Iniesta is the master of la croqueta soccer move – shifting the soccer ball from one foot to the other – but here it’s Real Madrid’s Isco pulling off la croqueta move against Iniesta! This Isco move comes at about the 3:10 mark in the video below. And yes, in the image above that’s Iniesta getting beat by Issco with his own signature move. Don’t dive in Iniesta, especially when Isco is doing your move!
Iniesta is the originator of the croqueta move or at least made it more famous while he played for Barcelona. Really though, it’s a fundamental soccer move to get past a defender and escape pressure that every soccer player should know how to do.
Here’s the Art of La Croqueta featuring: Santi Cazorla, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Isco Alarcon, Franck Ribery, Eden Hazard, Michael Laudrup and Andrea Pirlo.
ESPN has a good write up on Iniesta’s signature croqueta move and where it started. While Iniesta learned the move from Laudrup, he’s made it his trademark move:
A move borrowed from his hero, Michael Laudrup, Iniesta’s croqueta was simple on paper but beautiful to watch in the midst of a high-speed, ultra-physical midfield battle.
It essentially involves Iniesta being confronted with at least one defender and getting past him by playing the ball from one foot onto the other, side-foot to side-foot, with Iniesta’s body weight shifting accordingly to slalom past.
It also proved particularly effective when opponents attempted to double up against him; it was the perfect way of bypassing two players at once, bisecting them while changing direction smartly.
“La Croqueta is a piece of skill that exists not because it looks nice but because it serves the purpose of setting you up for the next pass,” said Laudrup, the move’s originator.
For Iniesta, a purposeful passer rather than a prolific scorer, it was the perfect piece of skill.