the cruyff turn

The Cruyff Turn

The Cruyff Turn is one of the most used skill. It was created by the legendary Johann Cruyff. It’s a very simple and basic turn but with good timing you loose your defender and ‘sell him’ the other way.

Key Points to remember when learning the Cruyff Turn:

  1. Put your plant foot between you and the defender to use your body as a shield
  2. Rotate foot to use inside of foot to stop the ball
  3. Push the ball into space, don’t kick it (so trap it, pause, then push)
  4. Change pace

Equipment Needed: Ball and two cones

Exercise Player Can Do:

Practice the move just standing in place. Once comfortable set up a start cone and an end cone 15 yards away. Dribble slowly to the end cone, do the Cruyff and change pace back to start cone. Rest and repeat until you have mastered it.

What Player Could Be Doing Wrong:

If the ball seems to be going all over the place when you are doing the Cruyff Turn and not in a straight line behind you then you are probably kicking it, not pushing it. So as you do the move have your foot almost trap the ball for a split second, pause, then push it into space instead of kicking it all in once motion.

Bonus Tip:

The Cruyff Turn is a great attacking move to fake a shot and get a defender to commit when running across goal so when you do the move get your arms and body involved to really sell the fake! Don’t just move your legs!

The Cruyff Turn Video Tutorial


Credits: Cecchi Gori Home Video (CGHV) Srl

More on the man behind the Cruyff Turn

Johan Cruyff was voted world player of the year on three occasions and guided Holland to the World Cup final in 1974 and as a manager he spent eight years in charge of Barcelona.

Cruyff was regarded as one of the game’s greatest players. He led Ajax to three consecutive European Cups from 1971 to 1973 and was the linchpin for Holland as they were beaten 2-1 in the final of the 1974 World Cup by West Germany. During the tournament his eponymous turn ( The Cruyff Turn) was first seen against Sweden and soon copied the world over. By then he had joined Barcelona for a world record fee.

He went on to become a huge favourite at the Camp Nou, eventually coaching the Catalan club to a first European Cup triumph in 1992 as well as winning four successive La Liga titles between 1991 and 1994, having managed Ajax from 1985 to 1988.

As a player Cruyff scored 392 times in 520 games over a 19-year career but his influence reached far beyond creating goals, thanks to his qualities as a leader, thinker and speaker. As a coach he had 242 victories in 387 matches, with 75 draws and 70 losses.

Memorable Johan Cruyff Quotes:

  • Every disadvantage has its advantage.
  • Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.
  • You have got to shoot, otherwise you can’t score.
  • Sometimes something’s got to happen before something is going to happen.
  • Choose the best player for every position, and you’ll end up not with a strong XI, but with 11 strong 1’s.
  • In my teams, the goalie is the first attacker, and the striker the first defender.
  • Why couldn’t you beat a richer club? I’ve never seen a bag of money score a goal.
  • I always threw the ball in, because then if I got the ball back, I was the only player unmarked.
  • Technique is not being able to juggle a ball 1000 times. Anyone can do that by practicing. Then you can work in the circus. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your team mate.
  • Someone who has juggled the ball in the air during a game, after which four defenders of the opponent get the time to run back, that’s the player people think is great. I say he has to go to a circus.
  • I’m ex-player, ex-technical director, ex-coach, ex-manager, ex-honorary president. A nice list that once again shows that everything comes to an end.
  • Players that aren’t true leaders but try to be, always bash other players after a mistake. True leaders on the pitch already assume others will make mistakes.
  • There’s only one moment in which you can arrive in time. If you’re not there, you’re either too early or too late.
  • Before I make a mistake, I don’t make that mistake.
  • When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players have the ball 3 minutes on average … So, the most important thing is: what do you do during those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.
  • After you’ve won something, you’re no longer 100 percent, but 90 percent. It’s like a bottle of carbonated water where the cap is removed for a short while. Afterwards there’s a little less gas inside. We must make sure their worst players get the ball the most. You’ll get it back in no time.
  • If I wanted you to understand it, I would have explained it better.

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