Topcoaches and (former) topplayers talking about the importancy of soccer skills:


"Yes, I am worried. Twelve years ago, when I was trainer at Ajax, there were talents as Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart. Extremely talented players. Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, same story. These players were able to take out a defender and in this time that has become unique. Which player can take out a defender nowadays? Why do Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo and Robben make such a big difference? Because the are able to take out a defender. Then you create a man more situation on a certain area the pitch. That is exactly what we should stimulate to learn the youthplayers."

  • Ronald Koeman (Coach Everton, former player of Ajax and Barcelona). (Voetbal International week 51 2016, page 37)


"In the top of the clubfootball you see that the players who dominate the 1v1 situations make the difference. Barcelona has Messi and Neymar, Real Madrid has Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich has Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Douglas Costa. Players who can take out their opponents at the highest playinglevel with a dribbel or with skills. Because of that there will be room at another place on the pitch or a man more situation."

  • Joachim Low (Coach national team of Germany). (Webpage Voetbal International, 'Meesterplanner bepaalt toekomst van het Duitse voetbal', article published at 23-06-2016).


"I don't believe skill was, or ever will be, the result of coaches. It is a result of a love affair between the child and the ball."

  • Roy Keane (Former player of Manchester United and the Irish team)


"In general football becomes more and more defensive. For example at the European Championships many teams play deeply at their own half in a 6-3-1 formation. Exactly then do you need players who can dominate the 1v1-situations. If you take a look at Germany's attacking players, is that exactly what we miss. That's why in the new DFB-Academy we focus on youth education at other aspects. If we want to stay one of the best teams then we have to raise more players who are specialized at dominating 1v1 situations."

  • Joachim Low (Coach national team of Germany). (Webpage Voetbal International, 'Meesterplanner bepaalt toekomst van het Duitse voetbal', article published at 23-06-2016).


"It just comes down to who wins the most 1 on 1's. That will determine who wins the match."

  • Sir Alex Ferguson (Former coach of Manchester United)


"Soccerstars are not born. Considerable research on successful soccer players and their developmental history, affirms that a good percentage of them have spent time in isolation, working on their soccer skills. Broad versatility of soccer skills is the Nirvana of every dedicated trainee."

  • Pele (former player Santos and the Brazilian national team)


"I like players who are gifted technically and have courage when it comes to being in possession of a football. That is a key quality for me; can you be brave on the pitch, not in terms of 50/50 tackles, but having the ball and looking to play in areas others wouldn't?"

  • Brendan Rodgers (Coach of Celtic and former coach of Liverpool and the Chelsea Youth)


"We are not allowed to fitness, Pep Guardiola wants us to weight as less as possible. That is import for the way he wanna play."

  • Kevin de Bruyne (Player of Manchester City and the Belgium national team)


"In order to score goals you need the ball. So, it's key to have players who can repossess the ball. To score a goal, it helps if you are close to the box of the opponent. So if you put pressure on their defence as soon as possoble, you can repossess the ball and immediately be dangerous. This also means the forwards will do the first degending. They always complain at first. Until they realise everyone needs to work less hard due to this pressure game. Otherwise you keep on going from box to box. Absorbing pressure, sitting deep until you have the ball and you need to bridge 50 meters or more."

  • Johan Cruijff (Former player and coach of Ajax and FC Barcelona)