Lionel Messi’s Change of Pace

Messi’s change of pace: What is the secret to beating players on the dribble? Change of pace. To beat a player on the dribble one doesn’t have to necessarily be super fast, it’s all about going slow and then fast after you do a move or to get by a defender. And a soccer player doesn’t have to use a lot of trickery or fakes, it’s more about going slow and then fast – that’s change of pace, and Messi is a master at it. Messi loves to draw defenders in to try to take the ball and then he’s off.

Messi’s moments of magic against Athletic at the Camp Nou. Look at how Mess’s change of pace enables him to beat defenders.

If you watch Messi play soccer one thing you’ll notice is his amazing change of pace. One minute he’s walking, the next he’s sprinting with the soccer ball at his feet. And that’s the secret to being a great dribbler and how to beat defenders – slow and then fast, a change of pace.

The trick is to lull them to sleep, to stop, to go slowly, and then to burst past them at speed. There’s no better soccer player in the world at this. And there’s no other player who uses his change of pace better than Lionel Messi.

This is what former Barcelona legend and manger Johan Cruyff said about Messi’s change of pace.

What is Messi’s secret? Johan Cruyff, a soccer legend, explains. “The secret,” he says, “is the speed of his change of pace; Messi changes direction every half meter. When the defense takes a step he has taken two in two different directions. His dominion of the space-time relationship is skillful, always starts first and this allows him not to be caught.”

What’s also made Messi a world class player is his love for the game and desire to get better.

“I’ve always really just liked football, and I’ve always devoted a lot of time to it. When I was a kid, my friends would call me to go out with them, but I would stay home because I had practice the next day.”

See Gareth Bale’s change of pace.