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.


  1. 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.
  2. If performed successfully a backheel can get a player out of difficult situations they may get into during a match.
  3. This skill allows players to add another way of scoring to their game in attacking situations when the defender thinks there is no danger.


  1. 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.
  2. 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?

Using a backheel to take set pieces is not illegal however it is not a strategy most teams choose to use. Some teams may use it to take a quick corner or free-kick.

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.