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Top 10: Skills that were born on the street

Ahmad Khan takes a look at 10 football tricks that were first dreamt up and mastered on the streets...

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Few would argue that street football is one of, if not, the best teachers of the beautiful game.

It is where most of us first fell in love with the sport as kids and where we spent most of our hours mastering the craft of playing with the ball at our feet.

From close control, juggling, doing tricks and performing skills, many aspects of the game were born on the street.

Many of the silky skills we see professional footballers do nowadays didn’t happen overnight. It is a result of hours, days, and even years of practise in their younger days to earn the ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ of football admirers.

There has been countless of tricks and skills that were borne from the street. FFT takes a look at 10 common ones with various levels of difficulty (1 being the easiest, and 5 the most challenging) that you might have seen or even tried out on your own.

Can you master them all?

1. Stall 

The stall is perhaps one of the most fundamental elements of street football. It is also one of the most common tricks utilised by street footballers and freestylers. The move is all about balance and control, and it involves halting or catching the ball in a stationary position. Sounds easy? Well, the challenge comes in the ability to catch the ball with various body parts, namely the back of the neck, forehead, toes and feet.

See if you can flip the ball over your head, catch it on the back of your neck, and balance it. Or if you can balance the ball on the tip of your toe, or even the soles of your feet.

Skills needed: Balance, control of the ball

Difficulty level: 2.5

2. Sleep

The sleep is an interesting move that we see pretty often in games. It’s a sweet trick where defenders can get caught out by the quick change in direction by the player performing the trick.

It’s an important element in street football, with close control being a key aspect of the game, and the sleep trick serves an ideal way to get past players.

The trick happens when the player uses the instep of his strong foot and drags the ball forwards where the leg is almost stretched. As he reaches the stretch point, the standing foot jumps to the same level with the strong foot, and he immediately changes the direction to fool the defender.

Skills needed: Dribble, control, technique, quick feet

Difficulty level: 2

To see some of these tricks in action, do check out the Tiger Street Football 2014 Grand Final at Riverside Walk at the Sports Hub this Saturday, 6 September! For more information, go to