The Ronaldinho Ankle Snap

by Philip MacDonald | Last updated

Some players move their entire leg and or body with the ball when they want to change directions. This can work although depending on how the play is developing around you it may not be the best move. If this is the case, it is time to implement the Ronaldinho ankle snap. This move is the fastest way to change directions and speed within a split second! You no longer have to move your entire body or leg around the ball in order to go from left to right. You will be able to shake any defender and immediately be on the offensive. This is the fastest way to change your pace. When performing this move on the straight run or when moving from left to right, well…defenders watch out!

This move originates from futsal. It is a fast ankle snap. By snap, I am referring to the speed at which you move your foot inward when you touch the ball. Start by planting the heel of the foot and then snap inward. Better yet, you can perform this move multiple times in sequence. This is often what Ronaldinho does to shake defenders. He also sets himself up for shots/crosses with this move alone.

This following video has done a nice job of breaking down this ankle snap.  The video itself refers to it as a heel-toe fake pass.  However you want to label it, it is a move that is used to quickly change directions and create space:

This move isn’t difficult to master but if you become good at it you will have a whole new arsenal to your attack and the way you move with the ball. Perfect this move and almost no defender will be able to take the ball away from you.

Keys to this trick:

  • the foot snap generally happens inward. It can happen outward but it is more natural for the body to rotate the food inward than outward
  • whether you are reaching for the ball or have it close to you but start by planting the hell and then snapping the rest of the foot inward.
  • practice each and every day on your own going up and down the field

Watch almost any video of Ronaldinho and you’ll see him perform this move. I see this as his signature move. It is simple yet incredibly effective.

While Ronaldinho was playing for Barcelona during the 2004-2005 season, they met another soccer super power AC Milan in a UEFA Champions League match.  With the game in its last moments, Ronaldinho used the ankle snap to perfection.  He cut through several defenders, created space and scored a goal.  Watch the slow motion replays as it is depicted beautifully:

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