Top 10 Corner Kick Takers in the World

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 25. listopada 2023.

Even though it’s an integral part of the game, it seems that the appreciation for a good corner kick taker has been lost. While not that long ago, the Stamford Bridge crowd roared as for a penalty when their team won a corner, now the hype is rarely that loud even though players in the box are taller than ever. As the talent to fool the defence and the keeper has become more rare. However, these 10 best corner kick takers in the world should get more credit.

Looking only at the stats available for the league efforts in the top five divisions, we measured the impact of these corner kick takers by the number of pure assists from the corner, as well as key passes from the area next to the flag. Finally, as a familiar stat, we look at the free kick assist rate, considering that fouls are often made close to the actual corner.

Hakan Calhanoglu (Inter)

Hakan Calhanoglu

It's almost impossible to imagine Hakan Calhanoglu without him being bent after taking one of his signature spot kicks. While the Turkish international is great at free kicks, he has delivered to his jumping-prone teammates as well. Out of the 67 assists he has in the top five leagues, 23 have come from corner kicks! The 29-year-old recorded another 237 key passes from the corner kick that his teammates couldn't convert. With another eight assists from free kicks, it's clear that the attacking midfielder is one of the biggest deadball specialists.

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

Toni Kroos

Probably the first person that comes to mind when best corner kick takers in the world are mentioned. Kroos backs up the general feeling with 25 out of his 64 assists in the league coming from standing next to the flag. The German also lined up 254 key passes to the Real Madrid teammates, which they failed to convert in the hustle of the opponent's box. Toni also recorded eight assists from set pieces to further cement his stature as a dangerous man from indirect situations.

Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Joshua Kimmich

An all-around performer across the pitch, there is nothing Joshua Kimmich can't do, but taking corner kicks is one of the spots where he excels. Perfecting his cross during his stints at the right-back position, Kimmich has 64 assists in the league, 23 of which came from corners, and four from indirect free kicks. Bayern's general also made 222 key passes in the Bundesliga from the corner.

Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg)

Vincenzo Grifo

One of the most underrated players across Europe, Vincenzo Grifo is a certified goalscorer but can also produce for his teammates from the corner spot. Out of his 51 assists in the top five leagues, 19 have come from the corner kick spot. The right-footed left-winger has amazing stats for Freiburg in general, with 75 goals and 70 assists. This raises the question of how much of his 130 key passes from the corner would be converted if he had better teammates?

James Ward-Prowse (West Ham United)

James Ward-Prowse

Now, no list of best set-piece specialists can be made without James Ward-Prowse, the one for best kick takers in the world is no exception. The former Southampton captain often had to take matters into his own feet with direct free kicks, but he also hit his teammates right on the money from corners on 16 occasions. He has a low rate of key passes from corners to assists, perhaps due to the quality of his teammates. JWP has made nine assists from free kicks as well, making a total ratio of open-play assists to set piece ones 14 to 25.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Kevin De Bruyne

Overall, the assist king of modern times, yet Kevin De Bruyne's dead ball special is overlooked by his bonkers stats of assists from open play - 98 compared to 14 from the corner spot. With another nine with the wall in front of him. Manchester City isn't brimming with tall players, at least until Erling Haaland arrived, and hence KDB has 218 key passes from the corner situation.

Dani Parejo (Villarreal)

Dani Parejo

Perhaps the best corner kick taker in the world all things considered. Dani Parejo hasn't played with the world's most expensive centre-backs (or close) in his career, yet he managed to record 26 assists in the league from the corner! Actually more than his 21 open play assists. With another six assists coming from other set pieces, and 221 key passes from the corner, it's easy to say that Parejo is a massive asset right after the referee signals his whistle.

Luis Alberto (Lazio)

Luis Alberto

Lazio's Luis Alberto had a strong competition over who takes the corner kicks in the team, yet his success rate (and his teammates' taller frames) made the Spaniard the dead-ball specialist at Olimpico. Luis Alberto has a high conversion rate as the 14 corner kick assists are accompanied by 152 key passes and six assists from free kicks. Still, he is primarily a dynamic creator with 44 assists coming from open play.

Trent-Alexander Arnold (Liverpool)

Trent-Alexander Arnold

A man who probably dreams of crosses when he sleeps, it's not surprsing that TAA has 13 assists from the corner. Even though - for years - Liverpool had a short forward line, before the arrival of Darwin Nunez. Now, those numbers might be further inflated as Trent has 10 times more key passes in this stat than assists. With another five assists from indirect free kicks too.

Dimitri Payet (Vasco De Gama)

Dimitri Payet

Out of Europe now, but the 36-year-old Dimitri Payet left his mark via highlights and stats both. The French international made 19 assists from corner kicks, certifying him as one of the best corner kick takers. Impressively, Payet has also 15 assists from free-kicks! The former West Ham man has 50 assists from open play in the top five leagues too, with 259 key passes made from corners too!

Christian Eriksen (Manchester United)

Christian Eriksen

Another unsurprising entry to the list of best corner kick takers in the world, as Christian Eriksen is a world-renowned set-piece specialist. Almost equally good from the corners - where he has 14 assists - as he is from free kicks - where he recorded 13 assists. The Dane made 173 key passes from the corner kick too! With 42 open-play assists, Eriksen is the epitome of a team player.

Honourable mentions for the best corner kick takers in the world go to Lionel Messi, Pascal Gross, Andrew Robertson, Jonas Hofman, Paulo Dybala, and Miralem Pjanic (yes, he is still playing).


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