Definition of Maledetta

What is the meaning of the term La Maledetta when it comes to the beautiful game of football?

In direct translation from Italian language to English la maldetta means cursed or damned.

La maldetta in soccer is the nickname for a free kick technique, where the ball, after being shot, rises above the wall and then suddenly dips and starts spinning at a rapid pace towards the goal giving the keeper all kinds of trouble. In a lot of cases, when hit right, the ball ends up in the back of the net.


La Maledetta free kick style was perfected by the legendary Lyon player Juninho Pernambucano, who by many is regarded as the best free kick taker of all time. The term was made famous by the Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo, also an incredibly tallented free kick taker, when he mentioned his fascination by Juninho's maledetta in his autobiography.

If you get a chance, do look up Juninho's free kicks on Youtube as they are quite incredible. His la maledetta truly is the perfect free kick.