Backheel

Sport: Soccer

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. 

Advantages:

  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. 

Disadvantages:

  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.

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