The KNVB, Royal Dutch Football Association, is one of the most decorated and respected football associations of all time. They have produced the likes of Johan Cruyff, Marco Van Basten, Clarence Seedorf, Wesley Sneijder, and the list goes on and on. More importantly, however, the KNVB is known for the style of soccer it promotes: they encourage technical excellence. There was a period in the 1970’s when the KNVB was playing beautiful soccer, but they were not winning anything. During that period they played their rivals – the Germans – and lost numerous times but suggested they were satisfied because they played a nicer game.
With the rise of speed, tricks and goal-minded players in modern day soccer, the cross has lost its value and potential. As opposed to having the ball do the running for the players, many players have decided they will showcase their skills and cover large spaces of the field dribbling the ball rather than passing it.
There are multiple crosses that can be executed from multiple positions on the field. One of the most difficult crosses to execute – and to deal with as a defender and goalie – is the curving cross to the near post.
Whenever crosses or freekicks are mentioned, David Beckham’s name is usually mentioned in the same breath. He has established himself as a great freekick taker, but also as a pin-point crosser. In order to develop the ability to cross the ball like Beckham and many other effective crossers, there are a few techniques that need to be understood, practiced and eventually mastered.