Messi and Maradona Slalom

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Field size: half field

Number of players: full team; one player working at a time

Age range: 10-12

Description: Dribbling through a series of cones, flags or passive defenders from the half line to the penalty box and then capping the move off with a shot just like Messi or Maradona.  This is a fun drill for all the players on your team, whether they’re a defender or a forward. Heck, even have your keepers run through the drill.

Also, put in a section where the player has to do a spin turn and dribble as fast as they can without weaving through any cones.  Make it a zigzag course and not just a straight line.  Time each player or split up into two teams and make it a race. 

Place a cone along the way where the player has to do a particular move, say a step over or should feint.  Show young soccer players a video of both Messi and Maradona’s runs.  Remember, one run was done in the World Cup, so it has much more importance than a regular league game. (Maradona’s of course was in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico)

One thing to keep in mind though, this wasn’t a planned run by Messi or Maradona, this was an improvised run that just kept going and going. A run that comes from the imagination and genius of these two playes. So, when you setup the drill, give players some room where they can express themselves – they choose what moves they want to do, you just give them some ideas.


Take a look at both Messi and Maradona’s runs in these videos. Can your players duplicate these runs?

Equipment needed: Cones and or flags to dribble through. 

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