In soccer, you must meander your way through opponents to get to the opposing goal area and score goals. These opposition players are distributed across the field to help prevent access to the goal.
Opposition midfielders would almost certainly try to tackle you, and defenders would almost certainly put up a fight. They are occasionally successful, no matter how hard you try.
Skilled players understand the importance of getting past defenses and are aware of the abilities to oppose players in tackles and defense. As a result, they employ tactful skills; one of which is cutting.
Cutting is a soccer technique used by offensive players to get past opposing players. It typically entails good ball control, footwork, and quick turns. Skilled players like Leo Messi, Mohammed Salah, and Kylian Mbappe all perform cutting in their games.
They do it in such a lovely and entertaining way, much to the admiration of the viewing spectators. To reach that level of exceptional cutting execution, you must practice it on a regular basis.
Due to the technicality involved, one will not be able to perform cuts correctly without religious drills. Furthermore, because it requires a sharp knee bend, if you haven’t performed it correctly before, without consistent training, you are more likely to sustain an ACL injury.
This article covers everything there is to know about safely performing cuts in soccer, explained in step-by-step instructions.
- How to cut in soccer?
- Method 1: The Shoulder Feint
- Method 2: The inside cut
- Method 3: The outside cut
- Method 4: The double cut
- Method 5: The Maradona spin
- Method 6: The V-Cut
- Method 7: The Cruyff turn
- Method 8: The Step Over Cut
How to cut in soccer?
The art of cutting in soccer entails turning with the ball at your feet. It is also about timing and how you align your body to achieve the desired result.
It’s definitely more about being aware of the players around you – knowing whether an opposing defender is by your side or behind you, as well as knowing the positioning of your teammates and what moves they make to connect with your play.
Cutting in soccer is generally concerned with what you do with the ball once you have it. Players who have mastered the art all do these on a regular basis. They are constantly working on methods to improve their cuts, which ensures that team performance is improved.
The following are some methods one can take to cut in soccer. With persistent practicing of these, unique cutting moves can be effectively demonstrated on the pitch.
Method 1: The Shoulder Feint
This is a cutting technique in which the shoulder is used to feign a turn in one direction while moving in the opposite. Due to the likelihood of being tackled, it is usually practiced by attackers and midfielders, and it can be performed at any speed.
When done correctly, it usually leaves no room for the tackling opposition player to regain balance. The advantage of this technique is that the player is more balanced and can use his weight to influence his move.
The instructions for performing a shoulder feint are provided below in step-by-step format.
Step 1: Take possession of the ball
The first thing to do with the ball is to completely control it. If the ball is rolling towards you, you should control it and stop it from spinning.
Step 2: Know the positioning of your closest opponents and teammates
You should be aware of your teammates’ and opponents’ current locations, as well as their possible next move. Understanding your surroundings allows you to decide whether your shoulder should be dipped to the left or right.
Step 3: Dip your shoulder and move in the opposite direction
Make a side feint by dipping your shoulder. This is performed by stepping into the direction you are faking with your shoulder and taking off with the ball in the opposite direction.
If you dipped your left shoulder, pass the ball to your left leg, then to your right leg while moving to the right. You can also control the ball with only your right leg while dipping your shoulder to the left. To ensure stability, the ball should only be controlled with one leg
In contrast, if you intend to make a right shoulder feign, you should turn to the left once you have done so.
The benefit of the shoulder feint is its ability to completely deceive the opponent while maintaining total body balance. Also, the risk of an ACL injury is reduced because he only has to make a few turns after weighing favorable options.
Method 2: The inside cut
The inside cut is performed by the majority of soccer players who play the attacking wings. It usually entails using the inside of the foot to move the ball in a direction other than the one in which it was originally traveling.
Since this involves precise sharp turns and sometimes smart braking, the player performing it must be well versed in the technique to avoid injury. The following are detailed instructions for making an inside cut in soccer.
Step 1: Capture the ball and run with it
If the ball is passed to you, make sure you keep it under control so you can work it however you choose. Also, because this move works best when running towards the opposing player, make sure the ball is passed to you some distance away from the opposing player so you have plenty of room to run to perform the cut. However, you should not run too fast or too slowly.
Step 2: Understand your teammates and opponents movements
The following step is for you to understand your opponent’s position and the level of marking pressure they have on you. Since the goal is to cut the closest opponent, make sure there is enough space for an inside cut.
You must also understand the runs made by your teammates in order for them to connect with your play. This is especially important if you intend to cut to pass to a teammate in a good position.
Step 3: Make a cut with the inside of your leg
As you move towards your opponent, make sure the ball is moving steadily. Allow the ball to move at a pace you can control and that your opponent does not have time to figure out your intended move.
With the inside of your dominant foot, change the direction of the ball. Normally, players who attack the opponent’s post from the right side cut and move sharply to the left.
Step 4: Speed up
After making the quick cut, quickly run away from the opponent into the available open space. Increasing speed makes it more difficult to catch up with you after recovering.
To summarize, the cut is typically executed by quickly changing the direction of the ball and quickly moving off with it. To catch your opponent off guard, pretend to move in a certain direction, most likely to the right if you’re right-footed, and then quickly cut the ball to the left.
The faster you run away with the ball, the more difficult it is for the player to recover and catch up with you.
The player gains better control of the ball after making a cut by using the inside of the foot. It has a greater probability of deceiving the unsuspecting opponent since it is quick.
Used alone, the inside cut is best used in a one-on-one situation and is rarely used to deceive multiple opponents. Ball possession can easily be lost if the player cannot maintain control after making the quick cut.
Method 3: The outside cut
The outside cut is identical to the inside cut with one notable exception. To execute this cut,
Step 1: Keep the ball running
You must first keep the ball running after gaining possession of it. It increases the deception since the opponent remains clueless about your intended cut.
Step 2: Choose a workable pace
As with the previous method, you don’t make the ball move too slowly or too quickly; instead, you keep it moving at a normal pace.
Step 3: Make the cut
When you’re close to your opponent, use the outside of your leg to make the cut – usually to the right if right-footed. The cut is made to the left for the player who uses the left leg.
Onside cuts are made by pivoting on one leg and sharply turning the ball in the opposite direction with the outside of the leg. The move followed by a quick run, if executed correctly, beats the opponent cleanly.
The outside cut is difficult to execute because the ball is contained on the outside of the leg. Getting good ball control is difficult, especially for players who are new to the technique.
Method 4: The double cut
The double-cut is a slight combination of the inside and outside cuts and is commonly used as a dribbling skill. However, it is distinct from the inside and outside cuts in that it utilizes the use of both feet.
Many soccer stars, including Leo Messi, do it to avoid opponents. For players who are familiar with the technique, performing the cut correctly would almost certainly leave the opponent on the ground or scrambling to regain balance – which is always entertaining to watch.
The following instructions should be sufficient for players who are learning the technique.
Step 1: Take possession of the ball
The first step in performing a double cut is to keep control of the soccer ball when it is passed to you. Unlike the inside and outside cuts, the ball must be controlled efficiently and the body must have a balanced posture because both legs will be utilized.
Step 2: Go for a run with the ball
Run with the ball towards the defender or any opponent, as in the previous method. To avoid slips or the opponent reading your play, the pace should not be too fast or too slow.
Step 3: Make a double cut
Pass the ball quickly from one leg to the other and then back to the first as you get closer to your opponent. The first pass is done as an inside cut but caught with the other foot. Immediately send a quick pass back to the foot that made the first cut.
Step 4: Speed up
When the ball reaches the leg that initiated the first move, push it sideways towards the cornering player and accelerate quickly. With that, you should be able to complete the double cutting successfully.
This method is a very effective way of getting past an opponent. The rapid switching of the ball from left to right or right to left would certainly throw the opponent off guard.
If the move is not done correctly, the ACL can be injured. This is due to the fact that the anterior cruciate ligament ensures the knee’s rotating function and, if strained as a result of rapid turns, can result in injury.
Method 5: The Maradona spin
This technique was prominently used by Argentine soccer legend, Diego Maradona, who was widely regarded as one of the sport’s best players. Zinedine Zidane, a Frenchman, also frequently used it.
This cutting technique entails playing the ball with both legs, moving the body, and spinning the body 180 degrees. When executed correctly, the player evades the opponent sideways from front to back.
The following instructions demonstrate how to do a Maradona spin.
Step 1: Identify the appropriate situation
In some situations, the Maradona cutting method can be difficult to execute. As a result, finding the right situation for the spin is critical.
The technique is most effective when the opponent is tied on or believes the ball can be captured, as well as when you are about to be tackled or closed down.
Step 2: Look for a convenient space
It’s pointless to perform a Maradona spin directly towards an opponent because you’ll land within his tackle area. Ensure there is enough space in the direction you intend to spin to.
Step 3: Take possession of the ball
While the ball is rolling towards the opponent, with the tip of your dominant foot, slightly pull the ball back towards the other foot. As a right-footer, the right foot is used to slightly push the ball to the left foot.
While doing so, rotate your entire body. To do this effectively, you must ensure that the ball is effectively under your control.
Step 4: Finish your execution by rotating your body
Now, use the sole of the other foot to direct the ball in the desired direction. Both feet should be in the air for half a second to allow for an easy 180 degrees body rotation. Control the ball again after a successful turn.
You’ve completed the technique when the ball is pulled so far away from the opponent that he can’t get a foot on it.
The Maradona spin reduces strain on the knee ligament, decreasing the likelihood of injury.
Method 6: The V-Cut
The V-Cut or V-turn is a soccer technique used to elude opposing players by pretending to pass the ball in one direction while actually turning in another. It is similar to the inside cut – an adaptation of it – but it is not the same.
This is how it is done.
Step 1: Keep the ball under control
The first step is to gain control of the ball. This entails gaining possession of the ball and moving slowly towards the opponent.
Step 2: Evaluate the situation
Because your goal is to avoid the opponent, you should consider the available space around them. The space should be suitable for turning and sprinting.
To reiterate, if you perform this move only to collide with another opponent, it is pointless, so make sure there is enough space.
Step 3: Put the technique into action
Pull the ball back, then turn to the outside of your foot and push the ball forward in a V-formation. If you picked the ball from the left, move it to the right and sprint away with it.
It is up to you to determine the angle of the V, but make sure it is sufficient to create a space in which you can evade the opponent.
This cut can be achieved without necessarily running or charging towards the opponent. It’s an easy skill used by most soccer players.
Method 7: The Cruyff turn
The Cruyff cut is a great attacking move to fake a shot and get a defender to concede. It can also be used to get the ball back to the defenders in order to restart play. The procedure is as follows.
Step 1: Keep the ball steady
The first step is to keep the ball steady when it falls in your possession. While doing so, make certain that you have complete control of the soccer ball.
Step 2: Begin the movement by planting your foot
Place one of your legs between you and the defender to act as a sort of cover for the ball.
Step 3: Position for a pass
With your leg fully acting as a cover and as a pivot for your intended turn, deceive the opponent by positioning the rest of your body like you intend to make a pass to a teammate.
Step 4: Turn inwards
With the foot for an intended pass, make an inside cut while rotating the body in an almost 180 degrees turn.
Step 5: Control the ball
Just before the end of the turn, use the tip of the other foot to move the ball in alignment with the direction of your new position.
Executed perfectly, the opponent is left in a dazed position. Ensure you speed away in that opposite direction to avoid last-minute recovery for the opponent.
It is a great skill to maneuver your way out of a tight position. The opponent is almost always unsuspecting because your body’s position gives a false direction of play.
Inward turn is sharp and can have an effect on the knee if not properly done. The skill can also only work in a one-man tackle situation.
Method 8: The Step Over Cut
The stepover cut is a dribbling maneuver or feint. In this move, a defensive player is duped into believing that the offensive player in possession of the ball will move in a direction they do not intend to move in.
This method is used by a wide range of soccer players, and the steps to follow are as described in the following.
Step 1: Be in control
The first step in successfully performing a step-over-cut is to gain control of the ball and move slowly with it towards the opponent. Make sure there is enough space for the technique to be used, as performing the move and then barging into an opponent is worthless.
Step 2: Position your body in the direction you’re pretending to go
With complete control of the ball, angle your body in the direction you want the player to be thrown. This should be done in such a way that the opponent believes you’re aiming in that direction.
Step 3: Rotate one of the legs over the ball
Now, turn the dominant leg over the ball. If you faked a move to the left, move your right leg over and to the left of the ball.
Step 4: Change the direction of the ball
Now that you’ve swerved the defender in one direction, move the ball quickly in the opposite direction. If you faked a move to the left, the ball should be shoved to the right with the outside of the right leg.
Speed off in that direction but observe the position of other opponent players to avoid being dispossessed of the ball.
If executed correctly, this move ensures that the opponent is deceived and leads them in the wrong direction; an opportunity to elude him is created.
The step-over move can easily result in possession loss, especially if played at a slow pace or into the feet of a waiting, nearby opposition player.
Cutting correctly in soccer ensures that a player skillfully evades opponents while expressing beautiful moves. Cutting, despite its brilliance, necessitates patience and skill while adhering to the technique.
Furthermore, when learning how to cut, you should not limit yourself to a specific one because each of them has situations that are best suited to their use.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!