Soccer 5 Basic Elements (Part 1) – Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff, a world class footballer presents in his book “Fubtbol – Mi filosofia” (2012), the “5 Basic Elements of Soccer”: 1) shooting; 2) heading; 3) driblling/faling/feinting; 4) carrying the ball, and 5) ball control.

For the “Dream Team Architect”, the Coach must create games through which the players have the opportunity to spcefically train these 5 basic elements of soccer.  It may be for instances in 5v5 or 3v3 games in a small field.  May also use a rotation system, e.g. 1 sub who replaces a player in a 5v5 every five minutes.

The Flying Dutchman that in the Development ages the coaches introduce the variations in which they want to to train those 5 elements.  However, they should never lose sight of creating play activities to keep the youngsters busy and focused.  Cruyff also notes that it’s of highest importance to practice with both legs.

“With youth is critical to keep their enthusiasm for football, to wish to return to practice the next day

Next we present some of the exercise to train some of the “5 Basic Elements of Soccer” of Johan Cruyff: shooting and heading.

Videos and Images created by sports software TacticalPad (click on this link to obtain the free demo).

(1) Shooting:


– Game Situation: Keeper+3 v 3+Keeper with 6 Attacking Jokers;

– In the space equivalent to 2 boxes we have a 4v4 match (Keeper+3 v 3+Keeper).  The team in possession has the support of the 6 Attacking Jokers, who are placed outside the field of play.

– Normal game.  2 points for a goal scored from Joker pass with a first-time shot; otherwise only worth one point.


GR+3x3+GR com 6 Jokers Ofensivos 




– Game Situation: Keeper+(3+2) v (3+2)+Keeper;

– In the space of the 2 big boxes there is a 4v4 match (Keeper+3 v 3+Keeper).  Each team has 2 players placed outside the field of play on their attacking half.  These players will receive passes to cross to a team mate.

– Regular game.  Only heading goals are valid.





Pedro Mendonça


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By Pedro Mendonça

About Pedro Mendonça: Real Madrid Foundation - Football Coach/Professor. UEFA B Football Coach. Physical Education Teacher. Author of: "Tactical Periodization: A Practical Application for the Game Model of FC Bayern Munich"

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