Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Soccer Skills: The Rabona

Most modern soccer teams prioritize tactical organization and adherence to specific systems. However, amidst these structured approaches, there is still room for individual brilliance. One such skill that stands out is the rabona. This audacious move can be witnessed at the highest levels of the game and deserves attention. In this article, we will delve into what the rabona is, its origins, and how to perform it. Let’s dive in.

What is a Rabona in Soccer?

The rabona is a popular skill that has been used in elite soccer on several notable occasions. It involves crossing your legs to kick the ball, wrapping your kicking foot around your standing foot before executing a chipped, lofted effort. Mastering this technique is challenging, but when done correctly, it is not only visually stunning but also an effective way to shoot or pass the ball.

Why do players use the Rabona skill?

Players may choose to utilize the rabona for various reasons. It can serve as a creative alternative for players who have a weak foot. For example, a right-footed player on the left flank might opt for a rabona to improve the power or accuracy of their left-footed shot. Additionally, even players with strong weaker feet can employ the rabona to confuse defenders or display their skills.

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Who invented the Rabona?

Although Italian winger Giovanni Roccotelli popularized the rabona in the 1970s, it was not his invention. The trick’s origins trace back to 1948 when Argentine striker Ricardo Infante first performed it. The term “rabona” derived from an Argentine phrase meaning to play hooky, alluding to Infante’s use of the move to compensate for his frail foot. The exact origins and etymology remain debated, but the name has stuck ever since.

Famous Rabona Goals

The rabona has been showcased in numerous high-profile games. Players have used it to cross the ball into the box or score spectacular goals, leaving fans in awe. Notable examples include Tottenham’s Erik Lamela, who executed a rabona in the Europa League and the Premier League North London derby. Jonathan Calleri of Boca Juniors also demonstrated the skill with finesse, chipping the ball over the goalkeeper. Brazilian forward Mario Jardel’s stunning rabona goal for Porto remains a memorable moment in the sport.

How to do a Rabona

Now that you’ve learned about this cheeky soccer skill, you might be eager to try it out for yourself. Follow these steps to perfect your rabona technique:

  1. Determine your kicking leg: Identify your stronger foot as this will be crucial for executing the skill.

  2. Plant your weaker foot next to the ball: Keep your non-dominant foot firmly planted on the ground, providing balance and setting up your posture.

  3. Check your position: Position the ball on the outside of your non-kicking foot, approximately a foot away.

  4. Lean back with your arms outstretched: Lean slightly backward and to the side of the ball to maintain balance.

  5. Focus on the exact spot on the ball where you want to hit: Aim for the underside of the ball while keeping your eyes on it for accuracy and power.

  6. Swing your kicking foot behind your planted leg: Bend your knee as you swing your dominant leg around your planted leg, lifting your foot high to increase power.

  7. Strike the ball: Use the outside of your foot for accuracy and power, turning your shoulders toward the target as you follow through.

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Mastering the rabona takes time, practice, and dedication. However, with persistence, you’ll be able to add this impressive skill to your repertoire. If you’re interested in learning more exciting soccer skills, check out our article on the art of the rainbow kick or our comprehensive guide to the rondo training drill.


Why is it called a rabona?

The term “rabona” originated from Argentine striker Ricardo Infante’s use of the skill in 1948. The Argentine football magazine El Grafico coined the term from an Argentine phrase meaning to skip school without permission, highlighting Infante’s employment of the move to compensate for his weak foot.

How hard is a rabona?

The rabona is a challenging soccer skill to master, especially when under pressure from defenders while attempting a shot or cross. It requires extensive practice to execute effectively.

What is a rainbow flick?

Similar to the rabona, the rainbow kick is often used for showboating. It involves rolling the ball up one leg with the other foot and flicking it over the head of an opponent. For more information, check out our article on the rainbow kick soccer skill.

In conclusion, the rabona is a captivating skill that adds flair and excitement to the game of soccer. It requires practice and dedication to master, but when executed correctly, it can leave fans and teammates in awe. So, why not give it a try and unleash your inner creativity on the soccer field?