The Most Difficult Soccer Skill: Ranking the Ultimate Challenge on the Pitch

Choose the soccer skill you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 20, 2024 05:41
Do you consider yourself a soccer enthusiast, an ardent fan always on the lookout for the most challenging techniques and jaw-dropping skills? Well, you're in the right place! StrawPoll is excited to present our latest ranking: "What is the most difficult soccer skill?". Dive into the world of soccer sorcery and vote for your favorite moves, from the mesmerizing Maradona Turn to the audacious Around the World. Not only can you vote, but you also have the power to suggest a skill that we may have missed. So, what are you waiting for? Unleash your inner soccer pundit, be a part of the thrilling debate, and help us crown the ultimate soccer skill that leaves players and fans alike in awe! Cast your vote now and join the exciting journey to discover the zenith of soccer mastery.

What Is the Most Difficult Soccer Skill?

  1. 1
    The Bicycle Kick
    . The original uploader was Weechie at English Wikipedia. · CC BY 3.0
    This skill requires exceptional athleticism, timing, and coordination to execute successfully. It involves kicking the ball while airborne and facing away from the goal.
    The Bicycle Kick, also known as the Scissor Kick, is a highly acrobatic and technically challenging soccer skill. It involves the player executing an airborne kick, while simultaneously twisting their body, resembling the motion of a bicycle pedal. The player flips their body backward, connecting with the ball mid-air to generate power and accuracy in the shot.
    • Difficulty: Very Difficult
    • Execution: Player jumps, twists, and kicks the ball mid-air
    • Acrobatics: Player performs a full or partial backward flip
    • Dexterity: Requires excellent coordination and control
    • Timing: Requires precise timing to connect with the ball
    The Bicycle Kick in other rankings
  2. 2
    This skill involves flicking the ball over an opponent's head while running past them. It requires precise timing and delicate touch to execute flawlessly.
    The Rainbow Flick is a highly technical and flashy soccer skill that involves flicking the ball over an opponent's head in one swift motion using the heel of the foot. It is considered one of the most difficult and audacious skills in soccer, often used to showboat and intimidate opponents.
    • Difficulty: High
    • Execution: The player traps the ball between the base of the foot and the ground, then flicks the ball up and over the opponent using the heel of the foot in one swift motion.
    • Technique: It requires excellent ball control, coordination, agility, and timing.
    • Body Position: The player needs to be positioned behind or to the side of the opponent when executing the skill.
    • Opponent's Position: The opponent should be in front of the player, preferably close to, but not directly facing, the player.
    The Rainbow Flick in other rankings
  3. 3

    The Cruyff Turn

    Johan Cruyff
    Named after Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff, this skill involves a sudden change of direction while feinting to shoot or pass the ball. It requires quick thinking and exceptional footwork.
    The Cruyff Turn is a deceptive soccer skill that was popularized by Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff. It involves swiftly changing direction while keeping the ball under control, fooling the opponent by appearing to pass or shoot in one direction before rapidly cutting the ball back in the opposite direction with the inside of the foot.
    • Difficulty level: Advanced
    • Execution speed: Quick
    • Body feint: Involved
    • Ball control: Precise
    • Footwork: Skillful
    The Cruyff Turn in other rankings
  4. 4
    This skill involves crossing or shooting the ball with one foot wrapped around the other. It requires exceptional balance, coordination, and creativity.
    The Rabona is a soccer skill in which a player kicks the ball by wrapping one leg behind the other to strike it. This results in a cross-legged stance, with the kicking leg wrapped around the back of the standing leg. The Rabona is typically used for a cross or a shot on goal, adding style and flair to the execution.
    • Difficulty Level: High
    • Execution: The player strikes the ball with the wrapped leg, using the inside of the foot
    • Footwork: Requires excellent coordination, balance, and flexibility
    • Timing: Precise timing is essential to execute the skill effectively
    • Leg Positioning: The wrapped leg must be positioned correctly behind the standing leg
  5. 5

    The Scissor Kick

    Leonidas da Silva
    Similar to the bicycle kick, this skill involves kicking the ball while airborne, but with a different technique. It requires exceptional timing, athleticism, and coordination.
    The Scissor Kick, also known as the scissor volley, is a challenging soccer skill that involves smoothly and rapidly moving the legs in a scissor-like motion to strike the ball. The player jumps off the ground, extends one leg forward while swinging the other leg back, and then quickly switches their legs in mid-air to make contact with the ball. It is a spectacular overhead kicking technique used to shoot or pass the ball with power and precision.
    • Difficulty: High
    • Execution: Airborne
    • Type: Volley
    • Leg Movement: Scissor-like motion
    • Body Position: Upside-down
  6. 6
    This skill requires the ability to strike the ball with precision and power from a stationary position. It requires exceptional technique and mental focus.
    The Free Kick is a soccer skill where a player takes a shot on goal from a stationary position, with the opposition players forming a defensive wall between the kicker and the goal. It is considered one of the most difficult skills in soccer as it requires precision, technique, and strategic decision-making.
    • Accuracy: The player must have the ability to accurately aim and shoot towards the desired target, which is often one of the corners of the goal.
    • Technique: Proper technique, including the correct approach, body positioning, and foot placement, is crucial for generating power and accuracy in the shot.
    • Power: A free kick requires a balance between power and precision, as striking the ball with enough force to beat the opposition wall and goalkeeper is essential.
    • Spin: Applying spin to the ball can help alter its trajectory, making it more challenging for the goalkeeper to anticipate and save.
    • Placement: The player must be able to strategically place the ball in areas that are difficult for the goalkeeper to reach, such as the top corners of the goal.
  7. 7

    The Stepover

    Santiago Vernazza
    This skill involves faking out an opponent by quickly shifting the ball from one foot to the other. It requires exceptional footwork and quick thinking.
    The Stepover is a deceptive move often used by soccer players to create confusion and deceive opponents. It involves quickly shifting the direction of the ball with one foot, while the other foot swings over the ball without making contact. The Stepover can be performed in various directions and at different speeds, making it a versatile and effective skill on the soccer field.
    • Difficulty: Advanced
    • Feet Used: Both
    • Execution Speed: Fast
    • Body Position: Upright with good balance
    • Leg Movement: Quick and precise
    The Stepover in other rankings
  8. 8
    This skill involves passing the ball between an opponent's legs. It requires exceptional timing and accuracy.
    The Nutmeg is a soccer skill where a player passes the ball between the legs of an opponent player, also known as a 'nutmeg' or 'panna'. It is a flashy and highly effective move that can humiliate the opposing player and create scoring opportunities.
    • Difficulty Level: High
    • Execution: Requires precise timing and technique
    • Effectiveness: Can destabilize opponents and create space
    • Versatility: Applicable in various situations on the field
    • Ball Control: Requires excellent control to execute successfully
    The Nutmeg in other rankings
  9. 9
    This skill involves kicking the ball with the heel of the foot, often used as a surprise move to pass the ball to a teammate or shoot on goal. It requires exceptional control and creativity.
    The Backheel is a soccer skill where the player uses the heel of their foot to make a surprise pass or shot without looking. It involves quickly flicking the ball behind their standing leg, often catching opponents off guard.
    • Difficulty: High
    • Execution: Requires good coordination and timing
    • Risk: Moderate, as mistiming or misplacement can result in loss of possession
    • Surprise factor: High, as it often catches opponents off guard
    • Usefulness: Can create scoring opportunities or confuse opponents
  10. 10
    This skill involves keeping the ball in the air using various parts of the body, including the feet, thighs, chest, and head. It requires exceptional balance, coordination, and control.
    Juggling is a soccer skill that involves controlling the ball in the air using various parts of the body without letting it touch the ground. The player uses their feet, thighs, chest, shoulders, and head to keep the ball up for an extended period of time.
    • Difficulty Level: High
    • Coordination: Critical
    • Balance: Important
    • Ball Control: Crucial
    • Focus: Necessary

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Ranking factors for difficult soccer skill

  1. Technique required
    Assess the level of technical skill and precision needed to perform the specific soccer skill. Some skills demand more intricate footwork or advanced physical abilities, making them harder to master.
  2. Timing and decision-making
    Consider the level of anticipation, quick thinking, and situational awareness that a skill demands. Some techniques require split-second timing and the ability to make the right decision under pressure.
  3. Consistency
    Evaluate the ability to perform the skill consistently and accurately over time. Skills that require constant adjustment or fine-tuning can be more difficult to master.
  4. Versatility
    Determine the adaptability of the skill and its usefulness in various game scenarios. A skill that is highly situational or relatively less useful in different match conditions may be considered more challenging to learn.
  5. Level of competition
    Take into account the level of difficulty in executing the skill against high-level opponents, as skill mastery becomes more challenging with increasing levels of competition.
  6. Physical demands
    Assess the physical fitness requirements and the potential risk of injury when performing the skill, as this can contribute to its overall difficulty.
  7. Psychological factors
    Consider the mental strength, discipline, and focus required to master the skill, especially under high-pressure game situations.
  8. Learning curve
    Evaluate the time and effort it takes for a player to learn and master the skill, taking into account individual aptitudes and learning styles.
  9. Coaching and resources
    Consider the availability and quality of coaching support and training resources that can help players learn the skill, as some skills may be harder to learn without proper guidance and practice.
  10. Adaptability to different playing styles
    Assess whether the skill can be easily incorporated into a player's individual playing style, as some skills may be more difficult to learn for players with specific playstyles or preferences.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult soccer skill. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or soccer skill is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 221 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each soccer skill once every 24 hours. The rank of each soccer skill is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


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More information on most difficult soccer skill

Soccer, also known as football in many parts of the world, is a sport that has captured the hearts of millions. With its fast-paced action and intricate tactics, soccer requires a unique set of skills that are essential for success on the pitch. While some skills like dribbling and shooting are easier to master, others are notoriously difficult to execute consistently. When it comes to soccer, the most difficult skill is often a matter of debate. However, certain skills like the bicycle kick, the knuckleball, and the rabona are widely considered to be among the most challenging to master. These moves require a great deal of precision, timing, and coordination, making them extremely difficult to execute under pressure. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, mastering the most difficult soccer skills takes time, dedication, and a lot of practice. But with the right mindset and training, anyone can improve their soccer skills and become a formidable player on the field.

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