How to Do the Ronaldo Chop

This signature move will allow you to fake defenders just like the superstar


| 1 min watch

We feel bad for anyone who has to defend against Cristiano Ronaldo. If he doesn’t dazzle you with a wink and that crooked grin, he’ll leave you in the dirt with his signature move — the Ronaldo Chop. 

What is the Ronaldo Chop?

Cristiano Ronaldo is a left-winger who scores a lot of goals. A lot of goals. He’s scored more than 30 goals in eight separate seasons — even at 34 years old!

As he’s shown thousands of times, the chop is one of the best moves for an attacking player, like a winger, to cut from the outside in. It lets the player with the ball change direction very quickly while shielding the ball from a poke tackle at the same time. It’s the ultimate power move.

Unlike other dribbling skills like the Cruyff Turn or a Step Over, players don’t have to slow down or change their body position to do this move. In fact, it works best when the player with the ball is at top speed, dribbling 1-on-1 against a defender.

How to do the Ronaldo Chop

Let’s say a player is dribbling down the right side of the pitch..

When it’s go-time, the player takes a little hop onto the plant foot — in this case, the left foot. 

Soccer player practicing the Ronaldo Chop step 2

Right before landing, the player uses the inside of the dribbling foot — in this case, the right foot — to knock the ball to the left — and in the direction the player wants to go. 

Soccer player practicing the Ronaldo Chop step 4

As the player comes down on the left foot, he or she pushes off to follow the ball to the left.

Soccer player practicing the Ronaldo Chop step 5

The idea is to slice the ball slightly backward and to the side, and then cut away from the defender, who’ll likely be faked out.

Soccer player practicing the Ronaldo Chop step 6

To go full Ronaldo, add a burst of speed at the end to leave the defender even further behind.

Players can think or even say the word “Chop!” as they propel the ball from one side to the other. Dribble, dribble, hop, CHOP — and go. You can almost see it as you hear it.

When to use a Ronaldo Chop

Defenders want to keep wingers like Ronaldo towards the outside of the pitch. But he only has eyes for the center, where he can take a shot.

Players can use the Ronaldo Chop when they are on offense and want to escape a defender guarding them head-on. It’s especially effective if the defender is running towards the player with the ball from the direction that player wants to go — by the time they stop, turn around and chase, the ball might already be in the net.

Because the player will push the ball into open space, it’s a great set up move before a shot or a pass to a teammate in the box. But that also means the Ronaldo Chop might not be the best move to dodge out of a crowd, especially in a player’s own zone.

How to practice the Ronaldo Chop

Start with the players dribbling for a few steps and practicing the chop with one foot in front, and then the other. Then they can start dribbling up to a cone and chopping their way to the left and right, so they get a handle on the skill with each foot. Next, have them take a shot or pass after they bring the ball back under their control.

After they become comfortable with a few dribbling skills, set up a series of cones like a mini-obstacle course: Maradona Turn past the red cone, Ronaldo Chop past the green cone, Step Over at the yellow cone, Cruyff Turn at the orange cone and dribble back. After a while, they’ll start coming up with their own creative combinations.

There’s a lot more to Cristiano Ronaldo than his six-pack abs and trademark chop. But if a young soccer player can learn this move, who knows… maybe the next one will be named after them!

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