Throughout the years, we’ve seen an endless list of jaw-dropping moments that summarise perfectly why football is so affectionately dubbed ‘The Beautiful Game’.
While the sport is very much reliant on a team performing together, it’s those moments of individual genius that are often what separate the good from the great. Sometimes, those moments of brilliance are so good, they become forever synonymous with a single player.
In the wake of Liverpool’s Nat Phillips producing one of the calmest Cruyff turns you’re likely to see against AC Milan, we’ve dipped into the archives to reminisce on those who wrote their own names in football’s book of tricks.
Johan Cruyff – The Cruyff Turn
Arguably the most famous move in all of football, Johan Cruyff first produced his famous turn against Sweden during the 1974 World Cup, leaving Jan Olsson for dead as he spun away effortlessly.
Alexandre de Carvalho – The Rainbow Flick
While Jay-Jay Okocha takes the plaudits for bringing the Rainbow Flick into the mainstream, it was actually originally performed by Alexandre de Carvalho, way back in 1968 during a 5-1 win for Santos over Botafogo SP.
Ricardo Infante – The Rabona
There is some debate over who exactly should be credited with the Rabona, though Infante’s 35-yard effort in which he improvised the technique due to the ball falling on his weaker foot was captured in a photo by a journalist in 1948.
Antonin Panenka – The Panenka
When it comes off it looks great, when it doesn’t…well, it’s pretty awful.
Antonin Panenka actually produced the first Panenka penalty in as high a pressure situation as they get too, scoring the winning spot-kick with the technique against Germany in the 1976 European Championship final.
Pedro Calomino – The Step Over
While Dutchman Law Adam is credited with first showcasing the Step Over in Europe—earning the nickname ‘Adam the Scisssorman’—it’s thought the move was actually invented by Argentine striker Pedro Calomino in the early 1900s.
Sergio Echigo – The Flip-Flap
Brazilian playmaker Rivellino is often credited with the invention of the Flip-Flap, which in fairness, is half true. Rivellino did introduce it to the world stage, though he himself admitted that he had only perfected the move after first learning it from his teammate Sergio Echigo.
Cristiano Ronaldo – The Ronaldo Chop
Particularly in his early career, when much of his game revolved around running at defenders, Ronaldo’s signature chopping movement which he used to change direction proved devastating time and time again when he was in full flow.
Yves Mariot – The Marseille turn
Most notably utilised by Maradona, to the point where it’s probably more widely recognised as ‘The Maradona Turn’—French striker Yves Mariot debuted the movement, at least in Europe, in the 1970s.
Ferenc Puskas – The Puskas ‘V’
While this one now seems incredibly simple, when the Hungarian legend performed a pull-back on the six-yard line instead of shooting, fooling the onrushing defender, the quick-thinking moment of ingenuity was understandably lauded.
Rodrigo Taddei – The Aurelio
A far more recent invention, and no doubt one of the most difficult to master, Rodrigo Taddei performed a move he would later name The Aurelio in a Champions League group stage game against Olympiacos in 2006.