How to dribble with the ball

Dribbling is done with the inside, outside and the sole of the foot. You should be able to 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 learn 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 a defender. If he 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.

Cruyff move

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 below his body.

Matthews move

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.

Stepover move

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.

Double cut move

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.

Scissors feint

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.

Kick feint

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.

The Roulette

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.

Lunge feint

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.

Nutmeg 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.

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.

Elastico move

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.

Sombrero move

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 scoops the ball up and leaves the defender running past him.

Stepover turn

Certain dribbling moves can work even when the defender is behind you. In this example, Ronaldo and a defender are both going for the ball. Ronaldo approaches the ball as if he is about to turn one way. Instead of turning, he steps over the ball and goes in the other direction.

Updated: July 1, 2016
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