“Wow, that’s like almost five years ago, it’s crazy, how is that even possible?!” Almen Abdi tells The Athletic from his home in Birchwil, Switzerland.

Abdi is talking about his goal against Aston Villa on April 30, 2016. It was, up until Adam Masina’s last-minute winner against Cardiff this weekend, the last time that Watford had scored from a direct free kick.

Nearly five years — 1,778 days — passed between those two goals.

“I’m very glad the record is broken, it took a while but it shows how hard it can be to score from a free kick. You can see how many times Cristiano Ronaldo tries it and he doesn’t score that often. But it is a long, long time, so I’m really glad that my record is broken and Watford could win.”

It was an art that Abdi worked hard on.





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