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Want to Improve as a Soccer Winger? Look to Emulate These Stars

One of the most popular soccer positions for young players is down the flanks, and superstars like Arjen Robben and Ronaldo have made playing in that area look incredible. Quality wingers need to possess searing speed to get past defenders, exquisite skill to cut inside, and masterful vision to whip in crosses. If you want to improve as a winger, there are some seriously hot players to watch right now who will help you raise your game to the next level.

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah joined Liverpool in the summer of 2017 and instantly set the Premier League alight. The Egyptian speedster came off a stunning campaign at Roma the previous season in which he bagged 15 goals and 11 assists, but at Anfield he upped his output massively.

Salah is known for his blistering pace which he uses to get in behind the opposition defence. This is combined with skilful trickery that bamboozles everybody around him. Salah’s addition to the Reds has helped them massively in the Champions League, and at the time of writing the Anfield outfit are 6/1 in the football betting to win the tournament. To top it all off, he’s a great team player who will happily set up his colleagues if they are in a better position to shoot than he is.

Neymar Jr

Neymar is undoubtedly one of the best footballers in the world, which is why Paris Saint-Germain forked out an astonishing $281 million to sign him from Barcelona. The Brazilian usually plays on the left side of a front three, and likes to drift inside from this position to take a pop at goal.

There is no denying that the PSG man is one of the hottest sharpshooters in the world, but he also possesses a number of other skills that help to elevate him above other elite players. Neymar’s strongest area is his dribbling, and his ability to trick his way around his opponents. He has been compared to legend of the game Ronaldinho in this regard, but few would deny that Neymar’s all-around game is superior to the former Brazil star.

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard has long been a Premier League legend, and has consistently performed well ever since he joined Chelsea in 2012. The slippery Belgian trickster has consistently been named Player of the Year at Stamford Bridge, and also claimed the Premier League Player of the Season award for 2014-15.

Hazard has often been fielded as a “false nine” at the head of the Blues attack, but his most dangerous position is on the left flank. From this starting point he is able to cut in and shoot with his stronger foot, or aim to set up an opponent. The talented winger usually scores more goals than he assists, but does possess excellent vision to find his teammates in better positions. The Chelsea man has been praised for his technical ability, which he uses to mesmerise fans and opposition defences alike.

Studying these players and seeing how they beat defenders is a great way to understand what you need to do to improve your soccer game. Even the greatest footballers ever look to others for inspiration, and Neymar has frequently credited his ability to watching players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and trying to copy their skills.

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6 Steps to Improve Your Weak Foot

Weak Foot

What is a weak foot?

A weak foot has nothing to do with injury. It does not mean that a player can’t play at all with a certain foot. It simply means that they play much better with one of their feet than the other.

Most people are either right handed or left handed, meaning that they instinctively gravitate towards using their dominant hand when completing every day tasks. Additionally, most soccer players are also right footed or left footed, meaning that they tend to use their dominant foot when they touch the ball or shoot. Some people are born ambidextrous (with the ability to use both hands or feet equally as well), but anyone can be trained to use both feet powerfully.

Why does it matter?

Soccer is a fast-paced game that is played at 360 degrees. There is no guarantee that the ball is always going to roll to the same side as a player’s dominant foot. It would be a disservice to the team if a player, regardless of position, was not constantly ready to act with whichever foot the moment calls for.

A player who can use both feet proficiently will improve their overall ball control. A player who can dribble with both feed can better break away from their opponent than a player who favors one foot over the other and a player who can pass or shoot with both feet is a more lethal weapon on offense. Similarly, a player who knows that they can perform adequately with either foot will be more confident on the field.

Vision is also a crucial part of the total package for a great soccer player. Players who heavily favor a particular foot tend to position their body towards that side, limiting their field of vision. A player cannot anticipate what he or she cannot see. A player who can use both feet, is likely to see more of the field of play, has a better ability to read the game and react accordingly.

A player’s ability to use their weaker foot adds an element of versatility to a player’s skillset. In tennis, most players are stronger on their forehanded than backhanded. The ability to make a decent backhanded shot allows a tennis player to win more volleys by catching their opponent off guard by switching to the weaker side.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a perfect soccer example of this concept. His right foot is more dominant; however, he scores from time to time with his weaker left foot. He dribbles proficiently with both feet, which makes him particularly dangerous as he approaches the goal. His left footed goals, which average to about 20% of the goals he scores are usually much weaker shots than his powerful right footed goals, which is to be expected. However, his left footed goals are often the result of a defender and goalkeeper over-guarding his right side, leaving a free kicking lane to Ronaldo’s left. His team greatly benefits from his ability to score with either foot.

How to improve?

1) Mentality

The first thing a player should know about improving their weaker foot is that it’s going to be a difficult process. You are going to have to act in complete opposition of your natural tendencies. In essence, you are training your brain to think a different way. Think of it as trying to learn how to write with your non-dominant hand. In the beginning, it will be awkward, and you may not be proud of the initial results. Don’t allow the perception of failure to discourage you. This will be a long, slow, and difficult process, but the end results will be that you have a leg above most players on the field. Remember that practice makes perfect, and you are going to need a lot of practice.

2) Keepy-Uppys (Juggling)

Strengthening a weaker foot is essentially going back to square one. Start off with keepy-uppys on your non-dominant foot. To do a keepy-uppy, a player must make several small kicks of the ball to keep it up in the air. The kicks should be small, controlled, and quick paced. The goal is to be able to do them back to back to back quickly and without every letting the ball fall down. Acclaimed freestyler Billy Wingrove suggests that players who want to get better at keepy-uppys challenge themselves to do 200 consecutively without dropping the ball. Each time you drop the ball, start over. Keep on practicing until you can get to 200. By the time you accomplish this goal, you will have practiced controlling the ball with your weaker foot thousands of times. By that point, using your weaker foot will begin to feel more natural.

 

 

3) Slalom

After mastering keepy-uppys, try to add motion to your practice. Create a slalom course for yourself. You can use cones such as those found here, sticks, poles, rocks, or anything else that will give you a landmark. Start off with three landmarks and dribble in between them using your weaker foot. Space the landmarks out as far as you think is necessary. Initially, you should space them out a few yards. They shouldn’t be so close or so far away that the course is unusually difficult or easy to complete, but the length should be set according to the players ability.

When that feels comfortable, add another landmark. How can you tell if it’s truly comfortable? Mentally, you should feel like you know what you are doing. You should start developing a confidence. Physically, you should be able to complete the course fluidly without stopping, pausing, or kicking the ball away from the course.

Keep repeating the process until you have made yourself a slalom course of with ten landmarks. Make this a part of your training regimen. As you get more and more used to the course, change it up to make sure you stay engaged and keep learning. Add more landmarks to the course. Change the spacing of the landmarks to make it more difficult. Sometimes, give yourself a challenge of doing tricks around the landmarks, doing keepy-uppys in between the cones. Do anything that will keep you mentally and physically committed to the process. Make sure whatever you chose to do is appropriate for your skill level. Something that is unreasonably difficult will only sever as a discouragement.  Here is a video that can be used as a guide for your training:

 

4) Target Practice

Perhaps one of the greatest benefit of being comfortable on a weaker foot is being able to shock opponents during a game by shooting with your weaker foot. In crucial moments, towards the final minutes of a tie game, this ability can be the difference between winning or losing.

After gaining better control of your weak foot through keepy-uppys and putting that control to motion through a slalom course, it’s time to go back to a static skill. Practice shooting with your weaker foot.

At first, your attempts may be dismally off. You may feel like you are starting at square one all over again, and that’s ok. Shooting is an entirely different skill set than juggling or dribbling. Remember the progress you have already made and commit to practicing shots until you can score just as good with your non-dominant foot as you can juggle or dribble.

There are no magic tricks to shooting. Keep doing it over and over again until your shots become accurate and they feel natural. It’s best to practice shooting into a goal with a goalkeeper in the net who has the ability to stop your ball. That is a direct simulation of an in-game scenario, however any form of practice will help.

If you don’t have access to a goal or a goalkeeper, make a landmark for yourself. Your “goal” can be two trees, a rock, or a certain spot in a fence. If you want to get fancy, you can even attach a paper target to some stationary landmark to give yourself a visual cue, or you can buy targets such as those listed here on Amazon that can be attached to goals.

 

5) Practice Passing

DO NOT USE YOUR WEAK FOOT IN AN ACTUAL GAME UNTIL YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE READY. However, feel free to use it in practice. The one skills that the drills discussed above don’t address is passing. There are plenty of drills around the internet to help you practice passing, but the best way to learn the skill is through actual practice. If scrimmages are part of the way your team practices set goals for yourself of making one accurate pass with your weak foot per practice session. Each session, keep adding to your goal. Eventually, you will be able to pass accurately with either foot.

If trying this out in practice doesn’t work for your situation, get a friend or teammate to pass to you, and practice a clean first touch as well as passing back accurately. The practice session will only be as good as the passing ability of your partner. Make sure you choose some that can pass accurately themselves. This should be a person whose passes you can catch with your dominant foot in normal circumstances.

6) Learn From The Pros

One of the best way to improve any soccer skill is to analyze the way professionals do it. Click here for insight on improving a weak foot straight from Arsenal legend Santi Carzola.

As mentioned before, Cristiano Ronaldo uses both feet. He scores about 80%, or the overwhelmingly majority, of his goals with his dominant right foot, but approximately 20% of his goals are still scored with his weaker foot. Ronaldo is a perfect example of being discerning about when to use the weaker foot. As can be seen from his ability to dribble with his weaker foot, he could easily use his left foot more often without being absolutely terrible, but he does not sacrifice quality for style. Even Ronaldo recognizes that he’s better off using his dominant foot, so he only uses his weak foot when presented a clear shot on goal or to surprise opponents by switching it up in moments of necessity. Nevertheless, he remains ready for the challenge.

What is the Goal of Strengthening Your Weaker Foot?

The purpose of strengthening your weaker foot is to become a more versatile player. Your goal is to be able to use whichever foot is necessary. The goal is NOT to make your weak foot your dominant foot while ignoring your dominant foot. All of the tips mentioned should be implemented as a supplemental part of your regular training regimen. You should never neglect your dominant foot. In an actual game, you should never force yourself to use your weak foot if there’s no reason to do so. Even with strengthening, your weak foot will always be weaker to your dominant foot because it is not the one that your brain naturally gravitates to. It would be a disservice to yourself and your team to use your weaker foot frivolously. Conversely, it’s a disservice to yourself and your team to refrain from using your weaker foot if the moment is right and you are presented with a clear pass to a teammate or unobstructed shot on goal. You should also be aware that it’s only natural that you will still favor your dominant foot after all of this practice.

A player who is confident with both feet and knows when it’s appropriate to use a weaker foot has a unique talent. Keep practicing! Never give up!

 

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The Importance of Being Able to Read the Game

In order to become a top-class soccer star, you need to be blessed with plenty of skill and natural ability.  However, intelligence is also a huge part of the game and an important trait for players to possess. The majority of the world’s elite players possess the ability to read the game and react accordingly. Some players can perform tricks to beat their opponent, but if they can’t finish the play, they are unlikely to maintain a career at the top level.

Source: Infosmessi via Twitter

Anticipating situations is vital and can separate a world-class performer from an average soccer player.  This skill is often developed over time and through the repetition of practice and game scenarios.  Understanding how an opponent will react during a fast break or anticipating which direction a player is likely to pass the ball takes mental awareness and practice. A lack of awareness in these types of scenarios can cause players to “ball watch” and not track runners.  Positional sense is also critical and players should avoid encroaching on a teammate’s space.

Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante is an example of a player who possess intelligence, awareness and ability to dictate a game without extraordinary athleticism.  This makes him a rare talent. So much so that his manager Antonio Conte, believed he deserved to win the Ballon d’Or last season. Kante works hard, he gives 100% in every game. His habits of breaking up plays, making tackles and reading imminent danger make him a vital cog on Chelsea’s side of the ball.

Kante has been particularly effective against better opposition during his career and is part of Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League squad.  Even still, Manchester City have been favored in February 2018 for Europe’s elite club competition while Chelsea are actually outsiders to pick up the trophy once again.

Time will tell if these predictions turn out to be correct.  As one of the best players in the game, Kante can certainly influence the outcome. He is not a goal scorer and with just one goal for every 2,008 minutes of Premier League football as of February 2018. However, his presence of mind and ability to react quickly helps to win many soccer games. He is two to three seconds ahead of the play and always anticipates his opponents’ next move. In the time it takes for a player to receive a pass or run to the ball, Kante has already taken up his position and is able to block or intercept the pass, preventing any further danger.

Source: Craques do Futebol via Twitter

The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi possess all the hallmarks of world-class soccer players and they are quite rightly praised for their all-round game.  Their ability to read the game did not come naturally, however.  Studying the movement of opponents and recognizing the traits and habits of teammates are skills which are developed over time.  They must be carefully honed by the individual.

For like-minded offensive players, anticipating where the ball will fall in the penalty area and making the correct run will inevitably lead to plenty of chances. That awareness of how to shake off your marker is a hugely underrated skill and possessing the natural instinct in front of goal can be the difference between a ten goal striker and a prolific scorer.

Reading the game is absolutely essential and any player who cannot anticipate an opponent’s next move is likely to struggle against better opposition. Players should take time to study matches at all levels of the game.  While watching matches, it is important to note the positional play of everyone on the field.  Make a point of Recognizing the players reactions to various situations.  This is a great way to improve cognitive abilities and become a better soccer player. It will not come easily at first, but awareness and anticipation will improve over time.  Noticeable all-round improvement in play will likely follow.

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Soccer Cleats: Everything you need to know

We have previously outlined the various pieces of gear that a player will need in order to practice and compete efficiently and safely.  For every soccer player, soccer cleats are the most essential piece of equipment you will every purchase.  You will want a pair that delivers excellent traction, support and feel of the ball.  This article will dive deeper into soccer cleats and outline a few things to consider when evaluating which cleats to purchase as well as share some insight into which cleats the top professional soccer players wear on game day.

 

Elements of your Soccer Cleats 

To start it is important to understand the various pieces of the cleat.  Cleat designs offer players varying performance under various conditions.  Understanding each element of the cleat will help you select the best pair for the playing conditions you most often face.  You would not want to show up to a soft, mud filled field with cleats made for artificial turf or indoor play.  The right shoes will provide traction which will help to prevent ankle and leg injuries while also improving ball control.

 

Soccer cleat diagramThere are six main components of a cleat.  The upper, outsole, insole, midsole, stud or cleat, and the heel (see diagram for labels of each component except the insole).

 

1) Upper

 

Everything above the insole/midsole.  It impacts touch and ball control.  Different manufactured typically make the upper sections of cleats with a variety of different materials.  Try a few kinds and see what feels and performs best for you.

 

2) Outsole

 

Bottom of the shoe (everything below the insole/midsole).  This is the part of the cleat that is usually made of a rubber or synthetic material based on the type of surface the shoe was designed for.

 

3) Soccer cleat insolesInsole

 

While not labeled in the picture above, it is an important part of the cleat.  Most manufactures will provide a basic insole, but if you experience foot pain you can purchase specialized insoles to reduce stress on your feet to improve comfort.   Additionally, some players choose to purchase high performance insoles.  Click the corresponding insole image for our premium performance insole recommendation.

 

4) Midsole

 

The layer of material between the inner and outer soles of a shoe designed to absorb shock.  Most cleats will have a midsole designed to perform best with the rest of the materials in the shoe.  However, as you try different shoes you may find you prefer a certain type of midsole for your playing style.

 

5) Heel

 

The back portion of the shoe, offers heel support.  Try a few pairs on and see which type of heel is the most comfortable or fits your playing style best.  There is no right answer to selecting the proper heel.

 

6) Stud

 

The nobs on the bottom of your cleats.  The three main studs are; bladed, hard grounded and round. Knowing which type is best for you is important because it will give the best traction on the field’s surface.

 

Selecting Your Soccer Cleats: Surface Considerations

 

Firm Ground

 

Soccer cleats for different surfaces
Left to Right – Firm ground, Soft ground, Hybrid, Artificial turf, Indoor cleat.

A firm ground cleat is the most common type with studs designed to provide traction and stability. Its primary use is on natural grass and outdoor soccer fields. Firm Ground cleats generally have a series of non-removable rubber studs that are either bladed or conical in shape.

 

Soft Ground

 

Soft ground cleats have longer studs for traction on wet or muddy ground. They typically have metal-tipped and sometimes detachable studs which allow for customization for varying conditions.

 

Artificial Grass

 

Artificial grass has rapidly spread around the world as it is more sustainable and not as susceptible to weather.  It offers a consistent surface and it requires much less maintenance.   Many schools are installing artificial turf as a result.  Some players choose to wear a different pair of cleats on natural and artificial grass, but that can prove expensive especially for novice players. Adidas has responded with the hybrid outsole to help. Click here for high quality hybrid cleats.  Artificial grass cleats or turf shoes usually have a rubber outsole. They also have smaller rubber studs on the outsole to improve traction. Turf shoes can also be used for training or as a back-up pair of shoes for play on hard surfaces.

 

How do your Soccer Cleats Fit?

 

Lastly, the fit of your soccer cleats is critical.  Just like any other shoe, imagine the discomfort and problems if cleats do not fit perfectly. If the soccer cleats are too tight then the player will experience difficulty running and pain from cramped toes. On top of that, it will cut off blood circulation causing another level of discomfort.  On the other hand, if the cleats are too big or loose a player is likely to get blisters or worse.  Loose shoes will not provide the necessary support to a player’s feet and ankles potentially leading to injury.  Finally, big or loose shoes will make running as well as juggling or controlling the ball far more challenging.

  

Positional Considerations

 

Also consider what position you play and your priorities out on the field before selecting your cleats. Certain cleats offer lighter weight for better quickness and speed, other cleats offer more cushion for protection. Some cleats are optimized for traction or touch. If you play midfield, you probably care more about quickness and touch than if you play defense. Similarly, defensive players should be less concerned with shooting features on a cleat.

 

Superstars and Their Soccer Cleats

 

Most professional soccer players own dozens of soccer cleats and the superstars even have their own custom designed cleats.  Some help to design their own custom soccer cleats while others leave it to the sporting companies.  Nike and Adidas sponsor professional soccer players so the superstars can promote their brands out on the field.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo

 

Cristiano Ronaldo's CleatsCristiano Ronaldo is one player that is noticed wearing a unique set of cleats designed by his sponsor, Nike. His cleats play a big part in his successful career. He is very serious when it comes to playing well during games and the cleats he wears are equally as important. He even has at least three pairs of soccer cleats on hand in case he needs to change them during the game.  His cleats are specially customized for games like the El-Clasico and the Champions League finals. Nike created something special for the superstar called the Mercurial CR7 Melhor. These are difficult to come by.  The Melhor signifies “The Best” and launched just days before he won the fifth Ballon d’Or.  Another CR7 cleat is the Mercurial Superfly CR7. These can be found and purchased here.

 

Lionel Messi

 

Lionel Messi's CleatsFor the Barcelona and Argentina fans out there, superstar Lionel Messi is known to have worn unique, specially made soccer cleats for his country’s opening match in the 2010 world cup against Nigeria. Messi wore several other unique cleats in big games. Optimizing your footwear optimizes your play. One pair of his renowned cleats are the Nemeziz 17+ 360’s. They reportedly provide special agility while playing.  They also have a snug fit for Messi’s toe box area. The presence of monotongue is meant to prevent any form of slip while dribbling and provides phenomenal grip on the ball.  You can purchase a pair by clicking here or check our the more economical adidas Performance Men’s Nemeziz 17.3 FG by clicking here.

 

Eden Hazard

                                                                                                                 

Eden Hazard's CleatsChelsea superstar, Eden Hazard has also had his own share of custom-made cleats. The Belgain has enjoyed some great seasons in the past.  Part of his success story is his cleats.  Hazard developed a reputation of showcasing his cleats while playing and changing them during the heat of matches.  His ability to control the ball and stun the audience will always partially be attributed to his cleats.  For the 2017-2018 season he’s been wearing Mercurial Vapor Flyknit Ultra Cleats by Nike.  The cleats are difficult to come by, though.  He also featured the Mercurial Vapor XI’s during the 2017-2018 season. Those are easier to get and you can snag a pair of them here.

 

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

 

Neymar's CleatsNeymar also falls into the category of players who are known to enjoy the spotlight and “show off” their skills. To do that though, Neymar also needs a collection of great cleats.  Well, he has an abundance of them.   He has the same sponsor as Ronaldo and they ensure that their players have only the best on their feet. Neymar’s Mercurial Vapor XI NJR FG soccer cleats are depicted here.  Click here to get your own pair.

 

 

Final Thoughts:

 

Keep in mind, the key to quality soccer cleats is that they must be quality for you. There are many great cleat options out there for a variety of different prices. Make sure you use the guide above to figure what works for you in terms of the structure of cleats, they way they fit, and your performance out on the field. Then decide on what cleats you want to pursue based on price point.  If you go into your local soccer shop, you can often try on cleats and kick the ball around. Take advantage of that opportunity.

 

Good luck out there and feel free to ask any cleat questions in the comments below!

 

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Soccer Players to Watch to Improve your Game

Identifying the world’s greatest soccer players to watch and emulating their play will provide invaluable lessons on how to be the best. Equally as important as vital soccer tips, studying players can be a good way to improve on key areas to take your game to the next level.  Even the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo grew up trying to mirror the styles of legends of the game like Diego Maradona and Pele.  Now young stars are eagerly watching the Argentinian and the Portuguese in an effort to replicate their devastating styles. Here are some key soccer players to watch right now to greatly help improve your play.

Key Soccer Players To Watch:

Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the best soccer players to watch right now is Cristiano Ronaldo.  Ronaldo is generally considered to be the best footballer in the world.  The Real Madrid forward is the most recent recipient of the ultimate footballing accolade, the Ballon d’Or, along with the Best FIFA Men’s Player award. As of October 17, 2017, the Portuguese racked up an astonishing 613 goals and 200 assists for club and country in 871 appearances. This is a hugely impressive output. The reason the former Manchester United player is so effective is because of his speed and strength. He uses power and pace to charge past opposition defenders.  He also knows how to pick a perfect pass to enable him to get in a better position to receive the ball again.

 

Lionel Messi

When discussing soccer players to watch and emulate, no list would be complete without the awesome Lionel Messi. For many, it’s hard to choose who is better out of the Barcelona man and Ronaldo. There is no doubt that they have been the two best players in world football for the last ten years. Messi’s all-time career stats are actually better than Ronaldo’s, because he scored more goals and claimed more assists in a fewer number of matches. For both club and country, Messi has notched 582 goals and made 233 assists in 716 showings as of October 17, 2017. The 30-year-old has been compared to Maradona in the past, and is regarded as the most skillful player in the world. He uses trickery and intelligence to get past opponents, and is a top-class finisher.

 

Harry Kane

If you want to be a quality striker, arguably the finest of all soccer players to watch in the world right now is Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane. The 24-year-old bagged 13 goals for Spurs and England in all competitions in September 2017. His output seems to be improving each year. In the 2015-16 campaign, the red-hot striker scored 25 goals to win the Golden Boot, and then bettered that last term with 29 goals to top the scoring charts. Prior to the Bournemouth encounter, Kane was 13/8 with Betway to win the sharpshooter accolade for a third time at the end of this campaign.  The Nike-wearing AIA-sponsored forward excels because he always makes use of even the smallest amount of space. He has proved that he can fire a shot off and score from virtually anywhere in the final third.

 

Kevin De Bruyne

If your favorite position is in midfield, then one of the best soccer players to watch and learn from at the moment is Kevin De Bruyne. He uses skill, vision, and intelligence to run the show for Manchester City. The Belgian is only in his third season as a Premier League regular, but has established himself as one of the most important players in the division. As such, he is the bookies’ favorite to win the PFA Player of the Year award next year. After racking up a staggering 21 assists in the league last term, De Bruyne is showing his class even more this season. He is clearly the first name on Pep Guardiola’s team sheets. The 26-year-old is averaging 71.9 passes per game with a pass completion rate of 84.3% as of October 17, 2017. Players who want to be like the former Wolfsburg playmaker need to practice passing the ball through the eye of a needle and watching other players’ runs.

There is no doubt that studying these pros will help you raise your own soccer game because they will show you things you hadn’t thought of before. Other soccer players to watch include Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez and Antoine Griezmann.

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7 Soccer Tips That Will Take Your Game to the Next Level

Soccer Tips

Sometimes, little things can have a big impact. Often times, players overlook simple fundamentals that can vastly improve their game. These 7 soccer tips will have you well on your way to becoming a better player.

1. Use your arms

Most players are stiff because they never learn to use their arms properly.

Learning to use your arms is quick, easy, and will make a big difference in your success on the pitch.

Your arms will make your movement more fluid (which improves your technique), will make taking the ball away from you harder, and will make you look more professional (helps with tryouts).

Pay attention to your arms when you play. It’s easy and effective. For more information on using your arms, reference the article, How To Use Your Arms in Soccer.

2. Follow through

There are many ways to improve your passing and shooting technique.

The best and easiest thing to implement is following through. When you follow through with your kicking leg after you shoot your shots will become significantly more powerful.

When you follow through after passing, your passes will be more accurate. Simply point your foot at to your target when following through.

3. Move around the pitch

Moving around the pitch effectively will drastically improve your ability as a player. You will receive more passes, have more time and space, and will win more headers.

Think about moving constantly. Move after you pass or shoot the ball. Move whenever your teammates have the ball. You will be shocked at how much better you play.

4. Watch the pros

Every advanced player I know watches the pros constantly. The more they watch, the easier it is to imitate the best players in the world.

Watching soccer is easy, but it can have a huge impact on your game. Imitate the pros and you will improve quickly.

5. Always stay hydrated

Hydration puts you at an advantage because most players are constantly dehydrated.

Sure, players hydrate during games, but this is far from effective. In order to play your best you need to stay hydrated throughout the day. Your pee should always be clear.

You will see a significant boost in energy when you start drinking enough fluids. This will give you an edge over other players.

These tweaks are simple to implement, but will have a real impact on your ability.

For a list of gear every soccer player should have, visit the Complete Soccer Guide Equipment List.

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How to Beat a Player in Soccer

How to Beat a Player in Soccer

Beating players opens up the field. It creates new opportunities because opposing players must leave their mark to put pressure on the ball.

Beating players helps you create opportunities to shoot, cross, or pass.

You become an asset to your team when you beat opposing players consistently. You become deadly because you can create constant opportunities.

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How to Develop Vision in Soccer

How to Develop Vision in Soccer

Vision is the ability to see potential passes.

For example, a player with mediocre passing ability only sees what’s directly in front of him. He passes the ball to a forward with a defender on his back.

A player with good vision will quickly scan the field and find a better pass. He sees the forward is marked tightly, looks right, sees the right winger can’t shake his man, then looks left. He sees a hole in the defense. He passes the ball through the hole into space and the left winger runs to the ball.

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6 Steps to Follow If You Don’t Make a Soccer Team

What to do if you don't make a soccer team

Getting cut from a soccer tryout stings.

Every player feels anger, sadness, frustration, or all three emotions in the days, weeks, and months afterwards.

Getting cut from a team doesn’t have to negatively impact your career. This article covers the steps you should take after you don’t make a soccer team to turn a “failure” into a positive experience:

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