From Pele to Ronaldinho, and Drogba to Ronaldo, soccer has always favored players who can display ingenuity, intelligence, and skills. Such players are idolized by upcoming players and worshiped in their home countries.
They are the group of players that make soccer fun and entertaining—despite being longer than most regular sports. From the beaches of Rio de Janeiro to the bustling streets of Lagos Nigeria, talented soccer players have sprung up from all over the world with amazing tricks.
If you have been a soccer fan for over a year, you should have seen soccer players pull off incredible skills on the pitch. But, have you heard of Elastico?
It is a dribbling move popularized by the Brazilian legend Ronaldinho in the 2000s despite being invented in 1964 by Sérgio Echigo—a Japanese-Brazilian soccer player.
The move was first performed to a global audience by Brazilian playmaker Roberto Rivellino during the final of the 1970 FIFA World Cup after learning it from Echigo.
The latest adaptors of this move include Brazilian soccer star Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Portuguese soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo. In most African countries, this move is referred to as “Zigima” or “Snakebite” due to the movement of the feet when it is being performed.
It is also called Flip flop, Culebrita, and Akka in certain parts of the world. It is mostly used to deceive defensive players into moving in directions different from that of the soccer ball. Today, we will tell you how to perform the Elastico soccer moves.
How to do the Elastico soccer move?
The Elastico is one of the famous soccer skills that can both confuse and humiliate your opponents. To execute this move, the soccer player needs to have quick footwork, excellent ball control, and patience.
The Elastico soccer move is not difficult to learn and perform because it can be completed in just three touches. It is often considered by sports analysts to be highly effective in one-on-one encounters between defenders and attackers during intense matches.
This move is popular among Brazilian players and a handful of African players as well. It is still in vogue because when executed perfectly, it is nearly impossible to stop.
Similar to many other soccer skills like the scissors, stepover, rainbow flick, etc. you might not get it right the first few times of trial. However, with persistent practice and the right mindset, you will perfect it in due course.
You are certain to raise a few eyebrows and get applauded by fans when you successfully pull off this move. Start practicing the Elastico from a standing position by making little touches to the soccer ball to get a feel of the move.
Let’s now take a closer look at some popular variants of the Elastico and how to effectively execute them.
Outside and inside foot Elastico
Whether you are a left or right-foot player, you can still master the Elastico and execute it with your favorite foot. Follow the steps below to become the master of the Elastico like the stars you admire.
Step 1: Position the ball in front of you
Some professional soccer players can pull off the Elastico with soccer balls that are already in motion. Some have learned how to chain it to other dribbling moves.
As a novice to this soccer move, you are advised to take things easy. Make sure the ball is stationary after you align it in front of you. It will become harder for you to perfect this skill if you don’t start from a stationary position.
Step 2: Start with your dominant foot
It is best to use your dominant foot at the beginning of this practice. You can switch feet after you have perfected the move. Starting with your dominant foot will help you understand the move faster and have better control over the ball.
Step 3: Push the ball with your foot
After setting up the ball, push it at a mild pace using the outside or inside of your dominant foot. Use the part of your foot closest to your toes to maintain close contact with the ball while pushing.
Maintain close contact with the ball and remember only to push and not kick. Pushing is mandatory to keep the ball in absolute control as you get ready to confuse your opponent.
Step 4: Confuse the opponent with your body movement
To deceive your opponent, transfer your body weight towards the current direction of the ball. Start by dropping your shoulder in that direction. It will sell a false impression to the opponent on what direction you are about to zoom off.
Step 5: Maneuver the ball
Quickly push the ball towards you using either the inside or outside of your foot. It must be tactically done in a single continuous motion.
The major aim of this stage in the Elastico is to successfully trick your opponent into going in the wrong direction. It requires good timing, technical skills, and adequate ball control to pull it off.
Start slowly and increase your speed when you have gotten a hang of the trick.
Step 6: Push the ball past the opponent
After pushing the ball back towards you using either the inside or outside of your foot, try moving it past the opponent as they try to regain composure.
Maintain the ball’s proximity to your foot while making this final push. It will allow you to sprint beyond the reach of the despondent opponent quickly.
Continue practicing these steps and changing pace until you have mastered this move.
This move might seem super-difficult to practice and perfect. However, that shouldn’t discourage you from trying it out. It can be done in just four simple steps as we will highlight below.
Step 1: Position your feet
Make sure your feet are properly positioned behind the soccer ball with the toes of your favorite foot positioned under the ball.
Step 2: Slightly lift the ball off the ground
Using the foot positioned under the ball, slightly lift the ball off the ground and make it rest partially on top of your boot. This will make the ball easier to maneuver in the next step.
Step 3: Rotate your foot around the ball
This step is tricky. You must quickly push the ball with your toes slightly in one direction. When the defender is going in that direction, move your foot to the opposite side of the ball.
There is no margin for error at this step because the opponent can easily snatch the ball from you if you don’t get your movement right.
Step 4: Flick the ball up and forward
When you have finally gotten the opponent out of the way, dig your foot into the bottom of the ball and flick it up and forward towards your teammate. Make sure you are properly positioned while flicking the ball to help you pass it accurately.
This version of the Elastico soccer move is fancier and can be easily used to trick opponents. Let’s look at the steps involved in executing it.
Step 1: Push the ball
With your weaker foot properly positioned for movement and support, use your dominant foot to slightly push the ball in one direction. Always use the toe area of your boot to push the ball.
Step 2: Lean toward the ball’s direction
While pushing the ball in one direction, drop your shoulder while moving towards that direction. This will give the opponent an impression that you will continue moving in that direction.
Step 3: Execute the chop
The chop requires absolute accuracy to execute properly. Once the opponent has been completely fooled about your intentions, cut the ball with the inside of your dominant foot behind your weaker foot.
Then pace past the opponent before they can retrace their steps and chase after you. You can practice this form of Elastico using cones. However, human training partners are preferable if you desire to learn it faster.
Tips that can help you perfect the Elastico
To quickly learn the Elastico soccer move, there are certain things you need to put into consideration.
- Be Patient
Getting the Elastico wrong in the first few tries doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough. You can break the steps down into smaller time frames to help you become more conversant with the footwork.
Be familiar with one step before switching to another. There is no need to rush the process as long as you are making some form of progress. You can introduce convincing body movements and explosiveness when satisfied with the footwork.
- Have good timing
Knowing how to perform intelligent soccer tricks like the Step over and Elastico is one thing and figuring out the right time to apply them is another.
Some incredible dribblers have been booed in the past because they chose to dribble on the pitch when they should pass the ball to a striker to score.
Knowing many soccer tricks is often as important as knowing when to perform each of them. Your decision-making skills must be sound through keen observation and excellent calculation.
- Build your speed
Performing Elastico might be interesting until you find it difficult getting away from the opponent you have just embarrassed. There is no point in tricking opponents if you don’t have good speed.
Every good dribble should end with a sprint away from the opponent.
- Enhance your footwork
The Elastico requires the soccer player to build quick footwork and agility. When performing this move, you don’t only need to be confident, you also need to move your feet with speed and accuracy.
With fast feet, you have a better chance of tricking your opponent into going in the wrong direction. Also, fast footwork allows you to pivot and change directions easily after performing the Elastico on your opponent.
There are numerous footwork drills you can be practicing if you want to develop your footwork. Many of them can be found on online video-sharing platforms.
- Practice dribbling
The Elastico is more effective and entertaining when combined with other types of dribbles. A soccer player who only knows one type of dribble will soon not be able to outwit any player on the pitch.
By learning other forms of dribble together with the Elastico, you will keep opponents puzzled at what your next move might be.
The Elastico might seem difficult to learn but once you learn how to do it, your gameplay won’t remain the same. The world still respects Ronaldinho for executing this move effortlessly during his peak years.
Even if you don’t get the same level of fame and respect gained by Ronaldinho, learning the Elastico will surely make you more confident with the ball. The more tricks you have up your sleeves, the harder it would be for opponents to stop you on the pitch.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
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!