Technical Breakdown 3: What Is The Best 1v1 Move For Soccer?

Our third technical breakdown is a doozy! This was Zlatan’s first goal for Paris Saint-Germain a few years ago. This is what I would call your ‘typical’ Zlatan finish, cool with the ball at his feet, great use of the body to manipulate the defender with a phenomenal finish. Let’s break the goal down!

Ibrahimovic receives the ball is in his own half. Immediately plays it back to his midfielder (playing the way he was facing) and spins off his defender, and turns into the space. Note that the defender is still with him at this point

Before the player on the right has even touched the ball, Ibrahimovic has seen the massive gap and has already called for the ball. Note that he holds the defender off when starting his explosive run, actually pushing off him to gain an extra yard. This is where his experience and physical dominance comes in!

The ball played to Zlatan was impeccable, rolling in line with the run he had made. Zlatan has beaten his defender in the foot race, glanced up to where the keeper is and looks like he is about to shoot the ball. Look at how his body shapes like he is about to strike, this is one of our FAVORITE 1v1 moves at Beast Mode Soccer and we believe to be the most effective… Why? Defenders will always try to block the shot when coming from the side, and always shield their body when coming straight on (it’s human instinct and literally impossible to stop yourself from doing… Nobody enjoys taking a ball in the face!) Look how realistic the shot looks, would you fall for it? I would!

As the defender comes to shoulder level with Ibrahimovic whips a Cruyff turn (another move that makes an appearance in our footwork series). This wrong foots the defender, who to be fair recovers well. Look how controlled Ibrahimovic looks, he knows that the ball will do exactly what he wants!

The defender did really well at this stage. He recovered from the Fake shot cruyff and now look how close he is to the ball. Ibra keeps the ball moving though and puts a quick left foot lunge step, then quickly pushes the ball across his body with his right foot (we call this the ‘scoop bell’), immediately shaping up for his left footed shot.

He allows the ball to roll just enough across his body, then gears up to strike. Again, the defender doesn’t actually do that poorly, he hasn’t gone to ground, but it is probably in the back of his head that inside the box, Ibra is the master of the fake shot. As Ibra shoots, he tries to block the shot but it’s too late, the ball is in the back of the net.

Great footwork from Ibrahimovic- A fake shot into a Cruyff into a left footed lunge into a right foot tap into a left footed shot.

Check this finishing drill out that I do with USWNT star Alex Morgan. You can add that fake shot into any of the elements. Join our Facebook Group and tell me where Alex does the fake shot!

David Copeland-Smith

Internationally recognized as a leading figure in individual technical development, David is seen as a long-term thinker and visionary, determined to bestow a phenomenal work ethic on the next generation of soccer players. Following his success as a field and classroom presenter at the world renowned NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia and Baltimore, David has continued to grow Beast Mode Soccer into the go-to technical training system trusted by many of USWNT, USMNT, and NWSL players.