8 Football Lingos You Ought To Know

Written by elevenwickets

It doesn’t matter if you watch a live football or play fantasy footballwhich is basically a side-kick of the real game, here are some football jargons that you might or might not know.   


  1. Tiki-Taka 

Tiki-taka in football translates as ‘touch-touch’ football. This involves short passing and movement, maintaining possession and working the ball through the channels.  The key idea behind tiki-taka is to ensure that the opponent does not get the ball – and while in possession, to deliver a killer pass from which a goal can be scored. The team looks to keep possession with quick passes and movement, suddenly surprising the opposition with a pass in behind their defence which results in a goal. Football coach Jed C. Davies, author of Coaching the tiki-taka style of play, believes that these tactics are “among other things, a conceptual revolution based on the idea that the size of any football field is flexible and can be altered by the team playing on it.” 


  1. Roulette (The Marseille Turn) 

The Roulette or the Marseille Turn is a type of dribbling skill which basically involves a spin move around the ball. It can be done when the player is stationary or moving with the ball. It involves dragging the ball back to his main foot, doing a body spin (360 degrees) and getting the ball back to the weaker foot.  Michael Laudrup is often credited for being the first player to use this technique, and since then many notable footballers like Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi and Kaka have successfully executed the Marseille Turn. 

  1. Elastico 

The Elastico or the flip-flap is a dribbling move which a player uses to deceive the defender into thinking that he will go in a particular direction while actually going to the other direction. The player does the trick by using the outside of one foot to push the ball to a side, and then quickly move that foot around the ball and use the inside of the foot to push the ball to the other side.The trick requires nifty footwork and ability of the player to accelerate quickly from a stationary position. Japanese Brazilian player Sergio Echigo invented this move 

  1. The Cruyff Turn 

The Cruyff Turn is an evasive move taken when the player who is being marked by a defender, while looking to pass or cross the ball, instead of kicking it would drag the ball with a foot to the back of the other foot, rotate 180 degrees and run away from the defender. The move was famously executed by Cruyff in the 1974 World Cup when he outwitted Sweden’s Jan Olsson. The move is now commonly used by many players worldwide. 

  1. Rabona 

Rabona is a move which involves kicking the ball where the kicking leg is wrapped from behind the standing leg. In other words, the player is kicking the ball with his legs being crossed. A rabona is used by a player when he feels that ball is on his weaker foot. Another scenario when a player performs a rabona is when he is trying to confuse the defender. Some of the leading current players who have executed the rabona successfully include Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Angel di Maria. 

  1. Regista 

Regista means “Director” in Italian and the player literally directs and dictates the play of the team. Regista or the deep-lying playmaker (or quarterback, as the position is often referred to) is a player who stays deep and controls the game from there. A regista isn’t expected to be supremely quick and have to run around the pitch trying to win the ball. Instead, he is required to have the intelligence to be able to read the game and identify where his teammates and opponents are and will be and be able to deliver the required pass to set up an offensive play. In present day football no player performs this job as exquisitely and perfectly as Italy’s Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo played a key role in Italy winning the 2006 World Cup and controlled the game for his side from the deep midfield position. He continued to thrive in the role for Juventus and Italy and the opposition teams were forced to plan ways to neutralise Pirlo’s impact in the game. 

  1. Forward Destroyer 

With the advent of the registas, teams began to ponder over how to neutralise the impact of playmakers. With the regista staying deep in his half, the only player who can look to nullify his influence is an advanced midfielder in the number 10 position. With this in mind, managers have started playing defensive midfielders in an advanced role called the forward destroyer. Marouane Fellaini is probably the best example of a forward destroyer as he built his reputation at Everton where David Moyes played him in that role. A more recent use of the forward destroyer was during the 2014 World Cup when Roy Hodgson played Danny Welbeck in the position in an attempt to reduce Pirlo’s impact on the game.  

  1. Total Football 

Total football involves players constantly switching positions in an attempt to confuse the opponents and the strategy requires players to be very versatile. There is focus on ball retention and, while possession is maintained, some players try to move around and get into goal scoring positions. The tactics find their origin in Netherlands and were first used at the Dutch club Ajax in 1915. Later in the century, Rinus Michels popularised the tactics when he took over as manager of Ajax and brought it to prominence with the Dutch national team in the 1974 World Cup. 

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