22 July, 2008

You Might Trick Me Once…

The tapestry of professional football is rich and varied. People respond to different aspects of the game, whether it be the pace on the field or the inter-terrace rucking. I think it’s pretty safe to say that for STT, what makes football great is tricks; nothing beats a good nutmeg or a backheel when a simple pass to feet would’ve sufficed. As such, friendly website Footy Boots has today published the results of an online poll which asked readers just what they thought the greatest ever trick was. As you can see from below, the Top 7 are all pretty special in their own right, and its especially good to see average journeyman Lee Trundle ranking above all-time legend Diego Maradona!

1. Rene Higuita’s Scorpion Kick – 20%

Perhaps the most famous trick in history, the eccentric keeper pulled this off at Wembley in 1995 thinking that the ball was dead. Had he missed it, the goal would’ve counted but I’m sure he would’ve still laughed it off. This is the trick most responsible for kids around the country losing their front teeth back on the school playground.


2. The Ronaldinho Flip Flap / Elastic / Buffalo Tail – 19%

Once upon a time this was Ronnie’s signature move, bamboozling defenders week in week out. Nowadays he is a pale imitation of his great self, and the likes of Eto’o and Ibramhimovic bust this trick with greater frequency. Still though it is the best piece of skill to enter the modern footballing lexicon; devilishly difficult to master and near impossible to do at the pace Ronnie does it.


3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Step-overs – 18%

Pretty standard these days, but when you have it shoved in your face every week it’s easy to get complacent. Sure any decent player can sell a defender a step-over, but the speed of Ronaldo’s feet is just insane. The only guys that come close to matching him are similarly-moulded Portugeezers (sorry) Nani and Quaresma, plus Brazilian wonderkid Robinho.


4. The Cruyff Turn – 18%

The classic trademark of one of the greatest players of all day. As a kid it’s probably the first trick you learn but it’s still so effective. These days Cristiano Ronaldo does a kind of running Cruyff turn where he chops the ball behind his standing leg at pace to change direction, but it all started with this sublime Dutchman more than 30 years ago.


5. Kerlon’s Seal Dribble – 15%

Screaming ‘hit me!’ to defenders, this trick is the recent invention of Brazilian star Kerlon. It’s more circus sideshow than football but still it’s incredibly impressive just how fast he can run while doing it.


6. Lee Trundle Show Boating – 6%

Ok sure, he does some pretty nice stuff here but it is against League One defences. Made even less impressive by the fact that apparently Trundle used to send Soccer AM this compilation clips himself, according to former host Tim Lovejoy.


7. Maradona’s Keepie Uppys – 4%

You might think juggling’s juggling, but Maradona was the man that made it an art form and paved the way for the so-called ‘freestyle’ footballers of today. Check the stuff he does with the huge inflatable ball, its way cool.

So that’s the top 7 then, as voted by Footy Boots website readers. We’ve had a think though and reckon the following deserve a mention too. If we’ve missed out your own favourite trick, send us a link in the comments box and we’ll maybe try and do our own vote in the near future…

Anderson – Strange reverse Flip Flappy thing

It’s just amazing. There is absolutely no way I could ever do this without tangling my legs up and falling over. Pretty special.

Zinedine Zidane – Marseilles turn

The best player of our generation rightly had his own great signature trick. I think Maradona used to do it before ZZ’s time, but it was the sublime Frenchman that made it his own.

Rainbow flick

Now we’ve showcased this little trick several times before but Barcelona teenager Bojan’s cheeky move on debut is always worth revisiting. Others have probably done it with more success but the sheer bravado here is breath-taking.

Robin van Persie – Drag Flip Flappy Thing

It’s hard to describe exactly what this is but the premise is the same as Ronaldinho’s famous move; showing a defender you’re going one way before quickly manipulating the ball back in the opposite direction. See if for yourself done expertly just before the 2 minute mark here.

So there we have it. 11 reasons why you’re not a professional footballer basically.

To see a few more sweet tricks that we couldn’t find individual videos for, check out the BBC’s own handy trick resource below. Down the left-hand side of the page you’ll see several Brazilian Soccer Skills, so peep out the Leonardo, the Adriano and the Zico for sweet close control tricks, as well as a helpful video guide to pulling them off yourself. Probably best gloss over the amusingly named Frank Lampard’s Tips and Tricks splash feature on the page though…

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