Who hasn’t already wanted to give their name to a technical football gesture? Not you, really? What a lack of ambition… fortunately not all football players have your mentality and have been able to seize the rules of this beautiful sport to make history (in truth I like you, don’t get upset).
To give your name to a technical gesture, you really have to be someone who has made a difference. Only some very great players have this chance, I let you discover them.
1. La papinade
We start this top with one of the best known gestures, at least by the French, because this term is not really taken up abroad.
The papinade is a technical gesture which consists of performing an acrobatic volley in order to score a goal (look at the images if you have not captured what I have just said). Jean-Pierre Papin scored many goals, especially with OM, with these impressive volleys, and it was he who democratized this gesture. It is the journalist Alain Pécheral from Provence who called this gesture a “papinade” in 1988 after Jean-Pierre Papin had made it again during a match against Niort in the French championship.
2. La Panenka
We owe this gesture to Antonin Panenka, who performed this incredible action in the European Cup final in 1976.
For those who don’t know what it is, it is a rather daring way of taking a penalty which, unlike “classic” penalties, is not taken with force, but is a simple flick pushed to the middle of the goals. A rather humiliating gesture for the goalkeeper who is always surprised by this unusual and rather dangerous technique. Antonin Panenka dared to make this gesture when the penalty he took was the decisive penalty in the penalty shootout between Czechoslovakia (his team) and Germany. Fortunately, he will manage to put it on and will become a legend, but still, the guy is not afraid.
3. La Majder
This gesture was born in 1987 in the final of the European Cup of champion clubs, won with FC Porto. The Algerian Rabbah Majder scores a legendary goal which will then bear his name. To summarize, a majder consists of putting a goal with a backheel while the player is more or less back and at the goal.
A gesture which is therefore difficult to perform (because clearly when you are from behind, you can’t really see you are shooting), which was taken up by other players afterwards.
In an interview for the magazine l’Equipe, Majder explains himself that his gesture was not really calculated and that he was not sure of the trajectory of the ball, which is why he had returned to make sure of the goal, and that Pelé will comment on this gesture by saying: “I wish he hadn’t looked behind him, that would have been even more classy”, not false, but it was already not bad as aim.
4. Scorpion Kick
So here we are on a masterclass. Between gymnastics, football and martial arts René Higuita, to whom we owe this gesture marked the history of football. You’re going to say to me, “Gna gna the gesture doesn’t bear his name”, yes ok it’s true that we commonly call this gesture “the scorpion kick”, but that’s just because it’s more telling.
René Higuita was Colombia’s goalkeeper from 1987 to 1999, and he was already famous for nimping on the pitch: the guy came out of his cages to dribble the players. The icing was therefore screwed up on the cake (I know we don’t say it like that, but I like it) when during an England-Colombia match in 1995, Higuita dared to make a save with the back of his feet jumping, like a scorpion. We let you watch.
5. The Round
Fernando Redondo is an Argentinian footballer who notably made himself known thanks to a very particular technical gesture: the Redondo. This gesture consists of making a large bridge with the help of a heel, performed with your back to the opponent, and it was in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2000 that Redondo made this fabulous gesture.
Real Madrid, the club in which Redondo played, faced Manchester United, and after having dribbled past Norwegian defender Henning Berge, Redondo made an assist to Raul who pushed the ball into the back of the net, an almost perfect sequence that we never got tired of not to watch.
6. La Cuautemiña, or the toad kick
We owe this gesture to the Mexican Cuauhtemoc Blanco, in Europe this dribble is called “toad kick”, but in Latin America and especially in Mexico the fans call this feat the Cuautemina (it’s just that it’s hard to pronounce for us so we preferred to say toad).
It was during the 1998 World Cup when Mexico faced South Korea that Blanco made this dribble: he took the ball between his two feet and jumped above the defenders, all this just 5 meters from the penalty area , in short, a gesture worthy of Olive et Tom or Foot 2 Rue (advance the video to 1 min to see this magnificent dribble).
7. Le Jay-Jay
The Jay-Jay simply bears the name of the famous Nigerian player Jay-Jay Okocha. forward, then step over and feint the body in order to go in the opposite direction.
Ok, you didn’t understand anything? It’s not surprising…I’ll let you see what it looks like.
8. La Bergkamp
Dennis Bergkamp is known for an incredible goal that will make him part of the legend “the Bergkamp”. . In short, a gesture that few players are able to achieve and that’s why this goal bears his name.
9. The Arconada
So there for once it is not an incredible technical gesture like the other footballers that we have mentioned but a big ball. So if you hear someone tell you “ouaaa you did an Arconada”, don’t take it well, question yourself and maybe change your sport (yes yes).
In 1984 in the final of the Euro which opposed Spain to France, while neither team had the advantage, the French team obtained a free kick. Platini fires the shot which ends up directly in the arms of goalkeeper Lui Arconada, who lets the ball slip and offers the goal to the blues…yeah it’s a bit stupid, we agree.
10. Le Johan Cruyff turn
This term is not widely used, that’s probably why you’ve never heard it, and yet Johan Cruyff does have a technical gesture to his name.
To explain, this gesture was made during the 1974 World Cup, in a Netherlands / Sweden match: Cruyff controls the ball but finds himself facing his own goal, he feigns a pass, before passing the ball behind his leg, turns around and speeds up. Internationally the Johan Cruyff is often used to designate this technical gesture, but the name is different in France (there’s not really a name for it actually).
11. The Robben Special
A bit like for Johan Cruyff, the “Robben special” is not necessarily a term widely used in France, and yet it is the Dutch who have democratized this gesture.
It is therefore a question of starting from the right side and then performing a curled strike on the opposite side. This gesture can make it possible to find a shooting angle to then score a goal, and it is a technical gesture that many footballers reproduce. We simply call this action a Robben because the Bayern Munich winger did it again and again and (almost) always succeeded in deceiving the goalkeeper and the defenders.
12. Bonus : l’Espaldinha by Ronaldinho
We end with a gesture that does not bear the name of its author but which nevertheless largely deserves to be quoted.
It is of course Ronaldinho’s Espaldinha, which consists of making a pass or a deflection with his back, a signature of the Brazilian player that very few players manage to reproduce. We wonder how he got the idea to do that, but we must admit that it’s really beautiful to see.