How to beat a defender—and look cool doing it
| 5 min watch
Help kids develop ball mastery and more, with soccer skills that include a stepover tutorial and moves made famous by some of soccer’s greatest players — Maradona, Ronaldo, and Cruyff.
The step over is a skill soccer players use to beat defenders 1v1, and it’s so-named because the front leg literally steps over the ball after faking a pass, so the dribbler can quickly pivot away with the ball instead. It’s a versatile move because players can do a step over from either a standing start or while dribbling the ball at any pace, from walking to running.
Get step-by-step directions for the step over here.
The scissor is a cousin of the step over. With a step over, the player fakes a pass with the inside of the foot and brings the foot over the ball. When a player does a scissor, she fakes a pass with the outside of the foot and swings the leg around the ball. Both soccer moves end with the player using the outside of the foot to move the ball away from a defender.
Get step-by-step tips for practicing the scissor move here.
This move requires some sleight of hand … well, foot. When doing a pull back, think of it as putting on the brakes and making a U-turn. For beginners or for a legend like Cristiano Ronaldo, this simple maneuver is a great way to escape with the ball under pressure from a defender.
A combination of a fake and a turn, a Cruyff Turn (or “Cruyff”) helps a player turn away from a defender or reverse direction quickly.
Get step-by-step directions for the Cruyff Turn here.
The chop is one of the best moves for an attacking player, like a winger, to cut from the outside in. It lets the player with the ball change direction very quickly while shielding the ball from a poke tackle at the same time. It’s the ultimate power move.
Get step-by-step directions for the Ronaldo Chop here.
The Maradona Turn is a dribbling skill that players can use to take the ball past a defender, particularly one coming at them from an angle. The player uses their body to shield the ball from the defender, while dragging the ball into the direction they want to go.
Get step-by-step directions for the Maradona Turn here.