It is the dream for any football fan to be able to dribble like Lionel Messi. Bursting on the big screen with 19 years of age, Messi has established himself as all-time greats of football. Here we will break down how Messi plays football and also teach you how to do so. All the points mentioned below are written after studying Lionel Messi very closely and on the basis of professional opinions. In this article you will find all you are looking for in one place from Messi’s diet and workout to his technique. We promise you that by following these steps you will improve drastically as a player and maybe one day as good as Messi himself!
Before going down into the details, let’s look at the physical requirements needed to play Football like Messi:
- High running speed
- Variation in running speed, quick acceleration
- Running quickly with low center of mass
- Strong core and legs
Don’t get disheartened if you don’t have these abilities yet. You need to become physically able first. All you need to do is follow a good diet plan and workout.
“In order to be the best, you must sacrifice what you love”
Giuliano Poser an Italian nutritionist is in charge of Lionel Messi’s diet. Poser has kept 5 food items as foundation of Messi’s diet which are:
- Fresh fruits
- Whole grains
- Fresh vegetables
Messi has been asked to avoid excess sugar as it is harmful for muscles. Also, too much of red meat which is quite common in south America was cut down for Messi.
Following this diet will make anyone full of stamina and always match ready.
When it comes to workouts, Messi is not as famous as Ronaldo. But the Argentine is in good shape to perform at professional levels.
All of Messi’s exercises are directed to increase his speed and strengthen his abs.
- Pillar Bridge Front
- Hamstring Stretches
- Pillar skips
CORE AND LEGS
- Hurdle Hops
- Split Squats
- Skipping Ropes
- Jogging 5-10 mins as cooldown
If you follow this regimen strictly, then we can promise you to become physically capable to play football like Lionel Messi.
Mindset Of Messi- Heart Of A Leo
Did you know that Lionel Messi has been playing football since he was 3 years of age? Practically, ever since he learnt to walk, he has been playing football. If you want to play football like Lionel Messi, you need the same amount of love for the game!
When playing on the pitch, forget all the worries of the world. Its just you, the ball and a goal. Tell yourself that you are the best player of all time! That’s the heart of a Leo.
Messi’s First Touch
First touch is the way a football player brings the ball under his control while receiving a pass or intersecting an opponent’s pass.
With his first touch Leo Messi does one of the two things:
- Keeping maximum distance between the ball and the nearest defender
- Pushing the ball in a space between defenders and dribbling past them
In order for you to master the art of the first touch, you need the ability to juggle the ball. One must be able to complete at least 50 juggles in a row without dropping the ball. Messi can control the ball with great composure using the inside as well as outside of his foot.
To develop a first touch like Messi, all you need is a wall and a ball. Juggle the ball for 10 times using both your legs and pass the ball to the wall. Receive the reflected ball and again start juggling. This will give you a killer first touch like Lionel Messi.
Dribbling Like Lionel Messi
Moving forward or running with the ball is the art known as dribbling. Messi is undoubtedly, the best dribbler in the world. What makes Messi’s dribble so great is his ability to keep the ball close to his feet while running at top speed.
UNDERSTANDING WHEN TO DRIBBLE
Being good at dribbling does not give you the permission to start running every time you get the ball. If you do this, your teammates will get frustrated and might stop playing with you.
Messi dribbles only when there is no good passing option available to him. Always look for teammates in a better position and give them the ball rather than running with it. Before you start your dribble, you must know the position of all your teammates. Also, dribble only when you feel confident and there is protection in case you lose the ball.
HOW TO DRIBBLE LIKE MESSI
- Use the upper outer part of foot to move the ball, this way the ball will be glued to your feet while running at top speed. This might require a lot of practice.
- Always touch the ball rather than kicking it.
- Lower your centre of mass by leaning forward (Messi has a low height which automatically gives him this advantage)
- Look around you when you get the chance, don’t just stare at the ball and run
How to Beat Defenders Like Lionel Messi
There are two ways how Lionel Messi gets past defenders while playing football.
The Body Feint
You won’t find Messi doing a lot of stepovers like Neymar and Ronaldo. But the one thing where Messi is truly a maestro is the body feint. Messi creates an illusion of moving in a certain direction by dropping his shoulders, then with his other foot, goes off in the opposite direction leaving the defenders dumbstruck. Or in the case of Boetang, lying on the ground.
Here’s how to perform a body feint:
- Move the ball with your stronger foot (say right) in the direction of it (towards the right)
- When appropriately close to the defender, simultaneously drop your shoulders towards the right and plant your right foot in a way that the defender feels you will go right
- With your left leg, push the ball approximately 45 degrees towards the left and burst off in that direction
While doing this, please ensure that your eyes are on the defender’s feet. Don’t always look at the ball, keep checking around you and get your head up at every possible moment.
When off the ball, study your teammates position and pass the ball to the best option.
The Changing Speed
Consider a situation where two cars at moving at the same speed. Suddenly, one car doubles its speed without a warning. The other car in order to catch up will also increase its speed, but for a while the first car will be ahead. Messi operates on this principle.
Upon receiving the ball and with no great passing options, Messi will slow down the game. The moment he feels the defender is relaxed, he will unleash a wave of bursting speed and beat the defender.
Yes, the defender will eventually catch up with Messi, but by then he will have either scored or passed the ball to another player.
Give and Go Also Known As One Two
Having an understanding teammate is crucial to any player and Lionel Messi has been blessed in this regard. You cannot always beat defenders and the best alternative is to pass the ball to a teammate and run at goal. If you have a great understanding, which comes from practise, then he will find you in a goal scoring situation.
Lastly, you need awareness and intelligence to play football like Lionel Messi. When you are off the ball, always keep scanning around searching for possible passing options when you get the ball.
“The Hardest Choices Require The Strongest Will”
Believe in yourself and push your limits each day. The goal you have set can be achieved by you. If you had one chance, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, would you grab it or let it slip? Start your plan today and follow these steps and you just might be able to play football like Lionel Messi.
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