Barcelona Keep Away: Don’t End Up in the Middle

Don’t end up in the middle in Barcelona’s keep away game. For Barcelona, this keep away game is a staple, played before every training session. Sometimes it’s referred to as “rondos”. If you end up in the middle in this Barcelona warm up drill you might be there for a while. It’s even hard to keep track of all the passes they rack up while the two are in the middle. Sometimes they refer to the game as “piggy in the middle“. You don’t want to be the piggy.

I wonder if Barcelona plays it with the rule that if you get nutmegged you stay in for another round? I think they do, based upon this video of Suarez getting trapped in a rondos game. As a youth soccer team experiment with the size of the grid or square you’re playing this game in – the smaller the area the harder it is to keep possession and the faster the ball needs to move.

Watch how they play two or three short passes and then ping the ball across the circle to open up the game again – splitting the defenders sometimes. Yes, their tiki taka skills are on display even in this simple warm up drill. I’m guessing they could play this for hours on end and not get bored just don’t end up in the middle though, unless you want to work on your fitness. Watch Barcelona’s keep away drill in the video below.