defenders on the post, attackers making deceiving runs, position of the ball, and wind direction and speed just to list a few factors.

In the 2012 English Premier League season, OptaPro found that the average conversion rate was 5.7%.

The Power of Goals has some data on the conversion rates of English Premier League players from 2002 - 2012. In this data set, Seb Larsson tops the list with a conversion rate of 8.6%.

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