A skillful technique used to trick opponents, when a player kicks the ball backward with his heel toward a teammate. The most common technique used when playing a backheel is using the heel of the foot, hitting the center of the ball. Another way to play a backheel can be by using the sole of the foot and dragging the ball back to a teammate.
What are the Pros and Cons of a backheel?
A backheel is an important skill to learn and use in football and is commonly used during a match.
- A backheel can be very deceptive as opponents aren’t usually expecting this skill to be performed, whether through a pass or shot at goal.
- If performed successfully a backheel can get a player out of difficult situations they may get into during a match.
- This skill allows players to add another way of scoring to their game in attacking situations when the defender thinks there is no danger.
- Timing and accuracy are crucial skills needed to perfect a backheel, so a lot of practice is required to master this technique. Even the most skillful players can get it wrong when in the pressure of a match.
- If a backheel is mistimed then it can lead to the loss of possession and cause big problems as some teammates could be out of position.
Can you take set pieces with a backheel?
It is also not illegal to take a penalty kick using a backheel but this technique makes converting a penalty much more difficult. In soccer players are punished for using a ‘feint’ before taking a penalty as this gives a disadvantage to the goalkeeper. If the referee thinks the player has taken this advantage, they can overturn their decision and give a free-kick to the opposition.