Shooting (association football)

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Steven Gerrard shooting for Liverpool.
Niclas Jensen shoots for goal in a match for F.C. Copenhagen against FC Vestsjælland.

In association football, shooting is a specialized kicking technique mainly used by forwards. The purpose of shooting is usually to score a goal (usually beating the goalkeeper in the process), though some shots may be made in order to win corners or force the keeper to deflect the ball into the path of a teammate—this will only be the case if scoring directly from the shot seems unlikely.[1]

Shooting is easily the most common way for goals to be scored. It is done using the feet; using the head, i.e. heading the ball, is the second most common way in which goals are scored.[1]

Types of shots[edit]

  • Instep drive: This shot is done with the laces of a boot and is widely used. The ball is struck through with the laces or the top part of the foot. The shot is powerful but less accurate.[1]
  • Swerve shot: This shot is made using the side of the foot (or the outside of the foot on occasion) and is usually but not exclusively used in free kicks. The ball bends or swerves in such a way that it beats the keeper, the only drawback is that it lacks great power.[1]
  • Chip: Also known as the lob, this shot focuses on getting the ball to a certain amount of vertical height, where the goalkeeper can't reach it and then have it come back down again into goal, it takes a certain amount of technique and precision to do and players such as Raúl González, Cristiano Ronaldo, Roberto Baggio, Francesco Totti, Alessandro Del Piero and Lionel Messi have made it trademark moves.[1]
  • Knuckleball: A freekick or shot from distance that has no spin and has erratic movement, Juninho Pernambucano, Andrea Pirlo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are known for using this technique.[2][3]
  • Toe punt: Used with less frequency, and also known as the "toe poke", this shot uses the toe of the boot; as it is a quick strike which requires little motion, it is often utilised to fool or surprise opponents who would normally not expect this type of shot, such as when Ronaldo used it to score Brazil's decisive goal in the semi-final of the 2002 World Cup against Turkey.[4][5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Soccer Shooting Guide". Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  2. ^ Shergold, Adam (16 February 2013). "The secret behind Bale's free-kick prowess that can be traced back to baseball a century ago". Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Juventus: Pirlo, ma che punizione hai tirato? La maledetta che sfida la fisica". Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Congress for Cultural Freedom (1965). Encounter. 25: 85.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  5. ^ Hargreaves, Alan (1990). Skills and strategies for coaching soccer. Champaign, Ill.: Leisure Press. p. 153. ISBN 0880113286. 
  6. ^ "In praise of the toe-poke". FIFA. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  7. ^ Ivan Bobanovic (23 April 2010). "I thought the toe-punt was a bad thing?". Retrieved 27 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)