WARD-PROWSE CLOSES FREE-KICK GAP ON BECKHAM
England international midfielder James Ward-Prowse has closed the gap on English football icon David Beckham on the list of the most successful free-kick takers in the history of the Premier League.
Ward-Prowse scored a magnificent free-kick from a long way out for Southampton during the Premier League clash with hosts Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday to take his free-kick goals to twelve (12) and behind only David Beckham in the Premier League era. He hasthe same number of free-kick goals as Frenchman Thierry Henry who’s a legend at North London club Arsenaland Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola.
Southampton went behind to a Raul Jimenez penalty eight minutes from the half-time interval before Wolves skipper ConorCoady added a second goal via a close range header on 59 minutes. Ward-Prowse gave the Saints hope in their bid to get something out of the game when he produced the stunning free-kick to halve the deficit in the 84th minute. Wolves then went on to score a breakaway goal through AdamaTraore in stoppage time to wrap up the points.
David Beckham was a specialist free-kick takers during his time at Manchester United and he scored 18 times. To this effect, Ward-Prowse needs to score six free-kick goals to match his record and seven free-kick goals to break the record currently held by ex-LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) star Beckham.
Southampton skipper Ward-Prowse was on the same number of free-kick goals (11) as the likes ofManchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, Ex-Newcastle United winger Laurent Robertand former Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson.
There are two former Premier League stars on ten free-kick goals and they are MortenGamst Pedersen who made his name at Blackburn Rovers and retired Republic of Ireland left-back Ian Harte who was prominent for Leeds United during his playing days.