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22nd Mar 2021

WATCH: Armand Laurienté scores maybe the best free-kick ever

Danny Jones

The FC Lorient forward tied things up with this next-level wonder goal in the 87th minute

We’ve seen some pretty magical free-kicks over the years: Roberto Carlos’ physics-defying, outside-the-booter; countless Beckham benders; Ronaldo’s long-range rocket and even Marcus Rashford’s near carbon-copy. But we’ve never seen anything quite like this.

Ligue 1 side, FC Lorient were trailing to second from bottom, Nantes. There were a mere few minutes left plus stoppage and the away side won a free-kick from what was only slightly a dangerous area. Certainly beyond even Tyldesley “too far out” range. Armand Laurienté stepped up, then this happened…

We’re not exaggerating when we say this might be one of the greatest free-kicks ever scored, certainly that we’ve ever seen. The range, the dip; the pace, the ‘swazz’ — the sheer audacity for starters. To generate that much power and wobble with what is, essentially, a side-footed strike is beyond words.

Armand Laurienté has three goals and three assists this season: he can probably stop there and still go down as player of the year. It didn’t even win the game but for all intents and purposes, it might as well have.

While he does get under the ball and likely hits it on the valve – the supposed method for achieving the ‘knuckleball’ effect – to make the ball move like that, before the flight stops near dead in the air, as well as combining it with all of the other elements is truly other-worldly.

We’ll be watching it on repeat. No doubt it still won’t win the Puskás award somehow.