“The Zidane Pirouette”, “the Marseille turn”, “the Roulette”, “the Maradona”, “the spin move”, “the 360”, “the double drag-back”; the list goes on. This is a skill with many titles, but its most famous namesakes were two of the most influential football players in history.
The trick was first introduced by footballing legend Diego Maradona, and was aptly named thereafter. Zinedine Zidane was famous for executing the move exceptionally well in his time playing at Juventus and Real Madrid.
The Roulette wasn’t always commonplace in professional football, and is considered to be more of a street style / futsal technique. Regardless of its origin, it is one of the more advanced skills in football. It allows the player to weave around defenders in tight spaces at high speeds and change directions.
The turn is notoriously difficult to defend, hard for the opposition to predict, and all the more difficult to get the hang of. While it is hard to master, it’s a great skill to have in your footwork arsenal and will improve your dribbling. You’ll also look super cool while doing it! This week, in our series of skill guides and tutorials, we’ll help you master the Roulette turn.
Let’s break it down…
UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF THE ROULETTE TURN:
For such a complicated move, there are only three crucial steps. We’ll be looking at the basic steps and a faster variation of the trick. First, start by going through the steps slowly. Depending on what foot you use, the angle at which you approach your defender will be different. In this example we will start with the ball at our right foot, so we will approach the defender at an angle on the left side.
Approach the defender with the ball rolling in front of your feet. When you’re ready, stop the ball and drag it back slightly with your dominant foot (right foot).
Spin 180 degrees and plant the same foot between you and the defender. Your back should now be to the defender.
Catch the ball with your non-dominant foot (left). Roll the ball behind and away, continuing your run. You should have completed a 360 turn. In this case you will be rolling to your left (to the right of the defender).
TURN EVEN FASTER:
When you are comfortable with these steps, you can cut time and speed up the trick by using this variation. This time, instead of dragging the ball back and stepping between the ball and the defender, steps 1 and 2 are combined. This technique works better for faster-paced situations.
Bring your dominant foot onto the ball as it rolls forward and rotate 180 degrees while you’re on the ball.
The player immediately steps onto the ball mid-run without rolling it back first. The non-dominant foot lifts off the floor preparing to make contact with the ball.
As soon as your dominant foot hits the floor, bring your other foot onto the ball, rolling it back and away. In this position the dominant foot is planted, and the player is ready to roll the ball back to the left and away from the defender.
TIPS FOR THE ROULETTE:
Angle and shape: This move works best when a defender is coming at you from the side or at an angle not straight on.
Speed variation: If you’re losing control of the ball when performing the skill, try to go slower. The key to fooling a defender is setting them off-balance through a change and variation in speed. Slow down when spinning and rolling the ball, then speed up immediately after.
Adapting the move: If it looks like the defender will win the ball once you’ve completed the move, either roll the ball back further when doing the basic steps, or try to put more space between you and the defender when moving at a faster pace.
Prepare and visualize the skill: Start by visualizing what the spin will look like and practice the motion without the ball. After, try going through the motions from a stationary position.
The Roulette turn is one of the most fun and effective moves to execute in fast-paced game situations and will always get a cheer from the crowd when done well. It’s an exciting and creative skill which requires a lot of practice but will improve a player’s dribbling.
If you want to perfect the Roulette turn, as well as a long list of other skills and types of turns in football, come along to a free session at We Make Footballers. Our coaches will help you become the best and most skillful player you can be. Having a wide range of skills to choose from, and the ability to perform them can boost the value and effectiveness of any player – allowing them to stand out in a variety of game situations.