There’s many ways to improve one’s game of football. But how about improving a team of eleven’s game? A specific play revealed there was a lot going on caused by the actions of one player: Ronaldo, of course.
Just what exactly were the factors that led to a flauntingly embarassing offside call in minute eight of the Real Madrid game (featuring Malaga on 21/1/2017)?
- Body orientation. It is essential. Not to the ball, but to specific areas of the field.
By the time Luka gets the ball, the entire team of Malaga is already oriented to the left sideline. By the time he passes the ball, the entire defense is able to catch not one, two, or even three – but the entire front line (even Marcelo) offside. Body orientation allows agility to take place.
Always be looking at the ball, that’s true. Just make sure to have your body correctly oriented towards a goal or a sideline.
- Attention. Believe it or not, it can be taught! 1 Ronaldo’s run off as soon as Lucas V. got the ball.
At the same time, notice that Benzema had made the call to receive the pass by raising his hand prior to making his run.
It wouldn’t make sense to run and raise his hand at the same time; Luka’s only attending the space he’s going to pass it to. If Benzema’s already making the run, how can Luka time his pass? (Hint: He can’t.)
- Communication. Hence Benzema and Modric were on equal terms. And so were the opposing defenders thanks to the forward Chory in the yellow cleats (#11). Surprised that a forward was excellently managing the defenders?
If you examine 07:47 of the game you can actually notice him motioning the left-back to move forward. 2
- Positioning. Ronaldo had to run a large distance to re-position himself to Lucas V. He made sure to orient himself sideways to goal. Ideally his body would be oriented towards goal, but it’s impractical because he needs to look for the moment when Lucas V. receives the ball.
- Stealth. Players leave the average viewer wondering for 90 minutes how sprinting and walking is used wisely: Marcelo’s casually jogging.
This appearance of playing effortlessly requires:
- The centeredness of a rock, balance between chaos. (Strength)
- The fluidity of water, to move anywhere as he desires. (Agility)
- A power to use an even amount at the required times.
Ronaldo’s lack of stealth lead to the crucial referee call.
Or was it everyone else’s attentiveness to the game?
Then again, it could be his mis-position.
There’s many ways to interpret the situation. Instead of criticizing it, find a way to implement one of the above in your game.
- Watch for the communication between the forward and the midfielder in Sunday’s match-up.
- Attend to spontaneous events in your environment and react promptly.
- Focus on orienting your body towards four directions in your next game.