Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

Why Soccer Players Lie Behind The Free Kick Wall


Watch enough soccer, and you’ll witness some intriguing moments, especially during free kicks. One unusual sight is a player lying down behind the wall. This might seem strange, but it’s actually a strategic move.

A player lying or crouching behind the wall can prevent the opposition from sneaking a low shot under the defensive barrier. When a free kick is taken, players often jump to block the shot, leaving space for a well-placed low kick. By having a player lying down, this vulnerability is eliminated.

What is the Rule for Lying Down Behind the Wall in Soccer?

There are no specific rules prohibiting a player from lying down behind the wall during a free kick. As long as it’s done correctly, there should be no issues. However, two aspects of the game’s laws could potentially come into play.

The first is the potential for a tripping offense. If a player remains on the ground well after the free kick is taken, obstructing other players’ movement, the referee may call a tripping violation.

The second consideration is unsportsmanlike behavior. While unlikely, some referees might perceive lying down as disrespectful to the game and penalize players accordingly.

In general, teams can confidently employ this strategy during free kicks, as it has proven successful in preventing goals.

How Long has Lying Down Behind the Wall Been a Strategy?

Lying down behind the wall to defend against free kicks has only been a strategy for about a decade. Richardinho is credited with creating this approach during his time playing for Campeonato Serie B.

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After observing opponents kicking the ball hard and low underneath the jumping wall, Richardinho devised this unique method to counter it.

While Richardinho is often recognized as the pioneer, other players such as Lionel Messi, Marcelo Brozovic, and Douglas Costa have also popularized this defensive technique.

When Did Players Start Going Under a Free Kick Wall?

If teams did not use low kicks as a strategy, defenders would not need to lie on the ground. The introduction of players going under the wall occurred slightly before defenders began adopting this tactic. It makes sense since defenses are simply adapting to offensive strategies.

One of the most famous players to utilize this method was Ronaldinho. His creativity and unpredictability made him a formidable opponent. Many players have since followed suit, leading to goals at various levels of play.

What Do Players Need to Watch Out for When Lying on the Ground?

The primary concern for players lying on the ground is unintentionally touching the ball with their arms or hands, resulting in a penalty for handball. To avoid this, players position themselves with their backs to the free kicker. This positioning also minimizes the risk of injury when the ball strikes their body.

Depending on the free kick angle, it may be beneficial for a team to form a mini wall of its own using two players. This additional barrier prevents shots from finding their way into the net beneath the main wall.

Once the free kick is taken, quickly regaining proper positioning is crucial for maintaining control of the game. Players often crouch at first to observe the free kick setup, then jump up when the ball makes contact with a defender.

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The Future of Lying Down Behind a Free Kick Wall

Teams are constantly seeking new ways to create scoring opportunities. Although this defensive strategy is not foolproof and can be circumvented by curling shots around the wall, it remains a viable method to limit goals.

There are no indications of rules being implemented to restrict this defensive technique. After all, teams are merely employing any possible means to defend against goals. Lying down behind the wall is comparable to sliding in front of a shot or attempting to block it with other body parts. As long as players refrain from using their arms or hands, they are within the rules.

While it may not be the most visually appealing method of defense, it’s a strategy worth exploring if it proves effective. Teams understand that a successful free kick can significantly impact the outcome of a game. By preventing a goal, teams can avoid a major setback.


Q: Are there any rules against players lying down behind the wall during a free kick?

No, there are no specific rules prohibiting players from lying down behind the wall during a free kick. As long as it’s done correctly, it is within the rules of the game.

Q: How long has lying down behind the wall been a strategy?

This strategy has been in use for approximately a decade. Richardinho is credited with popularizing this technique.

Q: What should players watch out for when lying on the ground during a free kick?

The main concern is accidentally touching the ball with their arms or hands, which would result in a handball penalty. Players should position themselves with their backs to the free kicker to minimize this risk.

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Lying down behind the wall during a free kick is a legitimate strategy in soccer. It prevents low shots from passing under the defensive barrier and has proven effective in thwarting opponents’ scoring attempts. Although not foolproof, teams continue to utilize this technique as part of their defensive tactics. As long as players adhere to the rules and avoid using their arms or hands, lying down behind the wall remains a valuable tool in the game. To learn more about soccer tactics and strategies, visit Movin993.