How To Perform The Famous Cruyff Turn (6-Step Guide)

The Cruyff turn is a famous evasive maneuver that footballers have been using for years. It was first popularized by a footballer known as Johan Cruyff and has revolutionized the football game. The Cruyff turn was first demonstrated during a 1974 World Cup game. 

Cruyff was a Dutchman who played for Barcelona and he is credited with the ideas that have resulted in a lot of the team’s success. The Cruyff turn is an evasive maneuver and is known across the world now. 

How To Perform The Famous Cruyff Turn (6-Step Guide)

If you are more of a visual learner, there are many videos of Johan Cruyff performing the iconic turn.

This one comes from the original 1974 match where it was first seen. This turn is perfect for losing a defender on the field and can also help to create space on the pitch where the gameplay is quite tight. 

Step 1: Position the ball correctly

Once you have got the ball from another one of your teammates, you are likely to be closely marked by a member of the opposing team.

The closer your marker is, the harder it can be to get the ball cleared. This is the exact situation that the Cruyff turn was designed for. 

Try to position the ball slightly in front of you. Take time to think about the space you have around you, and where you want to attack. You are trying to trick the opposition into thinking that you are about to pass the ball on.

Step 2: Fake a pass

Once you are ready in that position, fake a pass. Go through the motions as if you are about to pass to another one of your teammates. Ensure you are sufficiently close to the ball to reach it with your dominant foot. 

Your other leg should be out of the way of the ball. You want a clear path to perform the Cruyff turn. 

Step 3: Hook the ball with the inner side of your foot

As you are faking the pass, stop just before you send off the ball. At the very last second, hook your foot around it. 

It is absolutely vital that you make your fake pass believable. This will confuse your opponent and they will attempt to tackle or block you.

As they go for this, you can take evasive action in the form of the Cruyff turn. This will give you additional time to move away from your opponent and progress with the ball. 

Step 4: Pull the ball back

By this point, you will have successfully hooked the ball around using your inner foot. Drag it backward and through your legs, away from your opponent.

The leg that you are standing on should be the one nearest to your opponent. This will ensure the ball is shielded from being stolen. 

Step 5: Turn

As the ball is dragged between your legs, you should quickly turn your body.

The idea is to rotate 180 degrees so that you end up facing the opposite direction. If you have managed to perform this turn quickly enough, your opponent will be perplexed. 

Step 6: Sprint

Without wasting a second, use your explosive power to sprint away and up the field as fast as possible. The more ground you cover, the better position you and your teammates will be in. 

What drills can help players to master the Cruyff turn?

Number 1

To perform this drill, you will need to set up 2 parallel lines of cones, set at a distance of about 5 meters apart. 

Your coach should ensure that you and your teammates warm up sufficiently before practicing this drill.

Allocate at least 10 minutes on either side of your drills for a warm-up and cool-down periods. These are vital to ensure that you do not injure yourself or pull a muscle. 

You should stand along the rows of cones, with one player behind each. Your drill will involve dribbling the ball up to the second cone, performing a turn around it, and returning to your starting position.

You should attempt this drill with both of your feet to ensure you have complete control of the ball. 

Once you have mastered this, your coach is likely to make you partner up with another player. This will allow you to practice the drill with the added pressure of having a defender trying to poach the ball. 

Number 2

For this drill, you will need some balls, bibs, cones, and a space measuring 8 yards by 8 yards. Split your players into 2 teams - this drill works best with groups of 8. 

Two players from each team should stand in the middle of the drill area, while the other 2 stand on the outside of the square. These players should be standing on opposite sides.

Both teams should have their own ball. The goal of the drill is to send the ball from one player on the outside, through the central players, and to the other outside player. The idea is that all 4 players will touch the ball as it passes through the pitch. 

As you are just starting the drill, have a 2-touch limit on the ball. As the drill proceeds, reduce this to one touch. 

This drill will work on your positional senses and rapid movements. It will teach your players to be aware of the ball’s location and work on their evasive maneuvers. It will also work on the accuracy of their passes, particularly at a high speed. 

Number 3

For this drill, you need a 10 yard by 10-yard area, 4 players, 4 balls, and 5 cones. Place a cone a couple of feet in from each of the corners, and one in the dead center of the drill area.

Give your players a ball each and instruct them to stand at each of the 4 corners. Choose one to start, and instruct them to dribble the ball around the cone in front of them. They should then dribble the ball to the central cone and back to their original corner. 

Move around the square, allowing each playerYou must make to attempt this drill. To make the drill more advanced, instruct each of the players to return to the corner to the left of their original one. 

For instance, when player 1 reaches the cone in the center, player 2 will begin their drill. This frees up player 2’s corner for player 1 to return to.  

Number 4

To perform this drill, you need to create a circle that is 40 yards in diameter with cones. Use 4 sets of 2 cones to create little gates on the outside of the circle.

Instruct 4 players to stand inside the circle you have made and another 4 to stand outside the circle. 

The players on the outside should all pass to the players on the inside. They will then turn right one position and run with the ball through the next gate.

The ball is then passed into the center of the circle for the players there to repeat the exercise. 

Once all of the players have returned to their original positions, the drill restarts but turning the opposite direction. 

The Famous Cruyff Turn