Match the nimbleness of Lionel Messi
Everyone likes a challenge and on FIFA 15 you can play as teams from Saudi Arabia to Stevenage, but let’s be honest: it’s no fun when your players have a turning circle like a pregnant T-Rex carrying a canoe. No such issues with The Flea at your disposal. Messi is the best player on FIFA (sorry, Cristiano) and excels at wriggling past, through and possibly under those marking him. FIFA fans know how his ability to change direction at speed can make any attack a deadly one – and it’s a pretty useful tool on a park football mudbath as well.
Set-up Mark out a 10-yard channel using six cones.
Action “The player runs forward and decelerates at the 5-yard cone, backpedals to the start line, decelerates at the start line and accelerates forward through the 10-yard cones to finish,” says David Thomas, Performance Specialist at St George’s Park. “Hips should remain low when decelerating. Keep ‘nose over toes’ when backpedalling. From the backpedal, keep the legs moving. Take a step that plants one leg behind the body, and angle the shoulders forward to accelerate effectively.”
More after the break
Dribble with the speed of Hazard
You’ve kept out wave after wave of attacks from your controller-clutching nemesis and now you’re launching the perfect counter-attack. With an expertly weighted pass you slip your striker through on goal... and then watch him run in treacle as your enemy’s defenders catch him up and nick the ball. Pace may be the best individual asset to have on FIFA. Just imagine having the fast feet of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard in real life... or do something about it. From grassroots to the Champions League, pace can change a game – so get some.
Slalom through the challenges
Set-up Divide players into groups of five and position them on halfway. Mark out a gate with two cones just beyond the edge of the centre circle. Position three slalom poles on the edge of the 18-yard-box.
Action “Players run with the ball at speed through the gate and in and out of the poles, before dribbling back through the gate and passing to the next in line. Each player should do this twice,” says Michael Meaker, who runs the No.1 Football Academy.
Outmuscle the opposition like Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Physical strength is a vital asset on modern football videogames, as added realism means you can’t expect your 5ft 6in striker to shrug off a hulking great centre-back. From Akinfenwa in League Two to Zlatan in Ligue 1, power can make a player truly unstoppable on FIFA. And in real life, what grassroots footballer wouldn’t want to be like Ibra? You might not be able to grow an extra eight inches (unless you know Lionel Messi’s childhood doctor) but at least you can swat away defenders like the martial arts-loving Swede. Sunday League stoppers won’t dare to go near you.
The alligator walk
How to Get into a push-up position with your right hand slightly forward. Slowly lower yourself as you crawl forward like an alligator, doing a push-up with your left hand forward, bringing your right knee towards your right elbow and so on.
How it helps “If you’re holding a player up in a game, typically it’ll be one arm at a time or asymmetrical,” says performance enhancement specialist Nick Grantham.
Thump it like Sergio Aguero
It doesn’t matter if you’re a FIFA 15 tester or a ham-fisted newbie – if you have a player who can twonk it in from 30 yards, you’re laughing. Aguero may be pint-sized but he hits the ball seriously hard: keepers can either leave the net needing a sewing kit or get in the way for a trip to A&E. Learn to hoon it like Sergio and you too will be laughing – while doing the new 10-man celebration.
The single leg Romanian deadlift
How to Grip a barbell (or two dumbbells) and stand on one leg. Hinge at the hips, lowering the bar as the non-stationary leg lifts behind the body. Return to the standing position by squeezing the glute and hamstring on the stationary leg. Complete 6-8 reps on each leg.
How it helps “This is great for driving the hip separation required for an effective follow-through on your shot,” explains Thomas.