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5 of the toughest football skills to master

Daniel Pinder
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
20.75K   //    Timeless

Genoa CFC v SSC Napoli - Serie A
Genoa CFC v SSC Napoli - Serie A

Everyone can master a skill if you take time to learn it on the training pitch, but there’s some that take much more time and effort to perfect than your 360 roulette.

Excelling in a skill-set can be the difference between winning and losing and at the highest level whether it’s Premier League or European football, it can be the difference between lifting a title or finishing runners-up.

And while these five skills take place on the pitch, it’s the learning the footballers put in inside the classroom that perfects these given that the majority need a world class football IQ.

That said, here are five of the toughest skills to master:


#1 Maintaining the defensive line

When it’s perfected then it can work well but we often see teams set up to play a high line and it fails for several reasons. The main one being that too many high-profile defenders lack concentration – meaning they’re unable to play an offside trap.

At the minute, a prime example would be Liverpool’s Gegenpressing – Jurgen Klopp plays with a high defensive line but with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip both possessing a poor football IQ, they are often caught out of position. It doesn’t help they aren’t the quickest defenders either.

A team that has got the defensive line down to a tee at the minute is Napoli. Maurizio Sarri’s side are not only thrilling going forward, but are also defensively stable.

When you're able to maintain the defensive line, then it works extremely well. Teams can play with a high line which then gives them the ability to play the offside trap as well as pushing high up the pitch to put pressure on their opposition.

Most supporters would prefer their team to play attacking football and so the ability to master the defensive line is often what that goes unnoticed, unfortunately.

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Daniel Pinder
ANALYST
Daniel is a freelance sports journalist that specialises in German football.
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