The top 10 best football skills

We Make Footballers
04 April 2022

One of the best aspects about watching football is the individual brilliance, creativity and memorable moments the game provides. The way in which the greatest players in the world conjure up a new turn, skill or trick to work their way out of what looks to be a hopeless situation, immortalising their place in the history of the game in the process.

Some of the most classic moves are now being taught around the world to every new generation of players, such as: The Maradona Turn, The Cruyff Turn, The Scissor Kick, The Chop, The Iniesta, The Rainbow Flick and so many more... These are all skills and techniques that kids across the world try to copy and perfect in honour of the greats of the game.

We’ve put together this list of what we reckon are the 10 best football skills, however, there are so many more that should be in your armoury of skills. How many of them have you heard of and how many of them can you do?

The Maradona Turn

The Maradona Turn is something every player practices and its beauty comes from the simplicity of it. With a swivel of the hips, the great Argentinian forward could dance around the ball, change direction and take multiple opponents out of the game. Done at full pace, its breathtaking to watch. Learn how to do the turn here.

 

The Cruyff Turn

Johan Cruffy was one of the best technical players ever to play the game. Aside from winning virtually every trophy going and creating a footballing legacy, his crowning achievement was the invention of the Cruyff Turn. It’s now one of the first skills that children are taught and that’s the genius of Cruyff – he made the difficult become simple. At We Make Footballers, Cruyff is one of our all time favourites - follow this guide to learn the turn.

The Scissor Kick

There isn’t a more spellbinding way to score a goal than with a scissor kick. The sight of a striker flinging themselves backwards into the air with all the grace of an Olympic gymnast before catching a cross well above head height with his foot and powering it into the back of the net is simply spectacular.

 

Pele was the absolute master at scoring these types of goals. Wayne Rooney scored with the scissor kick in the Manchester Derby a few years ago and Gareth Bale in the 2018 Champions League final being more recent examples of this magnificent skill.

The Rabona

Another skill that was first used by Pele, the Rabona has become a much more frequent sight in football over the last 10 years or so. Players such as Eden Hazard, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Erik Lamela have all put it to good use in competitive games, wrapping one foot around the other to score and assist some classic goals. Learn the steps to the skill here.

 

The Elastico

One of the hardest skills in football to pull off, the Elastico was a favourite of Ronaldinho. It involves rolling your foot over the ball in such a way that when you bring it down on the other side, you are able to knock the ball past an opponent in one swift movement. Zinedine Zidane was also a fan, but nobody could really pull it off with the pomp of Ronaldinho. Here are the simple steps to the skill.

The Pullback V

You might not have heard of the pullback V, but you’ve almost certainly used it at some point as it more of a natural movement. This is the move whereby you stop the ball, drag it back and then flick it behind your standing leg to release a teammate into space, all done in the shape of a V. The great Hungarian Ferenc Puskas is credited with inventing it during his 1950s heyday.

The Rainbow or the Okocha Flick

Nobody really knows where the Rainbow originated from, but it was Jay-Jay Okocha who brought it to the Premier League on a regular basis during his time with Bolton Wanderers. It involves using one foot to roll the ball up the back of the other leg and then flick it over an opponent’s head before collecting it on the other side. This is the ultimate piece of showboating and you will often see it in 5-a-side games or street football.

The Knuckleball Free Kick

Scoring a direct free kick is quite a skill in itself, but there is no better technique for doing it than the Knuckleball. Perfected by Cristiano Ronaldo, by striking the ball straight on the valve you can generate the perfect combination of power, uplift and dip without the ball moving, spinning or swerving an inch. It’s impossible for a goalkeeper to save and mesmerising to watch.

 

The Scorpion Kick

When Colombia played England at Wembley in 1995, the South American nation’s goalkeeper Rene Higuita wrote himself into footballing folklore when producing a scorpion kick save, see it here. Of course, it was completely unnecessary but the fact it’s still talked about to this day shows just what a memorable piece of skill it was.

 

The Seal Dribble

Such a ridiculous skill that it’s never really caught on, but we love it anyway! It was perfected by Brazilian forward Kerlon and basically involved him running forward with the ball perched on his forehead, just like a seal. A modern day example would be Nani in the Premier League, take a look here! Not something you see every day, but fun to try and master nonetheless!

 

This list of top football skills only names some of the skills that have marked history and that are passed onto new generations of players. At We Make Footballers, we focus on developing the individual and increasing their ability on the ball including ball manipulation and skills. Skills play an integral part in becoming a creative, technical and unpredictable player. Try our weekly sessions for free to see if we can help you learn some of the top 10 skills listed above.