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The Elastico: Mastering Ronaldinho's Signature Move

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    Sports Tips

The Elastico: Mastering Ronaldinho's Signature Move


The Elastico, also known as the Flip Flap, is a jaw-dropping soccer move popularized by Brazilian legend Ronaldinho. It’s an advanced dribbling maneuver that can leave defenders in the dust if executed correctly. Today, we’re diving deep into the intricacies of the Elastico, breaking down its execution, and highlighting the best scenarios to use this mesmerizing skill.

What is the Elastico?

The Elastico is a quick, deceptive move that involves flicking the ball with the outside of your foot before immediately transitioning to the inside. This rapid change of direction can easily throw defenders off balance, allowing you to breeze past them.

Execution Steps

Executing the Elastico requires precision and quick footwork. Here’s a step-by-step guide to mastering this technique:

Step-by-Step Breakdown

1. Approach the DefenderDribble towards the defender with moderate speed, ensuring you have enough space to execute the move.
2. Body PositionSlightly lean towards the direction you intend to fake. This helps sell the initial move.
3. Outside TouchUse the outside of your dominant foot to push the ball slightly outward. This should be a quick, controlled flick.
4. Inside TouchImmediately use the inside of the same foot to flick the ball back in the opposite direction, cutting inside the defender.
5. AccelerationAfter the inside touch, quickly accelerate past the defender, utilizing the element of surprise.

Key Points to Remember

  • Low Center of Gravity: Keep your body low during the execution to improve balance and control.
  • Quick Feet: The entire move needs to be one fluid, rapid motion to be effective.
  • Practice: Like any skill, constant repetition and refinement are essential.

When to Use the Elastico

In-Game Scenarios

One-on-One SituationsThe Elastico is perfect for one-on-one encounters with defenders, allowing you to create space and get past them quickly.
Near the SidelinesUse this move to cut inside from the wings and create a scoring opportunity or a key pass.
Tight SpacesWhen you’re tight on space, the quick direction change can help you evade close defenders.

Tactical Considerations

  • Surprise Element: Use the Elastico sparingly to maintain the surprise element. Overusing it might make defenders anticipate the move.
  • Match Context: Assess the game situation before attempting the move. It’s most effective when the defender is flat-footed or over-committed.

Coaching Wisdom

Training Drills

Incorporate these drills into your training regime to perfect the Elastico:

  1. Cone Dribbling with Elastico: Set up cones in a zigzag pattern and practice executing the Elastico between each cone.
  2. One-on-One Drills: Pair up with a teammate and take turns defending and attacking, using the Elastico to beat your partner.

Encouraging Creativity

As a coach, encourage players to express themselves on the field. The Elastico is not just about technique but also about confidence and creativity. Foster an environment where players feel comfortable trying new moves during practice to build their in-game versatility.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Ball Control: If players struggle with controlling the ball, slow down the drill's pace until they’re comfortable with the touches.
  • Timing: Ensure the transition between the outside and inside touch is seamless and practiced at varying speeds to simulate game conditions.

Closing Thoughts

Mastering the Elastico can transform a player's dribbling arsenal, adding an element of flair and unpredictability. Whether you’re a player looking to elevate your game or a coach aiming to develop technically gifted individuals, the Elastico is a high-reward skill worth investing in. Keep practicing, stay patient, and let your feet tell the story on the pitch.

Happy dribbling!