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How To Play Like Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo plays like a dancing fool at times, and takes some punishment for this when he’s showing off too much, swinging his legs repeatedly over the ball, feinting himself out of his own shoes, tripping over himself.

Ronaldo has changed though, from when he first started out in the English Premier League with Manchester United. And don’t get me wrong, he was good in the early years but he’s very quickly only gotten better and better. Now, his skills on the ball are deadly and his free kicks feared and everyone wants to play like him. CR7, has Ronaldo is known, is now one of the best soccer players in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid
Getty Images

Let's take a look at some of Cristiano Ronaldo's unique skills and characteristics and see if we can learn how to play a bit like himl.

Qualities that set Cristiano Ronaldo apart from other players:

  • Fearlessness - will try new moves against anyone
  • Plays crisp and sharp passes and whips in crosses
  • Unselfish (Believe it or not)
  • Tireless and never stops
  • Constantly trying to get better and improve his game
  • Just wants to win games
  • Takes players on - goes right at them on the dribble
  • Steps up to take game winning free kicks and penalty kicks
  • Unparalleled skills on the ball with both feet
  • Powerful shot - the knuckle ball.
  • Amazing speed with the ball at his foot.

Cristiano goes at players on the dribble and makes defenders nearly fall over as he builds up momentum. Defenders don’t know what to do when Cristiano is charging at them. He’s the European player of the year. He’s the talk of the town, with Real Madrid desperate to acquire his services.

In a few years, he’s most certainly destined for Spain or Italy. Women too are falling over for him. Opposing fans hate him, with his hair gelled and his body shaved. He’s a bit of a fancy boy, but even so, everyone wants to learn how to dribble, pass, shoot, and take free kicks like he does. And people went to look like him too. The most popular search term associated with Cristiano is probably, ‘legs like Cristiano Ronaldo’. But we want to learn how to play like him not look like him.

So, how do you play like Cristiano Ronaldo? If there’s one thing that characterizes Cristiano, it’s doing everything at a blistering pace. No skill, move, pass, or shot is done slowly. Sure, he might slow down to sucker in a defender or pause for a moment and put his foot on top of the ball to tempt a defender, but normally he’s moving at a frantic and frenetic pace. It’s often hard to tell what he’s actually done to get past a defender until you see the replay. So the first thing to do is play soccer fast. Drive at defenders. Cut the ball sharply. Attack.

Overall, there’s no quick short cut to becoming a player of Cristiano Ronaldo’s caliber. It takes hard work and dedication, but more, you have to love to play. And this is one thing you’ll find in common with all of the best players in the world. They just love to play the game. Whether it’s staying after practice to take free kicks, working solely on their weaker foot as the hit the ball against a wall, practicing juggling and other tricks, lifting weights, staying in shape even in the off season, eating healthy, not drinking. Top players like Cristiano love the game and will do nearly everything and anything to get better and achieve their goals.

Yes, it's true, even players like Cristiano, who’s now perhaps the best player in the world, along with Kaka and Messi, want to improve some aspect of their game.

For Cristiano, at first glance, there is seemingly no part of his game that needs improvement when you watch him play. He’s an attacking player and really doesn’t need to focus on defense, but that might just be one area where he could improve his game. If he’s able to win the ball and start a counter attack, that just makes him more dangerous. What if you saw Cristiano win the ball after a crunching tackle? I think the crowd would go wild.

Cristiano can play the ball with either foot and all parts of both feet, which is very useful in playing last minute passes with the inside or outside of the foot. It’s hard to know where he is going to play the ball or when. He may charge at one player and then at the last second slip a pass through to Rooney with the outside of his right foot. When a defender tries to force him down the left, he’s happy to drive the ball down the line and serve a ball across with his left. His goal is to eliminate any chinks in his armor. Make sure you're adept with both feet and all parts of both feet - inside and outside.

Perhaps what Cristiano is most famous for is his scissor kicks, where he swings his legs over the ball to the left and then the right, and again and again. In the past, he would over do it, swinging his legs over the ball too many times. He could have just done it once and gone by the defender. Now, he’s more precise and direct with his moves. He’s also relentless. He never seems to tire. Another move Cristiano is famous for is the chop back, where he blazes down the field with the ball and then cuts the ball back with the inside of his foot.

Here are a few more of his trademarked moves:

  • Touching the ball around the defender
  • Chopping the ball back
  • Spinning out of trouble
  • Swings the right leg over the ball to the inside
  • Scissor move – bringing the right and then the left leg over the ball to the outside
  • Faking like he’s going to cross the ball and cut the ball back and going the other direction
  • Stutter step in front of the ball – faking like he’s going one way and then the other
  • The nutmeg
  • The heel pass
  • Stopping on a dime and letting the defender slide past him
  • Rolling the ball over with his foot towards a defender, setting up for a move
  • Hovering his leg in the air like he’s going to take the ball one way
  • Scooping the ball over a defender’s foot
  • Snaking the ball to the outside and then the inside with his right foot
  • Pulling the ball back and playing it with his inside of the foot – as a pass

And Cristiano isn’t a selfish player even though at times he appears like he is. Rather, he’s a team player who just wants to win. He’s learned to be a team player at Manchester United. He’s figure out that he’ll actually have more individual success if his team wins—the two go together. He’s tallied 42 goals in all competitions in 2007-2008 and his team won both the EPL title and the Champions League. He’s scored over 100 goals for Manchester. He’s just 23 years of age.

Another thing that jumped out at me about Cristiano is he is fearless. Sure, he has at times over done it in terms of his moves and tricks and even diving, but he’s willing to take chances, do the amazing and the unexpected when he could fail or embarrass himself. That is probably what makes him such an outstanding player. He’s willing to try things even if he may fail.

The pressure is now on top of him, everyone knows what to expect, they double team him, they foul him and try to incite him, how is he going to react?

Cristiano Ronaldo Compilation

What’s left for Ronaldo to win? He’s already won the Champions League, an EPL title, and a Club World Cup title. If he wants to go down as one of the greatest of all time then he’ll have to also have some success at the international level, win a World Cup or a European Championship with Portugal. I wouldn’t put it past him to do both.


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