Del Piero and Mihajlovic on lost art of free kicks

Alessandro Del Piero and Sinisa Mihajlovic are two of the greatest free kick specialists in Serie A history, so they discussed why so few direct set plays are scored nowadays.

Mihajlovic holds the absolute record in Serie A with 28 conversions, alongside Andrea Pirlo, while Del Piero is in third place with 22.

In his new role as Sky Sport Italia pundit, Del Piero asked Bologna coach Mihajlovic why more weren’t scored now when they have in theory the advantage of the ‘spray’, meaning the wall stays at the regulation distance.

Alessandro Del Piero and Sinisa Mihajlovic are two of the greatest free kick specialists in Serie A history, so they discussed why so few direct set plays are scored nowadays.

Mihajlovic holds the absolute record in Serie A with 28 conversions, alongside Andrea Pirlo, while Del Piero is in third place with 22.

In his new role as Sky Sport Italia pundit, Del Piero asked Bologna coach Mihajlovic why more weren’t scored now when they have in theory the advantage of the ‘spray’, meaning the wall stays at the regulation distance.

“Oh in our day, with the walls like this, we’d have scored with our eyes closed!” replied Mihajlovic.

“Even 15 years after I retired, I can still go into training and score more free kicks than all my players.

“It takes passion and time to stay back after the training session, take free kicks, challenge each other. We stayed back because we wanted to.

“I’ve been training for 15 years, I have never had a player come to me and suggest he stay back to practice free kicks. I always had to tell him he ought to do it, because it doesn’t just come to you in a match situation, you have to practice.”

Mihajlovic famously once scored a hat-trick of free kicks for Lazio against Sampdoria in December 1998.

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