Monday, 22 July 2013


Lopez, Pogba and Aboagye.

The run-up could be described as slow, lazy, languid, nonchalant or all of the above and the keeper and all others present had to wait an aeon before the ball hit the twine. This was the scene I witnessed at a kids kick-about behind my house. The football game had gone to a penalty shoot-out and one of the kids had just dispatched his penalty in the manner described above, this set my mind racing and wondering where I had first seen such a penalty. Then the kid raced away in delight screaming “Pogba, Pogba…” then it hit me, I had watched Paul Pogba’s dispatch two penalties in similar fashion at the World Youth Championships in Turkey. At that time I remember thinking to myself “now every-one will take a penalty in a similar manner”(that was too optimistic but hey that’s the way I felt at the time) and call it “The Pogba”. “The Pogba” can be described as a Roberto Carlos free-kick but in “sloooooooooooooooooooow” motion. 
I decided to make a list of footballers who have moves or skills named after them or that they invented. 

THE SCORPION KICK(José René Higuita Zapata) - in a friendly against England in 1995 at the old wembley stadium Colombian goalkeeper Higuita  nicknamed El Loco(The Madman) created this save. After an aimless ball by Jaimie Redknapp, Higuita produced this stop; according to him he did so because he saw the linesman raise his flag.

Candreva dispatching his panenka
THE PANENKA(Antonin Panenka) -  ‘darting very quickly towards the ball, letting people expect a strong shot, stopping brutally when transferring weight onto the back foot, hooking the ball with a spoon-like shot, and using a sort of lob, whose slow, swirling trajectory completely fools the opposite goalkeeper’. This description is given by Jean-Philippe Réthacker in France Football, on the day after a Euro 1980 qualifier between Czechoslovakia and France (2-0, on 4 April 1979), where Antonín Panenka fooled Dominique Dropsy. It gained worldwide attention when he used in the Belgrade final of the 1976 European Championship which gave Czechoslovakia the title against the great team of the Federal Republic of Germany. For those with short memories think Candreva( Italy v Spain in the recent Confederations Cup). 

THE RABONA( Ricardo Infante)-  the rabona is a method of kicking the football whereby the kicking leg is wrapped around the back of the standing leg—effectively with one's legs crossed.  The first rabona was performed by Ricardo Infante in a game between Argentinian teams Estudiantes de la Plata and Rosario Central in 1948. Apparently the first filmed rabona was performed by Pelé in the São Paulo state championship in 1957.  In the 1970s this move was simply called a "crossed-kick."

THE STEP-OVER(Robbie Cook) - according to Wikipedia the step over (also known as the pedalada, the Denílson, or the scissors) is a dribbling move, or feint, in football, used to fool a defensive player into thinking the offensive player, in possession of the ball, is going to move in a direction he does not intend to move in. The move was reportedly invented by Robbie Cook who was famous for it and who was nicknamed "Absolute Playa" in the late 1990's early 2000's. The move has since been over-used and over-prostituted by players such as Ronaldo. Denilson and C. Ronaldo.

THE MARSEILLE TURN(Maradona/Zidane) - The Marseille turn, also known as the 360(in Ghana), the Maradona, the Roulette and the Gringo is a specialised dribbling skill in football. It is sometimes known as the 360 turn, the Marseille Roulette, Rolie Polie or the Piroman.  Zinedine Zidane popularized this move and the skill is referred to as “Zidane in Ghana”.

Cruijff bamboozling Olsson 

THE CRUIJFF/CRUYFF TURN(Johan Cruijff) - The images above are of the famous moment when the Netherlands and their Total Football took on Sweden in the second Group 3 game of the 1974 World Cup. The man to feel sorry for is Sweden rightback Jan Olsson. Cruyff plants his left foot and fakes to cross with his right, but instead uses his right to drag the ball behind, turn 180 degrees and accelerate away from poor Jan Olsson, with the poor Swedish defender left resembling a drunk who’s misplaced his housekeys.(from the WorldCupBlog).

THE DIVING HEADER(Pablo Bartolucci) - The diving header requires getting both feet off the ground, and a jump towards the football. You should be almost horizontal as you head the ball, using your forehead as always. Generally, take off is from only one foot, because the diving header is usually attempted on the run. The diving header requires bravery(ask John Terry how Diabys’ boot tastes), co-ordination and good anticipation. Bartolucci is credited with inventing this technique in Argentina.

THE BICYCLE KICK(originator disputed) - bicycle kick or scissor kick is a physical move made by throwing the body up into the air, making a shearing movement with the legs to get one leg in front of the other without holding on to the ground.  The move can either be done backwards or sideways. Performed in ball games, when the move is done with one leg high over the head to reach the ball (located in the original head height).According to Inverting The Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson “the bicycle-kick was invented in Peru in the late nineteenth century; most seem to credit Ramón Unzaga Asla, a native of Bilbao who emigrated to Chile and first used it in 1914 (hence the use of term chilena throughout Spanish-speaking South America, unless that refers to David Arellano, a Chilean who popularised the technique on a tour of Spain in 1920); while others follow Leônidas, the Brazilian forward of the thirties, in attributing it to Petronilho de Brito. Weirdly, the former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis also claimed to have invented the bicycle-kick, even though he never played football to any  level and was not born until  ten years after  the  first record of Unzaga performing  the  trick.”

MARIANELLA/THE VOLLEYED BACK-HEEL(Juan Evaristo) - Imagine a back-hell but only in mid-air. Evaristo and his brother Mario became the first siblings to appear in the world-cup final.

Awana Diab

Special mention goes to Awana Diab who scored the final goal for the United Arab Emirates in their 6-2 win over Lebanon by back-heeling the ball into the back of the net from the penalty spot. I have yet to see another player try his penalty that’s why I didn’t put him in.

According to Charles H. Duell(Commissioner, U.S. patent office, 1899) or The Book of Facts and Fallacies" by Chris Morgan and David Langford (1981), “Everything that can be invented has been invented”. They all said this in the 1980’s but look at society now. I look forward to footballers of my generation like Pogba to invent more footballing techniques.

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