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Crossing the ball

Want to learn how to pick out your team-mates in the penalty box? Work on your crossing skills with our video on technical football moves.

Make a short pass
Passing

In football, the cross is one of the most common techniques to create an opportunity to score.

If you're a winger or a defender, you will be expected to use this move when playing in an offensive capacity. If you want to try for the position of full-back or if you're fed up with seeing your crosses go above the stadium, we are offering this video that will help you work on high crossing technique.

How to cross the ball: technical moves | Football

This programme was made thanks to the sponsorship of the NGO Sikana.
With the support of Decathlon, Sikana developed a universal educational platform to better aid athletes, schools, associations and NGOs that want to make the pleasure and benefits of sport accessible to everyone. You can access dozens of digital programmes and hundreds of videos for free on www.sikana.tv.

Video transcription:

The goal of crossing is to pass to a team-mate when you are on opposite sides of the field, along the sidelines. You can do a lob or a low pass so that your team-mate can take their shot and head or kick the ball into the top corner or the terraces. It won't work for every shot but it's important to keep trying.

In our video, we'll talk about high crosses.

Before crossing, you need to know what area on the field you are aiming for. So check that someone with the same jersey as you is in the penalty box. And if you're a football newbie, the penalty box is the 16.5 m-long rectangle where your team-mates wait for crosses.

If there isn't a crowd in the penalty box, you have the opportunity to aim for a particular team-mate. Once you have picked out who you are passing to, send your cross 3 metres in front of your team-mate so that they can hit the ball while advancing towards the goal.

If everyone is crowded in the penalty box trying to play the last ball during extra time, you can aim for the penalty spot rather than a particular player. This way, your cross is sufficiently close to the goal to be dangerous, but far enough away to tempt the goalkeeper to make a spectacular save into the throng.

Now that we've covered aiming, you can cross while stationary or on the move.

If you are stationary and relaxing along the sideline, the passing technique for a cross is the same as for a curling shot. Take advantage of a quiet moment, free from marking on the wing, to watch our video called: How to score a goal: curing shot.

But since there's little chance that the defence will forget you during a match, the moving cross is often necessary to avoid direct opponents. The hardest, but most rewarding move is to send the ball in a different direction than the way you are running.

To successfully cross despite changing direction while passing, you have to firmly anchor your supporting foot - the one that isn't kicking - into the ground. To maintain your balance while crossing, spread your arms straight out so that they are at a 90° angle.

Conclusion

Now you know how to cross in the penalty box. Head to the sidelines to start training, or go on to our next video to learn how to do the flick-on.

To continue working on technical football moves, check out some of our other videos on the subject: