One minute you’re a professional footballer, the next you’re an amateur.
What caused this rapid transformation? Simple. A swing of the weaker foot. Not even professional footballers are exempt from the odd rusty swinger.
But, for the following players, that moment of embarrassment doesn’t exist. These are Europe’s top ten ambidextrous footballers. A tenner to anyone who can figure out what their natural foot is.
10: Edin Dzeko (Roma/Bosnia and Herzegovina)- 46% of shots on other foot
Dzeko’s preferred foot is actually his head.
The Bosnian has been nothing but classy since leaving Man City for Roma in 2016.
He’s the only player in the history of football to score 50 goals in three of Europe’s top five leagues, thanks to prolific spells in the Bundesliga, Premier League and Serie A.
=9: Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla/France)- 46% of shots on other foot
Ben Yedder was reared on the futsal court, representing France Futsal eight years before making his French international debut.
The 28-year-old will be a familiar name to Man United fans after his two goals in four minutes knocked Jose Mourinho’s side out of the Champions League last season.
On that occasion it was his right foot and head that did the damage.
=9: Sandro Wagner (Bayern Munich/Germany)- 46% of shots on other foot
Wagner took the no.2 shirt when he moved from Hoffenheim to Bayern which, given he plays up front, makes us slightly nauseous.
At least he doesn’t have two right feet. Or left ones, for that matter.
7: Sofiane Boufal (Celta, on loan from Southampton/Morocco)- 48% of shots on other foot
You only need to look at Boufal’s 2017/18 Premier League Goal of the Season to understand the technical ability the attacking midfielder possesses.
Unfortunately his ability to lurch from the sublime to the ridiculous in the same play currently outweighs that technical excellence.
Southampton have loaned the 25-year-old to Celta for the season in the hope that he can knit it all together.
6: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/France)- 50% of shots on other foot
Dembele considers himself left-footed, but takes penalties with his right foot. How about that for a bit of confidence?
The Frenchman’s first Barcelona goal was a rasping half-volley with his left foot. His best goal to date was a ballistic drive with the right foot against Sevilla.
Your guess is as good as ours.
5: Piotr Zielinski (Napoli/Poland)- 52% of shots on other foot
Zielinski has been quietly thriving in the shadows since moving from Udinese to Napoli in 2016.
At national level Robert Lewandowski is the star of the show, while emerging striker Krzysztof Piatek is the young pretender.
He’s hardly a household name at Napoli either, thanks to Dries Mertens, Marek Hamsik, Kalidou Koulibaly and Lorenzo Insigne. All the more time to practice with both feet.
4: Santi Cazorla (Villarreal/Spain)- 53% of shots on other foot
Cazorla’s party tricks include regularly taking corners and free-kicks with both feet.
You could watch him majestically bounce the ball off team-mates for 90 minutes and still be none the wiser as to his ‘preferred’ foot.
What a pleasure it is seeing the little magician back on the pitch.
3: Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan/Croatia)- 54% of shots on other foot
Perisic has been linked with a move to Old Trafford every window since Sir Bobby Charlton made his debut.
The Croatian winger has so far avoided Mourinho’s attempts to turn him into a right-back. Or is that left-back? We’re just not sure any more.
Either way, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young’s spots are safe for now.
2: Adam Lallana (Liverpool/England)- 57% of shots on other foot
Ahh, Lallana. His one-man campaign to get the Cruyff turn renamed has been hampered by injury.
But when he’s at his silky best there are few more graceful players in England.
He also deserves serious credit for trying to bring the David Beckham mohawk back.
1: Simone Verdi (Napoli/Italy)- 61% of shots on other foot
How ambidextrous is Verdi?
Last season, while playing for Bologna, the forward scored one free-kick with his left foot and one free-kick with his right foot in the same game.
Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.
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