Free kick fails: Giggs and Beckham's 'double-strike' for Man United among botched set pieces

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When Ryan Giggs and David Beckham both positioned themselves over a free kick on the perimeter of the Aston Villa box in 2001, little did Villa goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel realise that he was about to face a pioneering set-piece manoeuvre.

The Dane had to deal with a shot unleashed by not one but two of his former Manchester United teammates as the pair somehow both made contact with the ball at exactly the same time.

Giggs has admitted this week the tandem set piece was not a masterful ploy to deceive Schmeichel but rather a complete fluke, with both he and Beckham assuming -- quite wrongly -- that the other knew what was going on.

"I can't remember if one of us said we'll run over it, I honestly do not know. It was an accident," the United legend told United's official podcast.

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Nevertheless, Giggs was suitably satisfied with the "unbelievable" accidental strike that came about, even revealing that he would have claimed the goal had it gone in, purely on grounds of seniority.

"We would have both gone off celebrating, Becks would 100%," he added. "But it would have been my goal for a start because I'm older."

While we're on the subject, here is a selection of set-piece routines that were brilliant in their creation but botched in their execution.

Thomas Muller

Germany ultimately won their round-of-16 tie against Algeria at the 2014 World Cup en route to lifting the trophy, but it was a laughable set piece that provided the enduring memory from the game.

Presented with a free kick, Muller and his accomplices attempted a routine that fell to pieces in embarrassing fashion when the Bayern Munich forward "slipped" in the buildup.

It later transpired that Muller's chaotic tumble was actually part of a plan devised on the training ground all along, rendering the resulting farce even more laughable.

Robert Huth

Finding themselves with a promising free kick on the edge of the box, Leicester City decided to baffle the Stoke City defence by letting their big German centre-back have a go.

Huth stepped up and did indeed take the Potters (and the entire stadium, for that matter) by surprise when his attempted rocket shot misfired and went squirming harmlessly toward the corner flag.

SC Weiz

Austrian lower league side SC Weiz debuted a stunning set-piece ruse in 2013 that has since gone on to become a true classic.

After winning a free kick just outside the SC Furstenfeldbruck goal, the Weiz team knew they had a chance to deploy their ingenious "kneeling wall" tactic.

It didn't quite go as planned, with one of the players taking the ensuing dead-ball strike full in the face.

NAC Breda

Obviously taking a leaf out of SC Weiz's playbook, Breda's youth side -- and one poor player in particular -- bore the brunt of yet more ill-advised free kick innovation when they took on Jong Ajax in 2016.

The plan was for Breda to shuffle their wall before dispatching a disguised shot into the top corner. The result was ... well, not that.

FK Pribram

Suffice it to say, the daring "ring-a-ring-a-rosies" corner routine deftly debuted by Czech side Pribram in 2014 has not become a staple of the set-piece oeuvre.

We can't for a moment think why it didn't take off, other than everybody involved being made to look a bit silly.

Puszcza Niepolomice

Polish side Puszcza painted their disasterpiece during a tense cup quarterfinal against Pogon Szczecin a few years ago.

Already one goal down after just 10 minutes, Puszcza decided the time was right to try something a little bit special.

Several players got their heads together and spent a couple of minutes fastidiously plotting their attack, only for it to fizzle out with a whimper.