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Attacking headers: How Ronaldo makes space

Space is vital to an attacker, they need to get into it and keep the defender out of it. This is especially true of an attacking header where the attacker has to get into the space either by wrong footing the defender or to get across and into the space in front of the defender.

It is that movement away from, then back into, the space that wrong foots the defender.

In the Champions League Final of 2008 between Manchester United and Chelsea Cristiano Ronaldo had been giving Chelsea’s Michael Essien a hard time, but his movement to score the goal was a great example of the art of attacking.

Ronaldo fed Essien a dummy then stepped back and soared in the air to head the ball into the net. Essien had carried on running and lost Ronaldo – he didn’t even jump for the ball he was so far off it.

Simple movements at the right time can create lots of space to create goal scoring chances, it works with young players too.

Watch how he does it in the highlights from the game below:


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