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Soccer Tricks - The Best Moves & Tricks in the Game

Thierry Henry Flying

Let's learn how to surprise the opposing team and pull off a soccer trick. There's a time and place for soccer tricks, meaning you don't want to try a soccer trick in the defensive third of the field near your own goal, but in the attack, when you want to catch the opposing team off guard, a soccer trick comes in handy.

Who says tricks are for kids? If you watch some of the best soccer players in the world they’re all of course masters of the fundamentals of soccer, but they also love to do the unexpected soccer move or soccer trick. 

In the videos below you can see Ronaldinho use his back to pass the ball to a teammate or Blanco use his butt to pass the ball. Yes, he uses his actual butt to pass the soccer ball. It's genius since it catches everyone by surprise.

Clint Dempsey is Full of Tricks

That's what soccer tricks are all about. If you ever watch the Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey play, you'll know he loves to try to pull off the unexpected, whether it's a back heel pass or a dribbling move - Dempsey is full of tricks and it keeps defenders on their toes as they don't know what he's going to do. Coaches have said this about Clint Dempsey, “he was a guy that played very free and with confidence.” Watch Dempsey flick the ball to Obafemi Martins after an 18 pass sequence that lulled the New York City FC to sleep:


Change the Momentum of a Game

It’s these soccer tricks or soccer moves that can lift a team and change games at times. It's the surprise move or trick that can inspire a team if a player pulls off the unexpected - it can change the momentum of a game. How many times have you seen a clever back heel catch a defender off guard and the other team score? It's those plays that lift a team if they are down, and many times, enable a team to get back into the soccer game and actually win the game in the end.

No Circus Acts

However, it’s not about becoming a circus act. Don't do too many soccer moves or soccer tricks. There's a time and a place for the move or trick - like in the attacking third of the field and when there's little risk of a counter attack. For instance, you don't want to attempt a nutmeg in your defensive third. If you don't pull it off, then the other team might win the ball and get a shot of and score.

Take Cristiano Ronaldo for instance, when he first started playing for Manchester United there was some worry that he was full of too many soccer tricks and didn’t play enough simple one and two touch soccer, but that changed rather quickly. Ronaldo learned to do the soccer tricks and moves, all those step overs, at the right moments in the game. Ronaldo learned to play smart soccer when it was called for. And, to top it all off, he started smashing in goals, which is really all that matters.

Roger Spry

Soccer tricks sometimes require a certain flexibility and freedom of movement. This you can learn through Roger Spry, who has revolutionized that game of soccer with his flexibility routines and agility work. Techniques that help you reach for those high balls, control the ball when you’re failing down, or do the unexpected soccer trick or sill. Why not try something different and instead of doing the same predictable thing time and time again? While the best teams in the world play smart and simple soccer, they also know how to pull off a soccer trick now and again to surprise the other team and score a goal.

Build Self-Confidence

Soccer tricks also help build your own self-confidence and creativity and lead to other soccer moves or tricks. I'm all for doing something that some say you won’t use in a game, not excessively, as you want to be a soccer player and not a juggler, but working on skills that test and challenge you.

If all those soccer tricks lead to other moves and make you more comfortable on the ball, then there’s nothing wrong with that. That one trick could lead to another move that is perfect for that one moment in a game where you can only reach the ball with your heel or flick the ball with the outside of your foot. So there's nothing wrong with practicing all those crazy soccer tricks.

In the end, the ability to make the ball do what you want is what it's all about. Making the ball go this way or that, while the opponent thinks or is assuming something entirely different. The old magic of: now you see it, now you don't. 

Element of Surprise

Overall, soccer tricks are about successfully doing the unexpected and the unorthodox, where the trick helps your team, which is the most important thing. 

Again, the trick could be a back heel pass, a flick, a unique turn, a surprise shot, or an amazing step over, but what they all have in common is they catch the other team off guard. Of course, you're not going to try to back heel the ball in your own defensive third, but you might try it in the attacking third to surprise the defenders and set your teammate up for a shot. One again, the tricks and moves in the right part of the field and the right moment in the game. You don’t want to try that trick when you’re up 1-0 late in the game, but you might try it if you're losing and it could lead to a goal scoring chance.

In the end, there’s nothing wrong with practicing soccer tricks and moves over and over again, but don’t get away from the fundamentals of the game, and remember that smashing in goals is what it’s all about.

Next: Learn more about control, dribbling moves and first touch at these pages: skills and control, moves and more, and attacking the ball.

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