Play fast, think faster with these tips from Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling as he shares with FourFourTwo.
Keep the ball at your feet
“Dribbling is something I’ve always loved doing and always enjoyed practising. I’ll continue to work on it so that I can get better. Whatever exercises we’re doing at Liverpool, we’ve always got a ball at our feet. When I was a kid I used to watch YouTube clips of Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho just to learn tricks. I’d have a game for QPR at the weekend and I’d try to do stepovers – probably one too many – and learn from there. Then I’d go home and do kick-ups.”
Make the right choices
“You have to make good decisions after a successful dribble. Since I’ve been in the first team I’ve learned how crucial decision-making is. When you’re playing at this level you can get one chance to make a difference. It’s no good just kicking the ball into the box – you need to pick someone out. That can win you the game or lose you the game: misplace the pass and the chance is gone. If you’re going to dribble, make sure you produce something decisive at the end of it.”
Scan opposition defences
“Keeping your head up is one of the most important things to remember when dribbling. You need to do this to see oncoming defenders and once you’ve beaten your man to see what options you have on. If you keep your head down you’re more likely to get tackled. By looking forward – down the field towards the opposition goal – you’ll spot that one-two or a gap to run into. Dribbling isn’t just about beating players; it’s about carrying the ball into dangerous areas.”
Take your game to the next level by using Raheem Sterling’s attacking breakdown.
Raheem Sterling wears the Mercurial Superfly and Nike Football’s elite training apparel, available now.