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Marseille turn

The Marseille turn, also known as the 360, the Spin, the Roulette, the Girosflin, and the double drag-back, is a specialised dribbling skill unique to the game of football.[1] With so many different names, still the exact origin of this trick is unknown. The Marseille turn was first popularized in Europe by French striker Yves Mariot in the 1970s.[2] Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane are arguably the most notable exponents of the move, thus it has also been known as the Maradona turn and Zidane turn.[1][3]


Zinedine Zidane has been known to use different variations of the Marseille turn. Instead of using his sole to drag the ball back in the move's first phase, he sometimes uses his instep, especially if he is performing the move while running at high speed.

The possible merits of this variation can be derived from the difference between stud-less training shoes and football boots with studs. The studs of football boots provide less contact area with the ball when compared to a stud-less shoe, thereby increasing the possibility of the move being unsuccessful. However, since Zidane has performed both versions of the move using studded boots, it is possible that his decision is based on instinct.

Franck Ribéry and Aiden McGeady have also performed slightly modified versions of the spin. The modifications include dragging the ball behind their standing foot instead of to the side during the first phase. The third phase also sees them using the outside of the boot in instead of the sole.[4][5][6]

Uses and effectiveness

The manoeuvre is most effective when the opposing player approaches head on or from the side of the player's master foot.

The first drag back enables the player to retain control of the ball by removing the ball from the arc of the opposing player's tackle. The body spin positions the back of the dribbling player's body in between the opposing player and the ball to shield the ball.[7] The second drag-back changes the direction of the ball, and, when combined with the completion of the spin, allows for both player and ball to move in the same direction and hence gain momentum for a continued run or a shot.

When performed at speed, the manoeuvre is almost impossible to defend against as it incorporates a sudden change in direction with a continuous shielding of the ball.[8] One tactic the defending player can call upon is to use his body to shove the dribbler off balance during the move. This may invite a foul called upon the defending player, depending on the referee's judgement. The reason players like Zidane and Maradona have been able to use it with a high success rate is due in no small part to their own considerable body mass, as well as their excellent balance.

The manoeuvre can also be used when the ball is going out of play away from the player. By using a lunging step for the first drag-back in the roulette, the player can prevent the ball from exiting the field of play and continue dribbling along the touchline in one fluid motion.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Doyle, Paul (8 March 2006). "Sprechen sie Fußball?". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
  2. ^ "Top 5 football tricks used in futsal".
  3. ^ "Moves that made history". 11 January 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2007.
  4. ^ "Ribery and Aiden Mcgeady skill spin compilation". YouTube. 4 September 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  5. ^ Williams, Tom (9 May 2018). "The Joy of Six: football moves named after players". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Cruyff Turns, Rabonas, Panenkas and More: Ranking the Slickest Skill Moves". Bleacher Report. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  7. ^ "The Global Game: Left Wing (Crossing soccer with life)'Clases de baile' : Zidane's dance class takes final turn". 27 April 2006. Archived from the original on 20 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
  8. ^ "The 360 Spin". Expert 2004–2007. Retrieved 2007-07-04.