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The Cruyff turn was made famous by Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, hence the name. It’s a skill move that’s not just effective in 1v1 situations, but even 1v2. It’s a very simple move that can get you out of tight situations and away from your marker. Essentially the move is a fake shot/cross/pass, infused with a turn back behind your standing leg. Let’s take you through the steps:

Let’s start by practicing the technique with the ball still, then practice with your dribble. The great thing about the Cruyff turn is you can use it with the ball still or whilst rolling.

Step 1: Stand over the ball with your planting foot or non-Cruyff turn foot next to the ball, slightly angled out.

  • Having your plant foot slightly angled will help when you turn out of the move.
  • Leave a small gap between the ball and your foot.
  • You should run up to the ball as if you’re crossing or shooting to really sell the move to the defender.
  • Bring your Cruyff foot around the side of the ball, to the front and using the inside part of your foot, drag the ball behind yourself.
  • You will need to balance from your standing leg momentarily.
  • The arm on your standing leg side should be up and extended. Your other arm should be extended lower. Having your arms extended like this will help with balancing and also helps to make it look as if you’re going to cross, shoot or pass.
  • Keep your eyes on the area just in front of the ball, with the defender in your peripheral vision.

Step 2: The foot you’ve used for the Cruyff should now be used to help you turn and push away to get the ball.

  • Now try it when you’re dribbling with the ball.
  • You will notice your plant foot will need to go ahead of the ball (still to the side), as this will allow you to meet the ball when its rolling.
  • Remember that you want to make it look as if you’re going to hit the ball for a cross, shot or pass.
  • Try to carry out the move in one fluid motion.
  • Try against a defender or use some cones.
  • The move is best used if you have a defender to the side of you. If the defender is behind you, you will either collide with the defender or they will intercept and take the ball.
  • It’s very important that you carry out the move with confidence and belief. The more times you practice, the more confidence you’ll gain. If the move hasn’t worked against a defender, don’t get discouraged, find out why it happened, keep trying and practicing.

The key is to really sell it to the defender that you’re going to cross, shoot or pass by using your upper body as well as your lower.

Skills should be done at speed to really throw the defender off and get past them. Remember, by doing the move quick and exiting quick, you’re giving the defender less time to react to your move. You should slow things down if it’s not quite working for you, remember repetition is key when learning something new.

Make sure you try this skill in training to get used to how you use it. Try not to get discouraged if you’re struggling or it’s not coming off in matches, the key is to keep going and practice until it’s right.