Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Soccer Skills: La Croqueta

On a cloudy Johannesburg evening in July 2010, a historic moment unfolded. Andres Iniesta, a legendary player for Spain and Barcelona, scored the winning goal in the World Cup final against the Netherlands. But Iniesta’s skill on the pitch goes beyond that iconic moment. One of his signature moves is the La Croqueta, a soccer skill that is both impressive and effective.

What is a La Croqueta?

La Croqueta is a footwork skill that allows players to maneuver in tight spots and beat opposition defenders. It involves quickly shifting the ball from one foot to the other and using the second foot to move past the defender. But there’s more to it than fancy footwork. To successfully execute this skill, players need to be agile, light on their feet, and generate enough power to evade defenders.

Who invented La Croqueta?

While Iniesta is closely associated with La Croqueta, credit for introducing this move on the world stage goes to Michael Laudrup, a Danish football legend. Laudrup, a skillful attacking midfielder, popularized the move during his illustrious career at clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus. Iniesta took it to new heights, using the La Croqueta to glide past multiple opposition players.

Why is it called La Croqueta?

The name “La Croqueta” comes from the movement that chefs make when tossing batter from one hand to another to create a croquette. The skill mimics this fast and fluid movement. Just like great chefs, soccer players have been able to create magic with the La Croqueta. It’s a highly functional move that helps players get into dangerous positions and create opportunities for great passes.

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The Best Players to use La Croqueta

Iniesta may be the player most closely associated with La Croqueta, but he’s not the only one who has mastered this skill. Lionel Messi, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, frequently uses La Croqueta to escape tight situations on the pitch. Michael Laudrup, the pioneer of this move, also deserves recognition for his contribution to its development.

How to do La Croqueta

If you want to add La Croqueta to your repertoire, follow these simple steps:

  1. Place the ball between your feet, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Use your stronger foot to quickly shift the ball to the inside of your other foot.
  3. Push the ball forward with your weaker foot, almost in the same movement as receiving it.
  4. Accelerate at the right moment to move into open space and outpace the defender.

Top Tips for performing La Croqueta

To enhance your execution of La Croqueta, consider these additional tips:

  • Get comfortable with the feel of the ball to push it rather than kick it.
  • Practice on cones or teammates to simulate match situations.
  • Time your move to draw in the defender before shifting the ball.
  • Keep an eye on the defender’s feet to catch them off balance.
  • Change pace to confuse the opponent during and after the move.

Remember, La Croqueta is a versatile skill that can be further enhanced by incorporating feints and other tricks.


What is the best soccer skill?

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While La Croqueta is impressive, there are other technically impressive moves in soccer. Contenders for the best skill include the rainbow kick, the rabona, and the Cruyff turn.

What is a Cruyff turn?

The Cruyff turn is a widely practiced and simple soccer skill. It involves shaping up to strike the ball, feinting, and dragging the ball behind the standing foot to change direction.

What is a rabona?

The rabona is a highly technical soccer skill that involves wrapping the kicking foot around the standing foot to perform a pass, cross, or shot. It showcases players’ technical prowess and can be used to humiliate defenders.

In conclusion, La Croqueta is a skill that requires agility, footwork, and timing to successfully beat defenders. With its origins traced back to Michael Laudrup and popularized by Andres Iniesta, this move has become a staple in the arsenal of skilled players like Lionel Messi. By mastering the technique and incorporating some additional tips, soccer enthusiasts can add a touch of flair to their game. So why not give it a try and see if you can whip up some magic on the pitch?