Kevin De Bruyne was once dubbed “the modern Cruyff”’ by his under-21 manager at Genk and it was Johan Cruyff who said: “Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.” MORE
How to chip the ball
Mo Salah in the Champions League with Liverpool, Kevin De Bruyne in the Premier League with Manchester City and Lionel Messi in La Liga with Barcelona – the best players can chip a ball.
THE CHIP TECHNIQUE
Lean slightly back when chipping, but slant forward if you want extra spin, meaning the ball goes up and down very quickly. Place the non-kicking foot to the side, slightly behind the ball. Like a golfer using a chipper, a quick downward swing of the kicking leg with the inside three toes directly under the ball, plus a very short follow-through, produces a lot of backspin and a short (but high) arc.
Stand players 10 yards apart, with a line of cones across their path. Players take it in turn to chip the ball over the cones to their playing partner. When players have perfected the task, put them into groups of three. This time, they’re 15 yards apart with the third player in the middle. The left and right players must chip the ball over the middle man. A player who fails to successfully chip the ball over the middle man has to swap positions with him.
Mark out an area measuring 40×30 yards, with a central 5-yard square at each end – the ‘goal’ areas. Play 3v3 in the main area of the pitch. Each team has two attackers in the goal area they are attacking. Play as you would do a normal game, except goals are scored by chipping the ball into the hands of a team mate inside the area. The game restarts with the catcher rolling the ball out to an opposition player. Play for 10 minutes, rotating players all the time.
- 1. Approach the football at a slight angle, placing the non-kicking foot approximately six inches to the side of the ball and slightly behind it.
- 2. With the kicking foot, three toes move underneath the ball and should be angled down.
- 3. The arc of the foot comes from using the knee as a fulcrum, punching into the ball and lifting it up. Remember, the shorter the backswing, the more control and better placement of the chip.
- 4. Leaning the body back increases the lift of the ball. The further a player leans back, the greater the ball’s arc.
- 5. Teams score by chipping the ball into a target man