One of the most fundamental skills of playing football is being able to juggle it.
Now while a player will rarely need to perform this skill in-game.
It’s still a skill that most professional footballers will learn from an early age and therefore be able to pull off when called upon.
So what you may find fascinating to hear, is that not all players can juggle the ball as well as others.
At least not in high-pressure scenarios, as what I am about to share with you in this post is 5 footballers who can’t do kick-ups.
Quickly before I start…
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1. Martin Braithwaite – Barcelona
To many Martin Braitwaites surprise transfer from Leganes to Barcelona, was not something many Catalans saw coming.
Now while he may be unsurprisingly due to the caliber of Barcelona’s team has struggled in front of goal, it’s not the only area of his game he has been weak in.
That is because back in 2020 when the signing was official, Braithwaite struggled to keep the ball under the control during his transfer presentation.
After a promising start of keeping the ball in the air, the player failed to do around the world as he fumbled the ball while trying to keep it in the air.
To be fair to him, with an $18 million transfer deal and with him signing for one of the biggest clubs in Spain its likely the pressure got to him.
2. Ousmane Dembele – Barcelona
Ousmane Dembele a few years ago, had the whole of Europe talking about him after impressive spells at Borussia Dortmund.
After a lot of speculation over his future, he finally signed for Barcelona in a deal worth a combined €145 million.
However, from the day he signed to even as recent as Euro 2020, he has really struggled on the pitch and off it, with multiple injuries ruling him out.
Now for someone so skillful, you would be shocked to hear that the footballer couldn’t do kick-ups during his presentation back in 2017.
After a couple of successful kick-ups, Dembele completely misjudged one and then went on to hit the ball into himself.
From then onwards it all got a bit too messy for a transfer that was into the hundreds of millions.
3. Soldado – Levante
Footballers need to possess a lot of traits in order to excel and making at the top.
To name a few, you need good control and also be able to strike the ball.
For Roberto Soldado, while he can certainly strike the ball, has the number of goals he has scored over his career certainly proves.
There was one occasion where he got it all wrong.
After a game for Villarael, he attempts to kick the ball up to the fans.
However, he got it all wrong and embarrassingly overhit the ball sending it soaring into the highest section of the stadium.
I am sure Soldado is busting out the tricks in training, but it’s still hard to comprehend how he failed to execute a kick up so badly on this occasion
4. Theo Hernandez – AC Milan
One of the highly-rated Hernandez brothers, Theo signed for Real Madrid for €24 Million back in 2017 at the age of 19.
Now for a footballer who is french and most likely grew up playing outdoor football on concrete, he went on to perform some of the messiest kick-ups you will likely ever see.
With the cameras trying to take pictures, the now AC Milan player struggled to keep the ball under control, and while trying to do kick ups the footballer ended up hitting it all over the place.
As you can see by the video below, it wasn’t very pretty and while having got his career back on track in Italy playing for AC Milan, the failed juggling rather summed up his time with the Los Blancos.
5. Mariano – Atlético Mineiro
When you think of Brazilian footballers, the first words that come to your mind might be ‘samba’, skills, and maybe flair.
As what Brazilians have a real reputation for is being able to pull off lots of tricks, whether that be playing cage football on concrete or on the pitch.
But in 2017, when Sevilla signed veteran Mariano the full-back had other ideas, as he had a horror show while trying to keep the ball in the air for the cameras.
While the juggling started out well, after a few kick-ups in the air.
Mariano miscontrolled it so bad, the guys working had to throw the ball back to him.
Now unlike Theo his time in Seville was a pleasant one, however, nowadays he is back playing his football in Brazil with Atlético Mineiro.
So there you have it, those were 5 footballers who can’t do kick-ups and were caught failing to do so.
Now from watching various sessions of high-level clubs, you will find most footballers can execute them, so there is a chance that they were just caught on a bad day.
That brings us to the end of the post, if you have any questions or even know of players who can’t juggle do let me know in the comments below 🙂
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