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Want to work on bending or curling the ball? Our video shows you how to put spin on your shots so you can score in style.
Sometimes, the best route to the top corner isn't the most direct. In this case, a curled shot can open the doors to a goal. If you're new to football and you want to discover something new, or you've been playing for a while and want to add curled strikes to your arsenal, read on for our guide to learning or improving this impressive technical skill.
This programme has been put together in partnership with the NGO Sikana.
With Decathlon's support, Sikana has developed a universal learning platform to help players, schools, associations and NGOs make the fun and the benefits of sport accessible to everyone. You can access dozens of digital programmes and hundreds of videos free of charge on www.sikana.tv.
Bending the ball means you curve its trajectory. The aim is to get around an obstacle, such as a wall on a free kick, or the goalkeeper's gloves, so that you can score.
This is done by putting spin on the ball when you kick it. The ball then follows an arced trajectory: from right to left if you shoot with your right foot, and the opposite if you shoot with your left foot.
It's less powerful than things like volley shots, which have your full weight behind them, but it's effective against goalkeepers as they'll struggle to read where the ball is going.
To do a curled strike, start by taking a good run-up: position yourself two steps behind the ball and three steps to the side, based on which foot is stronger. If you kick with your right foot, stand to the ball's left. If you're planning to hit that top corner with your left foot, stand three steps to the ball's right.
Move towards the ball and place your standing foot - the one that isn't kicking - 20 cm diagonally behind the ball. Your standing foot should be at a slight angle to the target you're shooting at. At the same time, strike the centre of the ball with the front part of the inside of your foot.
To put spin on your shot, your kicking leg should have a rounded trajectory. It's this movement that makes the ball rotate. When you come to put your kicking leg down, your toe should be pointing towards the target.
To give the ball more power, aim for the very centre. If you kick the side of the ball, it will spin more but it will be slower. You don't score goals with spinning tops…
You now know how to curl the ball for goals that'll sail right past the keeper! Time to head out to the pitch to try it for yourself, or watch our next video on outside foot shots.