The kick-off in football is typically fairly routine. Teams rarely experiment or mix things up.
Two attacking players – or one these days, since the rules were changed a few years ago – pass the ball while their teammates stand in their respective positions.
The ball is usually played back and then either passed up the pitch or lumped downfield towards the forwards or wingers, depending on the coach’s instructions.
However, RB Leipzig went rogue in September 2013, attempting a unique kick-off which saw the players line up in a bizarre 2-0-8 formation.
The German club, who were competing in their country’s third tier at the time, started the game with two players taking kick-off, one of the right side of the halfway line, five(!) on the left, two defenders and the goalkeeper.
Alexander Zorniger, RB Leipzig’s coach at the time, and his staff had clearly identified a weakness on Stuttgart’s right-side.
But what happened next?
The ball was passed back to the defenders, who then played a long pass to the left-hand side of the box…
The ball was then headed into the path of Matthias Morys…
Who found Daniel Frahn inside the six-yard box. Goal!
Yep – RB Leipzig’s unique kick-off actually worked. Incredible!
Watch it here…
Given the success RB Leipzig enjoyed on that occasion, it makes you wonder why more teams haven’t tried to replicate this style of kick-off over the past seven-and-a-half years.
Presumably, it’s deemed too risky in the eyes of most coaches.
Had Stuttgart won possession and lumped the ball downfield, RB Leipzig’s two defenders and goalkeeper would have been in serious trouble.
That said, fortune favours the brave, and that goal after just 8.6 seconds (a German record at the time) is proof of that.
“It was a very successful move,” Frahn was quoted saying by euronews.com. “It’s great for all of us that RB Leipzig is now in the record books.”
RB Leipzig would, of course, go from strength to strength over the next few years.
Founded in 2009, the Bundesliga club reached the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League.