How to Master a Rabona

We Make Footballers
29 September 2021


As a player you will get lots of practice in your weekly training and matches however, you may not always have the time to learn new tricks and skills at these times. That’s why we have put together a series of guides to help you increase your football armory of skills, work on your technique, become a more creative and skillful player and impress your team! This week we’ll be looking at the famous Rabona Kick and how to perfect it. Every image of someone taking the Rabona kick looks uncomfortably twisted and quite funny. The kick is really is as difficult as it looks, and requires lots of time, technique, skill and practice to master due to its unnatural movement. It’s the shot for those moments when you’re on the wrong side of the ball, facing an awkward angle or have limited time and space you get the ball in the air.  The good news is, it only really requires 4 steps.


For those who are unfamiliar, the Rabona kick is a show stopping and risky way to score a goal (or pass). Essentially the player kicks the ball by crossing the dominant foot behind the other. The move was popularised by Italian footballer, Giovanni Roccotelli in the 1970s, however it was first named by an Argentine football magazine in 1948, after a match between Argentine teams; Estudiantes de la Plata and Rosario Central. The article headlined: “The Child Plays Hooky”. ‘Rabona’ comes from the phrase ‘Hacerse le Rabona’ meaning playing hooky at school. At the time the move was seen as a player ‘skipping’ out on using their weaker foot and switching to their dominant one. This trick requires precision, quick thinking, balance, creativity, flexibility, and a lot of time and practice.


Step 1: Get planted

Start by planting the outside of your weaker foot 7-10 inches away from the ball. It is very important that your weaker foot is planted steadily and under control, or maintaining balance and creating power in your kick will be very difficult. Just like any kick, your planted foot should face the direction of the kick and the desired target.

Marcos Rojo World Cup, 2014 Notice how even mid-kick, his foot is completely steady and forward facing

If when practicing a rabona you find it hard to make contact with the ball, play around by adjusting the distance and position between your plant foot and the ball. Your positioning and timing is crucial for this kick, as unlike a traditional kick, there’s less room for error.

Step 2: Lean back and relax
In the wind up to the kick, outstretch your arms and lean back and away from the ball.
This kick is all about maintaining balance and control in a contorted position to generate power. Your arms and kicking foot should be twisting as your planted foot stays steady.

As your leaning back preparing for your kick, keep your eyes on the ball and where you want to strike with your foot.

Step 3: Wrap it ‘round
Finish the motion by wrapping your kicking foot behind your planted foot. Make sure to lift your kicking foot upwards towards your backside by bending your knee. Make sure to also slightly bend your other knee to maintain balance and control over your body. Lifting your kicking foot as much as possible will allow for a more powerful kick.

Notice the bent knees and lifted foot towards the players backside

Step 4: Making contact
Your foot should make contact with the outside of your boot and the underside of the ball for increased power and accuracy. Twist your farthest shoulder towards the target as you follow through with the kick.

Rabona Guide - Notice Lamela’s twisted shoulders and how both his feet are off the ground as the ball leaves his (left) foot

Having a strong follow through with this is kick is difficult since your plant foot is in the way. It helps if after initial contact with the ball, both feet off the ground to create the necessary lift.


Needless to say, this kick is all technique, requiring a lot of time and dedication to perfect. First start by practicing the motion from a stationary position, slowly transitioning to practicing it in motion at different speeds and angles. As much as the Rabona is a show stopping move it can be extremely useful when you find yourself in sticky situations. So, why not give this new skill a try and show off your football flair to your team?!

Learn more skills like the Rabona to become the best you can be!


Having a repertoire of skills and being comfortable performing them helps players dominate in 1vs1 scenarios and these are the types of players that Academies and Grassroots Clubs are increasingly looking for. Skills, technique, confidence and mastery of the ball are important to all players whether you are a striker, midfielder or defender. We Make Footballers have developed a syllabus focusing on individual development to give players everything they need to excel in their matches and football games. If you want to learn more tricks like the Rabona Kick, come along to a free session where our coaches will help you become a better and more skillful player from day one no matter your ability!