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9 things you didn’t realise you absolutely LOVED about football… until now

Move aside overhead kicks, top corner finishes and nutmegs... it's time to appreciate the undervalued quirks of football

If asked to name your favourite things about football, most of you would list off the classics.

Nutmegs, top corner finishes, last-minuet winners, rabonas, etc.

Here we’re expressing love to the glorious aspects of football that have been cruelly undervalued for too long.

1 When managers expertly control the ball

“Look, that man in a suit did a football thing!”

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“Look, that man in a suit did a football thing!”

This never fails to draw a round of applause from the crowd.

A loose ball loops in the direction of the technical areas and one of the gaffers produces a deft touch before flicking it up for his full-back to a take the throw-in.

Unfortunately this moment is often ruined by a commentator’s call of ‘he’s still got it’, a horribly overused cliche.

2 Diving headers

Its a favourite method among full-backs

Getty Images - Getty
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Its a favourite method among full-backs

We’re talking about gravity-defying Robin van Persie style headers — those are too obviously endearing.

It’s the close-range back post efforts we think deserve some appreciation.

The ones where a player could go with his foot but decides to launch himself head first like a circus performer being shot out of a cannon.

Bonus points if their momentum takes their whole body into the net.

3 A Quality backpass

Gerrard provided more assists for Thierry Henry than Robert Pires

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Gerrard provided more assists for Thierry Henry than Robert Pires

Remember how awful Steven Gerrard was at backpasses? He loved slipping in an opponent.

Hopefully then, Stevie G is with us in appreciating the art of a perfectly executed backpass.

The best ones are, of course, when a defender must rearrange their body midair to ensure it’s their head that makes contact with the ball, allowing their keeper to pick it up and nullify the danger.

Cue applause from the crowd behind the goal.

4 When a team lines up with numbers 1-11

Ignore the Pinks playing their No6 on the left

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Ignore the Pinks playing their No6 on the left

Have you ever being watching a game and found yourself inadvertently achieving inner peace?

You’re not sure why but a powerful sense of calm descends over you.

The reason is that one of the teams has lined up 1-11 with everyone in their correct place — keeper No1, right-back No2, left-back No3, etc…

The say if both teams do it then those watching become immortal.

5 When a shot hits both posts

Yes, yes, yes, yes!

Getty Images - Getty
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Yes, yes, yes, yes!

Nothing in football stops the heart quite like a ball rolling along the goal-line.

If a ball strikes one post at the perfect angle and rolls on to the other it’s a victory for geometry-lovers everywhere.

In our very honest opinion, any player that does this should be rewarded with at least one and a half goals.

6 Corners that hit the crossbar

Ooooohhhh…

Keith Campbell - The Sun Glasgow
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Ooooohhhh…

Olympico goals are great but they’re a bit indulgent.

Near olympico goals on the other hand, are magnificent.

if a corner hits the bar and goes out for a goal-kick nobody really knows if it counts as a good delivery or a bad one.

Anything that causes that kind of confusion deserves a special mention.

7 A back four perfectly in line

Not you linesman, nobody likes you

Getty Images - Getty
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Not you linesman, nobody likes you

A player is flagged for offside and replays prove it was a close call but the correct one.

Even better, the defence’s back four fell into perfect alignment just as the ball was played to leave the eager forward half a yard offside.

It is then the responsibility of the senior centre-back to shoot a thumbs up to his full-backs.

8 Four successful one-touch passes in succession

Andres Iniesta has helped Barcelona to win countless honours during his time with the Catalans

Reuters
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When you play two quick passes to get out a hold and suddenly feel like Andres Iniesta

If your team does this you are extremely likely to hear ‘just like watching Barcelona, ain’t it’ from a fan standing behind you.

The metronomic thud of four one-touch passes between a triangle of players is a rhythm to live your life by.

9 The opposition scoring a ghost goal

“Oh sh*t, it’s a goal kick…”

Reuters
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“Oh sh*t, it’s a goal kick…”

The opposition’s centre-forward fires his shot into the side-netting and one half of the stadium erupts.

For a split second the feeling of superiority you get, knowing that the other set of fans’ joy will be short-lived, is a absolute delight.

What follows is mandatory — a second ironic cheer accompanying the cruel onset of reality of an off-target shot dawning on embarrassed fans.

“I thought that was in,” they say. The fools.


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