Friedel: Bale’s free-kicks are a keeper’s nightmare

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Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel admits that Gareth Bale’s free-kicks are a goalkeeper’s worst nightmare.

Bale scored two stunning free-kicks against Lyon in midweek to add to his set-piece against Newcastle last weekend.

Friedel has experienced Bale’s free-kicks every day in training and reveals that the Welshman’s technique and power leave keeper’s flat-footed.

Friedel told The Sun: “I just watched the first one against Lyon. Because there’s no spin on the ball the way Gareth hits it, you have to take your first step from the first movement of the ball.

“And I’m afraid that’s to the goalkeeper’s left and he moved left. And once he’s done that he’s dead. If there’s no spin on the ball and then mid-flight it goes the opposite way, there’s no way to train your eye to deal with that.

“You just then have to react the best you can.

“If someone tries to bend it over the wall with spin on the ball then you know which way it’s going to go unless it deflects.

“The pace and power that he has is up there with the very best in the world. But he works a lot on his free-kicks, he is perfecting that style of free-kick.

“And I tell you, it is so difficult to save. Pepe Reina had all sorts of troubles when we played Liverpool, it’s such a difficult ball to deal with. And it’s great that he has that in his repertoire for us.

“The second one I’ve not seen from behind the goal yet, I’ve only seen it from the side.

“I assume the exact same movement on the ball occurred and, if so, it’s really difficult to save.

“And again, from my standpoint it’s really difficult to lay blame on a goalkeeper.”

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