Being able to beat a defender is a key component of any attacking player’s game. This article provides 5 ways in which young players can develop this side of their game.

TopTekkers is the perfect app to develop all the fundamental techniques needed to become a better soccer player. However, there are certain techniques designed to either trick your opponent or help you to gain some sort of advantage over them. 

We have listed five of the best techniques to practice so you can start to beat defenders more easily, and they are all available on the TopTekkers app!

Maradona Turn

Perhaps one of the most famous skills in world football mainly due to whom it is named after is the ‘Maradona Turn’. After being frequently used by the Argentina Legend Diego Maradona this particular move got named after him.

Check out this video to see him do it in action.

The skill is performed when dribbling with the ball and when approaching an oncoming defender. The first step is to drag the ball with one foot in the opposite direction you were initially dribbling and away from the defender.

The next step is to turn your body so it's in between the ball and the defender, it can be useful to use your arms to shield attempts from the defender to get around you.

Finally, with your other foot drag the ball into the open space and away from the defender, whilst turning your body to a forward position.

When used in the right situations the spinning move is hard to defend against, check it out in the Ball Mastery section of the TopTekkers app.

Running With The Ball

Running With The Ball is one of the simplest ways to beat defenders, advance up the pitch quickly and create goalscoring opportunities.

When a player is dribbling with the ball and there is open space up ahead of them taking big touches and running into that space is one of the most effective ways to beat a defensive line.

Similarly, when dribbling with the ball and faced in a 1v1 situation with a defender if you think you have the pace/speed over them, knocking the ball into the space behind them and running onto it can be really effective.

It can be especially effective if the defender you are facing is square on as they will take time to turn and run, they may even be wrong-footed.

Check out the ‘Running With The Ball‘ technique in the Dribbling section of the app.

Cruyff Turn

Similar to the first skill this movement become globally recognised after its frequent use by the Dutch legend Johan Cruyff.

Check out the first time it was properly seen on the world stage.

The skill itself is quite simple in its execution but needs to performed in the right situations to be effective and to trick defenders. This tutorial on our YouTube channel shows you just how to effectively execute it.

Practice this technique on the app in the Turning section.


Another great skill for fooling defenders in a 1v1 situation is the ‘Sidestep’. Again it’s quite a simple movement but players need to perform it correctly and in the right positions for it to be effective.

It can be performed when dribbling towards a defender head on. Firstly, players need to drop their shoulder and take a big step in one direction in order to make defenders think they are going that way.

Then players need to quickly push off in the other direction using their closest foot to move the ball off and away from the defender. Check out this technique in the Ball Mastery section of TopTekkers and get practicing!

Stop Turn

The Stop Turn is an effective skill to learn when in tight situations or faced 1v1 with a defender. It’s quite similar to the Cruyff Turn as when you are running with the ball you then fake to shoot or pass in one direction then drag the ball back and move off in another direction.

It’s effective in attacking situations because when done properly it sends the defender in one direction creating space for a killer pass or a shot on goal in another direction.

Check out the tutorial on our YouTube channel to see how to execute it properly. You can practice this technique and try the challenge in the Turning section of the app.

Download TopTekkers today on Apple or Android to work on these techniques so you can beat defenders!