One of the most exciting techniques in the game of football is free-kicks. It is one of the ways of restarting a game after an infringement has been committed in the field of play.
In Nigeria, it is not common to see a player who has the ability to score from dead ball situations, as it requires considerable effort and sill level. There is however one player who has consistently shown that he can deliver when the chips are down.
- Taye Ismaila Taiwo
This 25 years old former Lobi stars F.C of Nigeria left full back who presently plies his trade with French Ligue 1 team Olympic Marseille packs one of the most deadly free kicks in the game with one of his effort clocking 130km/hr in a French cup semi final.
He scored a scorcher against Ghana during an African Nations Cup match that helped the Super Eagles triumph over their perennial arch rivals. His long-range efforts have secured vital victory for his French team on several occasions, that defenders are always scared of coming close when he prepares to fire his canon.
His tremendous bullet-like shots have earned him the nick-name “Tornado” among football fans in Nigeria. Apart from Roberto Carlos of Brazil, there is no other defender in the world who packs tremendous efforts in free-kicks as Taye Taiwo. His all-round action play also gives him an added advantage when making forays into the opponent’s vital area.
He once scored a freak goal against a stubborn Ukrainian side at the 2005 World Youth Championship rounds of sixteen matches via a harmless free-kick from more than 40 meters out. That single goal was all that separated Ukraine and Nigeria.
What stands him apart from other players is the strong physical built, which gives him the added potential to power home at high velocity, especially in wet surfaces. The power behind the ball makes it extremely difficult for goalkeepers to get a firm grips on such balls.
He is presently involved in a serious media speculation with regard to possible transfer from his present club to either Fernabache F.C of Turkey or Tottenham Hotspur F.C of England. His present contract is expected to expire in some months time, and numerous clubs are lining up to snap up “the tornado” because of his lethal bullets and high work rate which have seen him registering his name on the scorers chart every season.
Taye Taiwo is a devout Moslem who has been with the French Champions for more than five seasons in a row. He was a part of the Super Eagles squad that participated at the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa.