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19th Jul 2014

JOE looks at the 10 most ground breaking pieces of skill in football

These are worth watching again and again...

Paul Moore

These are worth watching again and again…

We recently reminded you about some of the most unconventional pieces of skill ever seen in the GAA and that got us around to thinking about the footballers that have truly made JOE gasp after witnessing a piece of outrageous or innovative skill.

The following ten players are not necessarily the best players of all time but they do have a special place in football history because for one brief moment, they made the world gasp in amazement.

The Cruyff turn

If you want to impress your mates, then tell them that the unfortunate victim of Johan Cruyff’s turn against Sweden was Jan Olsson. The look on the defenders face after the Dutch legend perfected the greatest drag back in football history is still priceless 40 years on.

Clip via – Bob Marley

The Zidane roulette

Spanish football journalist Sid Lowe once said: “Zidane was football’s answer to the Bolshoi Ballet. He was elegance above all else.” JOE doesn’t watch much ballet but the analogy seems 100% correct. Zizou’s patented move is the epitome of grace, technique, vision and speed of thought. Magnifique.

Clip via – Katya Aristova

The Panenka penalty

Imagine this scene. Your country has just reached their first major finals. The team is massive underdogs against one of the world’s best teams, West Germany. The game has finished 2-2 and you have to endure the torture of penalties as the world looks on.

West Germany’s fourth penalty taker, Uli Hoeness, has just ballooned his shot over the bar and now the hopes of a nation rests on your shoulders. One kick to win the match and Antonín Panenka does this. The man must have boulders in his shorts. Often copied, never bettered.

Clip via – Mark Jan

Jay Jay Okocha rainbow flick

We first saw this particular skill perfected by Ossie Ardiles in Escape to Victory, however, we have it on good authority that the events in that game may have been fictitious. Sylvester Stallone had us convinced that he was a top class ‘keeper all the same.

JOE are big fans of Jay-Jay Okocha and we could watch this clip over and over.

Clip via – cazzagozza

The Blanco bunny hop

When you ask JOE to remember the most memorable moments from Mexico’s recent World Cup history, three things come to mind. Rafa Marquez’ rocket against Argentina in ’06, Jorge Campos’ amazing multi-coloured kits in ’94 and this inventive piece of skill from Blanco in France ’98. Skip to around the 1:00 mark.

Clip via – sp1873

The Roberto Carlos banana free kick

Every time JOE watches this goal, despite knowing what happens, we are always amazed.

Clip via – Kamber Ali

The Ronaldinho Chop

You cannot underestimate the impact that Ronaldinho had on Barcelona after he joined from PSG. The Brazilian magician was the catalyst that inspired their ’06 Champions League victory and his tricks, skills and goals rejuvenated the Nou Camp at a time when they needed it most.

It’s a shame that he eventually fell prey to the other temptations that Catalonia has to offer but for a brief period in time Ronaldinho was unstoppable. This trick is the very definition of ‘now you see me, now you don’t’.

Clip via – TheDonnieBrascooo

The Ronaldo stepover

The stepover is an extremely common manoeuvre for any winger or striker but no-one did it like the ex Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid striker. What makes Ronaldo different, from the likes of Ricardo Quaresma or even our own Aiden McGeady for example, is the fact that he combined this trick with a devastating end product.

Once the Brazilian striker got his half-a-yard he usually had a shot or sent across a dangerous ball. Only his namesake Cristiano Ronaldo has come as close to mastering this technique. Easy to telegraph, impossible to stop at pace.

Clip via – HeilRJ

The Kerlon seal dribble

We have a term that we use around the office about players who have been dubbed as ‘the next big thing’ with little to back it up. We like to call certain footballers ‘YouTube players’ because everything you need to know about them can be summarised in three minutes.

These are the type of players who everyone seems to instantly fall in love with despite the fact they have done nothing in their career. They rarely offer anything else in their career apart from a fleeting moment of magic.

Kerlon is the very definition of this type of player and quite frankly we have a small bit of love for the defender who absolutely cleaned his clock. Skill is to be encouraged but only if he can lead to a chance. This seems amazingly pointless.

Clip via – Elzafir Habsjah

The Maradona Gambetta

There is nothing better than seeing a player who can cut through defenders like a hot knife through butter. The likes of Garrincha, Best, Giggs and Messi are the reasons why football fans pay their hard-earned money to watch a match in the flesh.

These are the players that make the impossible possible, when they get the ball you get goosebumps in anticipation and you refuse to sit down because you know that something magical could happen.

As great as all these aforementioned players were, there is only one true king of the dribble. It could only be…

Clip via – Gianluca Papaccio

So what do you think? Is there anything else that you would suggest? Let us know.