How to dribble a soccer ball
Dribbling in soccer is done with the inside, outside and the sole of the foot. Decent players can run with the ball and change direction while keeping it under control. To accelerate, don’t kick the ball farther away from your body. Instead, move your feet quicker and push the ball more frequently. It’s important to be able to dribble while looking around the field at the same time.
Taking on defenders
When dribbling, you should always be the person with the most immediate access to the ball. If you don’t keep the ball close to your body, you will lose it. Be patient when confronted by defenders. If the defender is jockeying, use feints and tricks to get him off balance. Never put your head down and pray that a move will work. Instead, react to the defender by looking at his stance and trying to find weaknesses in his footing.
The Matthews is a very effective move, especially when the defender is jockeying. Initially, the attacker pushes the ball with his instep, then he suddenly cuts to the outside. It’s important to combine these two steps together without pausing in between.
In this encounter from World Cup 1966, Pele is approached by a defender. He performs a stepover feint that fools the defender to shift to one side. Pele takes note of this and runs in the opposite direction.
This is of the favorite moves of the Brazilian midfielder Rivelino. It can be used to quickly change direction. The Rivelino move is similar to a stepover, except that the same foot is used to push the ball outside, around the defender.
This move is from the Brazil vs Serbia friendly played prior to World Cup 2002. Ronaldo is challenged by a defender from the right. Initially, he cuts the ball in direction of the defender. The defender steps in, but misses the tackle because Ronaldo immediately cuts the ball the opposite way.
The V-move is an effective dribbling move often performed by the legendary Hungarian attacker Ferenc Puskás. The move works best when the defender is nearby. First, you put your foot on top of the ball at which point the defender will usually come in for a tackle. Using the same foot, you pull the ball back then push it sideways and accelerate.
Here, Ronaldo is facing a defender in a 1v1 confrontation. He performs a few scissors feints and the defender looses his balance. Ronaldo notices that the defender is leaning to one side and dribbles around him.
This move was performed by Leverkusen midfielder Schneider in the 2002 Champions League final. Usually, the defender needs to be coming in at speed in order for the feint to work.
This was the trademark move of the Dutch legend Johan Cruyff. Notice how Cruyff uses his upper body and extends his leg. This is crucial in misleading the opponent. By the time the defender raises his foot to block, Cruyff has already cut the ball under his body.
Here, Zidane performs his trademark Roulette. Notice that he initially lets ball roll away from his body, which tricks the defender to commit. By the time the defender is in the middle of his tackle, Zidane has already gone past him.
In this example, Ronaldo is on a breakaway against the goalkeeper. Ronaldo performs a couple of lunges that throw the keeper off balance. Usually, you need sufficient space between yourself and the defender for the lunge move.
This move was performed in a match between Sparta and PSV. The trick here is that the attacker pulls the ball back towards his body. This fools the defender to step in and open his legs.
The move is one of Okocha’s favorites and is composed of two steps. First, Okocha rolls the ball laterally, across his body using the right foot. Next, he steps over the ball with his left foot. Combining these two moves together can easily catch defenders off guard.
Roll and scissors move
This is a combination of two simple moves. Zidane rolls the ball laterally to his left, performs a scissors feint and then accelerates right. As you can see in the last couple of frames, the defender is fooled to shift in the direction in which the ball was originally rolling.
The Elastico is a two-part move, sometimes used by Ronaldinho. First, Ronaldinho pushes the ball with his instep and then quickly cuts it using the same foot. It’s important to keep your foot close to the ball, when transitioning between the two parts.
Nigerian midfielder Okocha has a tremendous repertoire of tricks. In this particular case, he is approached by a defender from the right. Okocha notices that the defender is coming in at speed. He flicks the ball up and leaves the defender running past him.
Neymar makes the Rainbow flick look easy in the example above, but it’s not a move that you’re going to see very often! Flicking the ball over the defender using both feet requires a lot of skill and is difficult to perform at full speed. There should be space behind the defender too where you can safely settle the ball.