Messi and Maradona Slalom

Messi and Maradona slalom dribbling exercise to perfect close control with the soccer ball. The key is to touch the ball with every step when dribbling. And vary the speed you are dribbling at. Work on sprinting with the ball and slowing down and then speeding up – change of pace.

Comparing the two greatest solo goals to have ever been scored by two short left footed long haired Argentinians who wore the number 10 shirt at FC Barcelona and for Argentina. If there’s ever two players to model your dribbling after it’s Messi and Maradona. Why not see if you can duplicate this amazing slalom dribbling run during a training session and then in a game!

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 dribbling runs?

Equipment needed: Cones and or flags to dribble through.