How to Play Like Arjen Robben

Does Arjen Robben ever use his right foot? Have you seen him dribble the ball with his right foot? Has anyone? Check out these goals all with his left foot. Did you see him score that goal against Barcelona? Yes, he cut in on to his favored left foot and whipped the ball into the corner.

It doesn’t matter though, when your left foot is that good you almost don’t need a right peg. Yes, Robben’s left foot is so good he doesn’t even need to use his right foot. Robben’s left foot might just be the greatest left foot in world football.

What sets Arjen Robben apart is the way he drives at defenders and keeps the ball so close to himself that he can cut in either direction. Robben can snake through defenders until he has just enough space to shoot or cross the ball.

Robben’s secret though is he knows what he wants to do when he gets the ball and is dead set on accomplishing what he’s set out to do. He’s determined. He knows that if he cuts inside he can bend the ball into the far or near corner, and use the defenders as shields, so their own keeper can’t get a good look at the ball.

And Robben is the master of the change of pace. He will dribble, stop for a second, and then take off again. He appears to stutter along and then will burst past a couple defenders. And all the while he’s looking for that window, that small opening, to strike the ball through.

Keys to learning how to play like Robben:

  • Tight and close control of the ball when dribbling
  • Change of pace after going past a defender
  • Ability to bend the ball with the left foot whether to shoot or cross the ball
  • Play quick one and two touch soccer when closed down and double teamed
  • Tireless in their desire to beat players and score goals

To play like Arjen Robben you have to play with your left foot only. No, really, so if you’re playing on the right side you can’t dribble down the right and swing in a cross with your right. No, you have to cut inside with your favored left foot and score.

All kidding aside, Robben does actually have a right foot he just chooses not to use it. He’s like Giggs, and perhaps Ozil, their left feet are so good they don’t need to use their other foot.

In a similar manner as Sneijder, Robben too was traded by Real Madrid, despite having some very good years playing in La Liga. The release by Real Madrid though for Robben appears to have been just that. A release. And a way to return to his top form, scoring and creating goals. It was almost like Robben just wanted to keep proving to people he could play in any league.

Remember his game winning volley versus Manchester United? That goals says it all. He helped Bayern Munich reach the Champions League final and then helped Holland reach the World Cup final.

The knock against Arjen Robben though is he dives and falls down when ever there’s the slightest of tackles or touches. Against Brazil in the 2010 World Cup this was the most evident. After that game though it seemed like Robben begin to lessen the diving and going down easy.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said this after they played Bayern Munich in a Champions League match:

“Robben is very good at getting the maximum of nothing. He is a great player, but also a good diver. He gets past the player, then he actually slows down, looking for the foul.”

So, if you want to play like Arjen Robben that’s great, just don’t copy how he dives.

Here’s more of Robben’s skills on the soccer ball. Take a look. Now go out and start playing like him.