Street football has been around a long, long time. Cavemen were probably playing the game with a rock and goals made from T-Rex bones. And yet the game is understandably on the rise with more and more ballers showing why they’re some of the most skilled and clever players in the world. A combination of speed, grit, and creativity, street soccer is massively helpful in improving one’s game, and best of all, you don’t need a full pitch or a six-figure income to get in on the action. The one thing you should prepare to bring, however, is some swag. So you’re not left in the lurch, we’ve put together a few essential street football terms to get you started.
PANNA: kicking the ball through an opponent’s legs in order to get past them.
Oh the penultimate humiliation and showman’s bragging right. According to the infallible resource of Wikipedia, panna is the Dutch word for what many know as a “nutmeg,” a British term which may or may not refer to your opponent’s … you know. NUTS.
It might also originate from Cockney slang meaning “leg,” or refer to the historical practice of importing imitation nutmeg. Theories abound. What we do know for certain is that the panna is one of the most beloved tools of skill-focused players, giving some defenders the debilitating syndrome known as panna-noia. Our advice? Embrace the panna, or be swallowed alive by it.
AKKA: A seamless, two-touch ground or aerial move where a player directs the ball in one direction, then with the same foot, shifts it in the opposite direction.
The Akka has several variations, and can be used in combos with pannas and other ground moves for doling out maximum punishment. The Akka is also less intimidating to learn than some other street moves, but is so sleek, it’ll make you look like a pro.
Damn, there’s a lot of Akkas. Choose one and go!
MOUSE TRAP: A roll back, fake catch, then roll forward.
The Mouse Trap is frequently used as a distraction to get defenders to prematurely commit with a step forward, creating an opening to burst by or deliver a panna. It’s deceptively simple, but getting the right touch on both feet, as well as perfecting the timing, is key to making this move effective in street ball. Best of all, it’s “safe for home” so you can practice all you want without the fear of breaking mom’s crystal vase, or TV screen, or screen door. Not that we’ve done that or anything …
Mouse Trap Basics:
PULL BACK V: A pull back with the sole of your foot, preceded by a fake, then swiftly touched in another direction, creating a V shape.
An excellent tool to change directions on the field, the Pull Back V is especially useful for midfielders in full-field soccer, as it helps elude a defender and move into space. The trick requires you to sell a fake, then apply the right amount of weight on your second touch. It’s a crucial part of any player’s skill set, but beginners should be weary not to give the ball away with a stray poke in this speed-based move.
ANKLE BREAKER: An advanced move, the Ankle Breaker’s primary element is balancing yourself one-legged on top of the ball, while snapping it back and forth or side to side. It requires confidence not to get snagged on the ball, and probably some flexible tendons wouldn’t hurt either.
Got your own street football language? Let us know! Hit us up in the comments below.