Bicycle kicks

How often are these performed in Soccer? I don’t know much about professional soccer, but to me it seems rather excessive to perform a back flip and kick a ball while you are upside down. Maybe the angle is good for a goal? Usually I see guys heading the ball in during corner kicks, not doing this. But I’ve heard of it, so some players must do it. any info on its usefulness/practicality?

Sometimes you have to kick the ball and you’re not facing the right way. So you do a bicycle kick. It’s not easy. I couldn’t do one without severely injuring my back.

And its as likely to take the opposition as by suprise as everyone else. And it looks so cool.

It happened in the USA v Germany game but the ball only travelled a short distance before hitting the defender in the face, so it didn’t make the highlight reel. And it’s possible to do this without doing a full flip, you just land on your back (I think Brazil had a couple of these in the group stage this year, by Rivaldo and Edmilson).

You should see the Asian sport of Takraw (spelled various ways), back flips are part and parcel of the game, here are some pictures pic 1 (scroll to the bottom) and pic 2

Bicycle kicks were a speciality of Hugo Sanchez of Real Madrid (and other teams) - if you go to the link and click Pic 5 in the Photo Gallery you’ll see him in action. He used to make a point of practicing them, partly because he was only about 5’ 9" tall and so heading in the 18 yard box couldn’t have been his speciality, and partly (IMHO) because he was a show off. Good player though - over 200 goals for Real and five Spanish championships amongst other honours.

it is part of the arsenal of any good football player. the bicycle kick can be used effectively both in attack as well in defense.

It is most useful when you are facing in the direction opposite to that which you want to kick. e.g. let’s say you’re in the goal area waiting for the corner kick… facing the corner taking kicker… goal is to your right… now, if the ball comes in between the goal and you, you can head it in…but if the ball comes on your left instead, it is not possible to run around the ball and head it, your best option is to perform the bicycle kick.

in defense it is used in emergency situations, especially if your movement toward the ball is blocked by attackers around you or if you are not in an appropriate position to clear the ball using your head. e.g. ball is up in the air but has passed you over your head and is moving towards your goal… there’s only one way you’re gonna reach it… the bicycle kick… clear it from the danger area to the flanks…

Not as difficult as it looks. You break your fall with your hands and arms. The toughest part of the kick is not the kick itself, but the timing of the kick. Getting the timing right is key.

it is not very uncommon in football. infact, it has been used pretty often this tournament.

An interesting cousin of the bicycle kick is the scorpion kick. This kick is performed by, hold your breath, goalkeepers! rene heguita was famous for this kick. it’s kind of a reverse bicycle kick. e.g. goalie in front of his goal…let’s the ball go over and behind him…then jumps…legs come from behind him… both legs together… head on the floor… saves the goal… this is the most spectacular and dangerous of all football kicks… extremely rare… tried by very very few…

Here’s Pele’s explanation of the “bicicleta”, of which he was king, master and god.

I was watching some replays today… Edmilson of Brazil scored a goal this World Cup using a bicycle kick.