Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Soccer Skills: Mastering the Cruyff Turn

Soccer skills play a crucial role in the beautiful game, often lighting up individual moments and providing teams with the attacking spark needed to secure a decisive goal. One of the most iconic and widely performed tricks is the Cruyff turn, a move that has become legendary in the world of soccer. In this article, we will delve into everything you need to know about this famous skill.

What is a Cruyff turn?

Unlike complex moves such as the rainbow kick, the technique we’re focusing on here is relatively simple. The Cruyff turn is a dummy move that involves appearing as though you’re about to pass or shoot, then faking the action and dragging the ball behind your standing leg with the inside of your foot. As you do so, you turn your shoulders and dribble off in the opposite direction, leaving the defender in your wake.

The purpose of the Cruyff turn

The Cruyff turn is primarily used to help players turn away from defenders or quickly change direction. It is often employed in attacking areas of the pitch, creating passing or shooting opportunities. Wingers, in particular, find this skill highly beneficial when cutting inside to create scoring chances. Having a few tricks like the Cruyff turn in your arsenal can give you a major advantage on the field.

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Origins: Who did the Cruyff turn first?

The Cruyff turn owes its name to the iconic Dutch footballer and manager Johan Cruyff. He first performed this move during a match between the Netherlands and Sweden in the 1974 World Cup. With his back to the goal and Swedish defender Jan Olsson tightly tracking him, Cruyff executed an unexpected 180-degree turn, leaving the defender in his dust. From that moment, the iconic Cruyff turn was born and embraced by players around the world.

Who was Johan Cruyff?

Johan Cruyff was an influential Dutch football player and manager, known for his exceptional skills and innovative playing styles. He made his mark on the sport as a three-time Ballon d’Or winner and a key figure in the development of Total Football, a fluid tactical playing theory. Cruyff’s influence extended to his time as a manager, where he introduced a style of play that later became known as tiki-taka.

How do you do a Cruyff turn?

Now that you understand the origins and principles of the Cruyff turn, let’s focus on how to execute this move. When you’re closing in on an opposition full-back or preparing to cross the ball, consider incorporating this trick to create an opening. With practice, you can master the Cruyff turn by following these simple steps:

  1. Get the ball out of your feet in front of you within striking distance.
  2. Shape up as though you’re about to kick the ball convincingly.
  3. Instead of striking the ball, drag it back behind your standing leg with the inside of your foot while simultaneously turning your shoulders.
  4. Having turned your body, quickly accelerate away from the defender, creating space to dribble, pass, or shoot.
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Feints like the Cruyff turn not only help you beat defenders but also add style to your game. With time and effort, you can seamlessly integrate this skill into your repertoire.

If you’re eager to learn more soccer skills, tactics, and strategies, our website has a wealth of useful content. Whether you want to explore different formations in 7v7 soccer or enhance your possession-based training drills with the rondo, we’ve got you covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who did the Cruyff turn?

The Cruyff turn was first performed by Dutch international Johan Cruyff, which is why it bears his name. Johan Cruyff was a legendary figure in soccer, pioneering tactical philosophies such as Total Football. To learn more about him, check out our article on Total Football.

What is the point of the Cruyff turn?

The Cruyff turn is designed to help players turn away from defenders or quickly change direction. It creates opportunities for passing and shooting, all while adding a touch of style to your game.

What is a rainbow kick?

While the Cruyff turn and stepover are relatively easy to perform, the rainbow kick is at the other end of the spectrum. It involves flicking the ball up and over the defender, and it’s one of the most audacious and eye-catching skills in soccer.


Now that you’ve gained insights into the Cruyff turn, it’s time to hit the field and start practicing. Remember, mastering this skill will take time and dedication, but the rewards will be worth it. So lace up your boots, give it your all, and get ready to dazzle on the pitch. For more exciting soccer content, visit our website and take your game to the next level.

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