What’s that one moment in a football match that makes you sit up and take notice. Is it a long range goal, or a team goal coming at the end of 20 odd passes. Or is it some stunning piece of skill that leaves the opposition player for dead. Or should I say a dribble. Throughout the years, the most succesful players have also been the ones who are good dribblers. After all, if you can create space for yourself by fooling your opponent and then have considerable time and space to pick a pass, you are always going to be better than the ones who can’t do it. This article focusses on the different dribbling techniques, which enable these players to be called genius. The below techniques are one of the most basic techniques used by footballers and does not take into account bizzare trickery from the likes of Ronaldinho or Henry.
1.) The Stepover – This is one of the most common dribbling techniques. In fact, it is so common now that defenders aren’t even fooled by this one. Still, if done at a quick pace, can leave a defender unsure as to which way the ball is going to end up. Basically the technique involves stepping over the ball multiple times without actually touching it. Over the years, players such as Robinho and Cristiano Ronaldo have perfected the technique, causing headaches for the defenders.
2.) The Roulette – Perhaps the most difficult trick amongst all. The player performing the trick stops the ball with one foot, puts the other foot over it, turns his body a full circle against the ball and uses the placed foot to turn the ball back into his way, all this within a couple of seconds. Zinedine Zidane and Juan Roman Riquelme were the players who could do it with effortless ease, sometimes performing a double roulette in one fluid motion.
3.) The Shoulder Feint – Perhaps the easiest trick to do. Drop your shoulder to one direction pretending that you are going to go that way, and when the defender is committed to that direction, swiftly change your direction to the other. It is a simple trick used by most players with varying degree of success.
4.) The Cryuff Turn – Invented by the inventor of Total Football, the Dutch master Johann Cryuff, it is a simple but extremely effective trick. This is perhaps the only trick which can be done either while running with the ball, or while receiving it. Fake a shot, but instead of shooting the ball, turn the ball the other way using the inside of your foot.
5.) The Nutmeg – This is one technique which looks extremely simple, but at the same time, is extremely hard to master. Timing is everything in this technique as the player has to put the ball through the opposition player’s legs.
6.) The Elastico/Flip Flap – The coolest trick of them all. This one is bound to fool the opponent. In one single motion, the player takes a faint touch to one direction, puts the foot outside the ball and drags it to the opposite side. Ronaldinho and Zidane were the ones who could do it with unerring consistency and style.
Honorable mentions : The Rabona, Backheel pass