The Elastico - Rivellino, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho
It is a well known fact that the master of the bewitching Brazilian trick, the Elastico, is the mustached midfielder from the historic 1970 World Cup winning side, Roberto Rivellino.
What is not as popularly known is that the move was actually created by a team-mate of Rivellino's in the Corinthians youth team of 1964. However, the left-footed midfielder was the first to practice the "flip-flap", as it is also called, on a regular basis, and made it the crown jewel of his illustrious repertoire of skills, tricks and feints on his way to becoming one of the greatest midfielders in the history of Brazilian football.
"Pele couldn't do that trick. He wasn't skillful enough", Rivellino once said, thus illustrating the immense finesse required to execute the elastico.
"I have to say that he was better than me at that", Pele said of Rivellino. "That was something he'd created. He'd always talk about it when he trained with us.
"It was a trick that only Rivellino could do. Everyone started doing it after him, but Rivellino did it perfectly. It was like the ball was glued to his foot, he'd do this and that, and the ball would come back and he'd run off with it. Really impressive!", the legendary forward proclaimed, swishing his hands to imitate the quick motion that Rivellino used to dribble his way past defenders.
Of the modern-day players, only the Brazilian duo Ronaldinho and Luis Ronaldo have done justice to their predecessor in imitating his dribble. The latter, Ronaldo, exhibited arguably the best use of the trick on his way to skipping past Lazio defender Alessandro Nesta down the left touchline during Inter Milan's 3-0 UEFA Cup final victory in 1998.
The move involves, well, to attempt to describe it in words would do it a great injustice and therefore, it would be appropriate to feast one's senses by watching this compilation of some of Ronaldo's best elasticos.
There have been very few more graceful ways of dribbling past defenders than that the elastico has offered, and the sights of the likes of Rivellino and Ronaldo in their prime were absolutely astonishing; we shall probably not see too many players achieve the level of mastery over the elastico that they did.
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