Dummy

A tactic used by a player to trick an opponent, by pretending to pass the ball but actually keeping possession – sometimes dodging in one direction but taking the ball in another. A dummy is often used in offensive situations when dribbling with the ball or when receiving a pass from a teammate.

Are there different ways to dummy in Soccer?

In Soccer a dummy is regarded as a form of skill so there are many variations and techniques that can be performed. Some examples are:

  • Natural dummy: The verb to ‘dummy’ is the action when a player goes towards the ball pretending to control it but lets the ball go through their legs.
  • The stepover: Most commonly performed by Cristiano Ronaldo, a player will try to fool their opponent by stepping over the ball a number of times before choosing the direction they want to take it.
  • The Cruyff Turn: Named after the legendary Dutch player Johan Cruyff, for this form of skill the player controls the ball before dragging it behind their standing leg.
  • The fake shot: When a player is lining up to take a shot they may decide to let the defender commit to a tackle before faking a shot and taking the ball past the defender.

What is the advantage of a dummy?

A dummy is a skill that opposition players aren’t expecting and can be performed by all positions on the pitch. The clear advantage is that it fools the opponent and can give a player more time and space on the ball.

However, this skill must be performed with care and concentration as if the opponent player predicts the dummy and wins back possession, this can lead to an opposition attack or even a goal.