Some fancy footwork skills in soccer take months or even years to perfect. One of them is the Rabona Kick. The Rabona Kick is an offensive soccer maneuver used to fool the opponent.
A player performs the Rabona kick by crossing their dominant foot behind their other foot. It is easier said than done and requires a lot of skill, technique, time, and practice to perfect. The unique, unnatural twisting of the body required to perform the kick is much of what made it so famous.
Here, we’ll dive into the history of the Rabona Kick and how you can master it as another skill in your soccer arsenal.
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What Exactly Is the Rabona Kick?
The Rabona Kick is a difficult footwork skill that can serve as a deceptive pass or shot on goal. The player crosses their dominant foot behind the other to kick the ball, resulting in an interesting twist of the body that looks painful. Players who can perform the maneuver are flexible, so it appears more painful than it is.
The Rabona Kick requires creativity, fast thinking, flexibility, balance, and precision. Opponents rarely expect the Rabona Kick, so it can be highly successful in fooling the opposition and making room for a pass or shooting a goal.
How to Perform the Rabona Kick
Learn the Rabona Kick, and you will impress fellow players, your opponents, and your coaches. The kick requires a simple four-step process. However, the steps take continuous practice to perfect.
Step One: Plant Your Foot
Plant the non-dominant foot about 7 to 10 inches away from the ball. The non-dominant foot maintains balance, so it must be planted firmly and with control.
Face the planted foot in the direction you want the ball to go.
Step Two: Wind Up
Wind up to the kick by stretching your arms out for balance and leaning back. This is one of the most difficult parts of the maneuver because you must maintain control while leaning back.
This difficult position is where you generate power for the kick. The arms and the kicking foot twist while the non-dominant foot stays planted and steady. Keep your eye on the ball and exactly where you want to strike it.
Step Three: Wrap the Kicking Foot Around
You’re ready to perform the kick. Wrap the kicking foot behind the non-dominant foot by bending the knee of the dominant leg and lifting it toward your rear end.
At the same time, slightly bend the knee of the non-dominant leg to maintain balance. Lift the kicking foot higher for a more powerful kick.
Step Four: Make Contact With the Ball
Use the outside of your dominant foot to kick the underside of the ball. This is the best position for superior accuracy and power.
Twist the outside shoulder toward the desired target while following through. Both feet should be off the ground when the dominant foot completes contact with the ball.
Pro Tips for Performing the Rabona Kick
There is not much room for error in position or timing when performing the Rabona Kick. Fortunately, a few pro tips can help you perfect it more quickly.
- Experiment by adjusting the position of your plant foot and the distance between it and the ball. This can vary based on your height and skill level, so practice several methods to find the one that works best for you.
- Lifting both feet off the ground after the dominant foot makes contact with the ball can promote a more thorough follow-through. This means more power and lift on the ball.
- Start practicing the Rabona Kick while stationary, then transitions to practicing it in motion.
Where Did the Rabona Kick Get Its Name?
The Rabona Kick was officially named in 1948 when Argentinian soccer magazines used the phrase, Hacerse la rabona, to describe the maneuver Ricardo Infante used.
When translated to English, Hacerse la rabona means “the child played hooky.” Magazines used this phrase to describe the player “skipping” the use of his non-dominant foot to kick with the dominant foot in a difficult.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the Rabona Kick was truly popularized. Italian soccer player Giovanni Roccotelli became famous for using the maneuver at that time. Known as a creative soccer player, Roccotelli used the Rabona Kick on shots, crosses, and even penalty kicks.
The Rabona Kick in Conclusion
Perfecting the Rabona Kick is a process that never really ends. You can continue practicing the kick from different angles and speeds to fool even more opponents.
It’s a kick that is as useful as it is impressive. Practice often, and you can help drive your team to success with this show-stopping maneuver.