How to do the La Croqueta Move in Soccer (4-Step Guide)
Andres Iniesta's signature move - La Croqueta - is a simple skill worth mastering to help you manoeuvre in and out of tight spots.
It sees you shift the ball swiftly from one foot to the other before powering away from the defender.
While this sounds simple enough, there's actually more to the move than fancy footwork.
To help you master La Croqueta, let's break it down into four very simple steps:
How to Do the La Croqueta Move
Although made famous by Spain's Andres Iniesta, the move was actually pioneered by Michael Laudrup back in the 80s.
As the Danish legend explained:
"La Croqueta is a piece of skill that exists not because it looks nice but because it serves the purpose of setting you up for the next pass".
It mimics the quick movement chefs make when tossing batter from one hand to the other to create a croqueta (croquette).
With this in mind let's see how you can do move the yourself.
#1 - Start with the Ball at Your Feet
Place the ball between your feet, ready to start the move.
Your feet should be around a shoulder's width apart.
The ball should be more to the side of your dominant foot.
#2 - Quickly Shift the Ball to the Opposite Foot
With your stronger foot, shift the ball to the inside of your other foot as quickly as possible while retaining control of it.
This move should be more of a push rather than passing it from out foot to the other.
This helps you to deftly manoeuvre it across your body and keep greater control over it.
It is very important that the ball move sideways and not forward - putting your defender off balance.
#3 - Push the Ball Forward with Your Other Foot
As the ball arrives at your weaker foot, push it forward in almost the same movement with the inside of your foot.
For greater control, you don't really want to kick the ball here... but rather push it past your opponent.
The key is combining the shift across your body and the push forward into one fluid "L-shaped" movement.
#4 - Accelerate Away
Flawless execution and correct timing will see you dance your way past the defender.
This then leaves you free to pick a pass, take a shot, or keep dribbling past opponents with ease.
Although quickness is essential, another crucial part of La Croqueta is timing.
You should be able to draw your defender in, baiting them to go for a tackle, before whizzing past them.
Let's now take a quick look at some tips that can help you pull off the move successfully.
Tips for Mastering the La Croqueta
The timing of when to shift the ball goes a long way to determining a successful La Croqueta.
Aside from mastering the steps, here are some other tips to help you master the move.
Tip #1 - Practice, Practice, Practice
As with any other trick, the key to perfecting it is to work on it again and again.
You can practice by yourself, or with your friends and teammates.
Start off by slowly shifting the ball from one foot to the other, building up your speed and confidence as you do so.
Get comfortable with the feel and the ball control.
Once you feel confident, set up some cones and quickly shift the ball past them.
Next up is to practice La Croqueta on your teammates.
Try to gauge the right timing of drawing the opponent in and when to shift the ball.
Tip #2 - Throw in a Feint or Two (or Other Tricks)
To greatly increase your chances of success, throw in some other feints or tricks before you do the move.
This will not only keep your opponent guessing, but also help throw them off balance as you attempt La Croqueta.
Tip# 3 - Watch Your Opponent's Feet
Keep a close eye on your opponent's feet and how they are positioned.
This way you can better judge when to pull off the move and which side to go around them.
When executing La Croqueta, try to catch your defender off balanced as they lunge towards you.
Tip #4 - Change of Pace
Slowing down as you get ready to do the move is great for luring your opponent in.
It is equally important to have that burst of speed as you do the move to create separation as you go around them.
Tip #5 - Learn from the Pros
Watching online videos of La Croqueta masters like Iniesta and Laudrup will help familiarize you with the move.
This will help you perfect the skill so that you can pull if off successfully in almost all situations.
La Croqueta is deceptively easy to do as getting the timing right and be quite tricky.
Practicing the steps and keeping the tips in mind will help you master the move in no time!
A simple yet very effective move, La Croqueta is certainly well worth adding to your repertoire of soccer moves and tricks.