Diplo-soccer trivia: 5 Sneaky Soccer Tricks and Moves

Futbol, or soccer, is a sport that has many fancy moves and tricks that players use to get an advantage over an opposing defender. The most famous of soccer tricks is probably the Step over. This is a move where you rotate your legs around the ball and try to move its position at the same time, so you confuse the opposition defense. The move is performed best when you are running at high speed, because you will either get past the player, draw a foul that could result in a good opportunity for your team or make a fool of yourself if done incorrectly. Here's one who does it properly, the explosive Il Fenomeno Ronaldo:

Another effective soccer move is the Nutmeg, where you play the ball between your opponent’s legs and leave them standing for dead and feeling very foolish. This is good for getting past defenders, passing to a team mate through a defender's legs or shooting on goal. Nutmegging a goalie is one good way to demoralize the keeper; it is a humiliating way for them to let a goal through. Nutmegging a defender with a shot on goal is a difficult shot for the goalie to block as the defender primarily occupies the goalie's view, and if successful, the ball suddenly just goes right through the legs of the defender giving the goalie very little time to effectively react. 

One of the most difficult and acrobatic soccer moves is the overhead or Bicycle kick, where you have your back to the goal and the ball is slightly behind you in the air and you turn and attempt an overhead kick shot to the goal. This often catches the opposition by surprise as you are originally facing away from goal and the ball is at a level that normally requires for it to be controlled and brought down first. To really appreciate a bicycle kick, you need to see it as simply describing it in words doesn't do it justice. This is one of the best examples; Van Basten doesn't even try to bounce it to set it up but takes the kick first time.

For elegance, this has to be the 360 turn, where you turn 360 degrees with the ball at your feet. This is very difficult and only the best can do it properly. When done right, it helps you evade a marker or two and can give you a bit of space to accelerate forward, pick out the right pass or take a shot. Here's a master at work with his trademark 360 move called the Zidane roulette: 

Finally, another trick soccer move that is really, really difficult but if pulled off is pretty fantastic is called the Rainbow kick. The player steps over the ball and flicks it off the ground from behind them, and forward over their head in an arc. The trajectory of the ball gives this trick its name. The trick is usually performed while running forward with the ball, and is done by rolling the ball up the back of one leg with the other foot, before flicking the standing foot upwards to propel the ball forward and over the head. This is rarely done in competitive matches due to its difficulty. It is one of those tricks that make a total fool of your opponent if you pull it off, or you end up looking the fool if you don't. Watch this 8 year old kid do it: 

We, the Futbol fanatics call soccer the most beautiful game, a part of that is because of these tricks and skills that allow players to confuse opponents by using a fair amount of creativity, elegance and acrobatic skill making it quite a spectacle to watch.  

This post is inspired by the upcoming campaign of the Azkals at the Long Teng Cup Tournament in Taipei. All the best to the Azkals, GO PILIPINAS!!

2011 Moira G Gallaga©

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