Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Soccer Skills: Mastering the Elastico

Soccer skills have the power to elevate a player’s game from ordinary to extraordinary, turning a simple possession into a dangerous attack, and ultimately, the difference between winning and losing. The artistry and finesse displayed on the field captivates fans worldwide, making the game immensely entertaining. Today, we’ll be delving into one of the flashier techniques in soccer: the Elastico. Loved by iconic players like Ronaldinho and Neymar, this skill is not limited to the elite; you can spot ambitious young players executing it in street games and cage clashes. Let’s explore what makes the Elastico so special and how you can master it yourself.

What is the Elastico Soccer Move?

Soccer is a global sport, played everywhere from the streets of London to the favelas of Sau Paulo and the high-rise 5-a-side pitches of Tokyo. It’s no surprise that different soccer skills go by various names worldwide. The Elastico is a prime example. Known as the “flip-flap,” “akka,” “snakebite,” or “la culebrita,” it dazzles fans and bamboozles defenders, regardless of the name used.

Essentially, the Elastico is an advanced dribbling move designed to deceive defenders by feinting one way and swiftly shifting to the other. Executed with precision, the outside of the dominant foot pushes the ball to the dominant side before rapidly shifting the foot’s position and using the inside of the foot to redirect the ball to the non-dominant side. Footwork is crucial in this move, but explosive acceleration from a stationary position also plays a significant role.

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The Pioneers of the Elastico in Soccer

In the world of soccer skills, the history is often muddled with differing opinions and claims of invention. However, the origins of the Elastico are quite clear. The move was originally invented by the Japanese-Brazilian football player Sergio Echigo, who passed it on to his Corinthians youth teammate, Brazilian playmaker Rivellino. Rivellino, during the 1970 World Cup, popularized the Elastico on the world stage, refining it to perfection.

The Elastico’s influence extended beyond Brazil, with players from various nationalities adopting the skill. Algerian international Salah Assad introduced his version, “El Ghorraf,” in the early 1980s, incorporating it into his dribbling while running with the ball. Legendary players like Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Neymar added their own flair to the Elastico, ensuring its enduring popularity.

Famous Examples of the Elastico Soccer Move

Although the Elastico is not commonly seen on the soccer field due to its ambitious nature, several elite players have successfully showcased it throughout their careers.

  1. Rivellino: As the first player to popularize the Elastico, the Brazilian playmaker’s skills were truly mesmerizing.
  2. Ronaldinho: Another Brazilian maestro, Ronaldinho’s use of the Elastico added to his legendary status as a flair player.
  3. Neymar: Known for his incredible skill set, Neymar has delivered countless breathtaking flip-flap moves, leaving fans in awe.
  4. Cristiano Ronaldo: The non-Brazilian on our list, Ronaldo has also incorporated the Elastico into his repertoire, stunning opponents with his technique.

Mastering the Elastico: How to Do It

Observing top players execute the Elastico can be overwhelming, given the technical ability it appears to demand. However, breaking down the movement into its individual components reveals that it is not as difficult as it seems. To perform the Elastico successfully, follow these steps:

  1. Position your outside foot on the inside of the ball, making light contact with its front part.
  2. Wrap the front of your foot around the ball, spinning it and shifting your foot to the outside of the ball. This motion should be quick and smooth, while maintaining control.
  3. Use the inside of your foot to push the ball in the opposite direction. For right-footed players, complete the entire move using your right foot, utilizing the powerful instep to push the ball away.
  4. Once you’ve pushed the ball away, accelerate away from your opponent, leaving them off-balance and creating space for yourself.
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Practice is key to mastering the Elastico. Start slowly, familiarizing yourself with each step, and gradually increase your speed. With dedication, you’ll soon be able to execute this famous trick effortlessly.

If reading about skilled players like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Neymar has sparked your interest in the most talented soccer athletes, we have more articles that delve into the world of the best. Begin your journey by exploring our guide to the fastest soccer players on the planet.

FAQs

Is the Elastico the most advanced soccer skill?

While the Elastico is undoubtedly an advanced soccer skill, requiring practice and effort, there are more complex tricks such as the rainbow kick or the rabona.

What is a rainbow kick?

The rainbow kick involves rolling up the ball on one leg, usually up the calf, using the other foot, culminating in a flick over the head of the opponent. This audacious flair move is often seen from players like Neymar and Jay Jay Okocha.

What is a rabona?

The rabona is an ambitious skill move attempted by highly creative players. It involves wrapping the kicking foot around the standing foot while lining up a pass, cross, or shot, often resulting in a chipped or lobbed effort.