10 Best Soccer Moves to Beat a Defender
Certain soccer moves act as tools for an attacker to beat defenders, or create space during a soccer game to perform a successful pass or shot. Soccer moves can help a soccer offense get in behind the opposition defense to score or create goals. The best way to improve your soccer moves is through repetitions and practice.
A shoulder feint should be used with a defender facing you. Dip your shoulder to make the defender think that you are going to run to one side, then when planting your foot to one side, use the outside of the opposite foot to take the ball away and past the defender, accelerating away.
The step over is performed when dribbling forward with a defender facing you. Move your foot round the ball and plant it to fake that you are going one way, then quickly use the opposite foot to tap in the other direction and accelerate away.
When dribbling full speed with a defender next to you, use the back of your outside foot to cut the ball at a 90-degree angle and jump over the ball with your standing leg. Then quickly change direction and accelerate away behind the beaten defender.
When a defender is facing you, feint going one way or the other, and note if the defender has his feet spread in the defensive stance. If an opening exists, pass the ball gently between the defender's legs and accelerate away.
An inside hook is a form of soccer offense aimed to create a side-to-side space. When dribbling one way, hook your foot around the ball and use the knuckle of your big toe to drag the ball back at a sharp angle in front of the beaten defender.
When dribbling to one side, reach around the ball with your inside foot, and use the knuckle of your pinky toe to drag the ball back in front of the defender.
The Cruyff turn is most effective when you are dribbling forward with a defender sprinting alongside. Plant your inside foot and gently drag the ball back behind your standing foot before swiveling and accelerating away behind the defender.
The Zidane Roulette is a spin turn often used by Zinedine Zidane. Place your cleats on the ball and lightly drag it back, spin so your back is to the defender and, while turning, drag the ball back past the facing defender and accelerate away.
World star Stanley Matthews was the originator of this soccer move. Tap the ball gently with the inside of the foot and fake going in that direction, then quickly plant the standing foot and use the outside of the dribbling foot to perform a sharp change of direction.
Use the inside of your foot to cradle the ball as you spin, and look for an open passing or shooting lane.
With a sport psychology master's degree and a successful coaching background, Stewart Flaherty has experience in improving performance in a number of areas. His articles specialize in sport psychology, nutrition and coaching.