Kelechi Iheanacho happens to be one of the biggest talents from Africa. He has got to the world stage as a result of his passion for the game. At some point in his life, he went through some challenges, and never for once gave up on his goals. Two things have kept him going, and they are consistency and persistency. Presently, he has made several appearances for both his clubs and country.
The truth is anyone can make it as long as they determine to put in the required work. Kelechi has achieved success through the sweat of his brow, and it has shown on his game either for his club or country. Within a short time of showing his talent, he has won the hearts of many fans. Most people got to know him through his dribbling, and goal-scoring prowess at a young age.
Kelechi Iheanacho was born on October 3, 1996, in Owerri, Nigeria. He started his football journey by joining a youth academy known as Taye Academy, and from there he developed his skills and gained more experience in the round leather game from 2011 to 2014. Although his father was a petty trader who was trying to make ends meet, he was so focused on his dream.
Furthermore, he was among the Nigeria squad that emerged winner of the FIFA under 17 world cup held in the United Arab Emirates. At the grand finale, he was extraordinary throughout the 90 minutes of the football match and also helping his team win Mexico with a high scoreline of 3–0. In 2015, he was part of the under 20 world cup held in New Zealand, and also made his debut from the Nigerian senior team.
The Nigerian prodigy “Kelechi Iheanacho” has made a good name for himself after winning some accolades – under 15 World Cup, and golden player of the tournament. In 2014, several clubs had their eyes on him such as FC Porto, Arsenal, Sporting CP, Manchester City, etc. Luckily for him, he signed a pre-contract football agreement with Man City for which he intended to sign for the club on his birthday date (October 18).
Kelechi was outstanding during his time at Manchester City. During the 2014/205 pre-season with Manchester City in the United States of America, he was opportune to play and scored a superb goal against Sporting Kansas CP. Most of his haters thought his goal against Sporting Kansas CP was a fluke, he repeated the same feat and scored again against Milan. This performance against these two football clubs ignited the interest of his employers
Manchester City Team B 2014/2015
On January 10, 2015, he became a Man City player officially, but his work permit didn’t allow him to make his debut appearance for his new club on time until February 2015. For the first match he played for Manchester City team B against Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League, he sustained an injury. Another opportunity was given to him to showcase his talent in the FA Youth Cup against Chelsea, but his team was defeated 5 — 2. The next match he scored a vital goal in the 2014/2015 final of the Premier League International Cup.
Manchester City Senior Team 2015 – 2017
After performing exploit with Manchester City team B, Kelechi was promoted to the senior team, and this was how it began. During the Australia pre-season tour, he gave a nice assist to Raheem Sterling and made a wonderful strike against Roma in the 2015/2016 International Champions Cup.
As time progressed, he kept on showing himself as a key player by assisting Raheem Sterling to score the fourth goal against Vietnam National football team. During the last pre-season game for Manchester City, he came in as a substitute and scored a nutcracker goal against VFB Stuttgart. After his impressive display with the Manchester City Senior Team, he became a player with them.
On September 12, 2015, Kelechi came in as a tactical replacement for Wilfred Bony at the Scottish time of the game against Crystal Palace and scored the only goal. After the end of the match Coach, Pep Guardiola was blown away with his outstanding performance, and his entire team celebrated him.
Kelechi gave himself and Manchester City a new year presence by scoring his first hat-trick in his career against Aston Villa and also assisting Raheem Sterling to score a goal. In February 2015, Kelechi scored against Tottenham, and pressed forward by scoring two goals against Southampton in the English Premiership, and he ended the season as the third-highest scorer in Manchester City.
At the beginning of the 2016/2017 season, Manchester City had their first match with Manchester United, Kelechi gave an assist and also score in that same match. After four days, Pep Guardiola brought him as a substitute and he dazzled in the match scoring the last goal for his club against Borrusia Mönchengladbach in a 4 — 0 win.
Within a short time in Manchester City, he has had 10 goals before his 20th birthday. As a result of his excellent performance, he was part of the nominees for the FIFA Golden Boy Award. After the end of the 2016/2017 season, he was signed by Leicester on a 5-year contract for a £25 million fee.
Leicester City 2017 till Present
On October 24, 2017, Kelechi scored his first goal for his new club against Leeds United, and he is the first player in English football whose goal was decided by Video Assistant Referee (VAR). The 2020/2021 season happens to be the best season for him because he has been scoring goals in nearly every match. In March 2021, he was awarded the best Premier League player for the month, and in May 2021, he helped his team to win FA Cup against Chelsea.
Kelechi Iheanacho has played for Nigeria right from Under-13 upwards. In 2013, he represented his country for the African Under-17 Championship in Morocco. During the competition, he scored a hat-trick against Botswana and dedicated his goals to his late mother. Throughout the tournament, he was a key player scoring six times and providing seven assists for his teammates.
In 2018, he made his debut for the Nigerian senior team for a qualifying match against Eswatini and the match ended 0–0. From then till now, he had played several games at the senior team level. Besides, Kelechi Iheanacho is one of the crucial players for the Nigerian national team.
Kelechi Iheanacho in his career has scored over 100 goals for both clubs and national team. Besides, he has captured the heart of many Leicester City fans, because after the FA Cup final they were chanting his name outside the stadium. Before this could happen, it takes hard work and dedication to live the dream, and he has kept his game tight by scoring decisive goals for his team.
Football Agents: What they do, Salary and How to Become a Football Agent
Are you passionate about the sports world, have business acumen and excellent interpersonal skills? You might just be tailored to become a football agent!
What do Football Agents Really Do?
The main mission of the footballer’s agent is to be an intermediary between an athlete and the football clubs he will turn out for in the course of his career. Be it an elite-level athlete, a player at the start of the football journey or one plying his trade in a lower division, the agent must support him in his choice of contracts, which will shape his sports career. This role is therefore extremely important!
On a daily basis, the football agent gets in touch with sports clubs, then put them in touch with the player he represents. The goal? That the interested club recruit the athlete for the highest possible fee, which will be of benefit to both parties.
The agent must therefore negotiate the contracts in the most optimal way possible. Upstream, this professional will spot young talents and detect their potential, in order to be able to “sell” them to clubs afterwards, acting as a football scout.
But beware, the agent is not there for financial reasons only: he also takes on the role of adviser and privileged interlocutor for the footballers for whom he is responsible. He gives them his opinion on the career choices they are going to make, and is therefore one of the main guarantors of their success throughout their athletic life.
The football agent is also a spokesperson who must give a good image of his players on a daily basis, promote them and make them known to the right people. In bullet points, these are what football agents really do:
- • Discovering and developing players: The football agent is shouldered with the role of helping clubs recruit and develop new potential players on the one hand, and on the other hand helping clubs contact established star players from other clubs.
- • Intermediary between club and player: Few players will play for the same football clubs all their life, and at some point, it becomes inevitable that a player would seek a fresh atmosphere or challenge. Therefore, an agent is required to play a pivotal role in the link between club and player during communications and negotiations.
- • Negotiate Player Contracts: General transfer transactions will also involve player contract negotiations, focusing on the long-term development of players. This is very important when young footballers sign their first player contracts.
- • Constructing player immigration channels: This is yet another responsibility a football agent will have to bear. The agent will seek to find the most effective way to help players find foreign opportunities and introduce foreign players to clubs.
- • Career Planning: a complete career planning not only includes short-term planning for the players’ careers, but also some players still need an agent to assist them in this new phase after retirement.
- • Commercial value development: Assisting player clients to sign marketing and advertising contracts, agents seek a series of sponsorship and endorsement activities to continuously enhance the player’s own value as a commodity.
- • Legal consultation and dispute settlement: Many of the football agents are professional lawyers who have either switched jobs or doing this part-time. Therefore, legal consultation and the handling of various legal disputes have naturally become part of the functions of football agents.
- • The development of underage players: Some football agents are responsible for the daily training, study life, career planning and other aspects, of a player just breaking into the scene.
- • Maintain media and public relations: Football agents make full use of media resources, on the one hand, to ensure the necessary positive exposure of players, and actively prevent the emergence of various negative news and hype. A superagent like Mino Raiola is notorious for this.
The player’s agent plays an advisory role with his client and aims for his development both personally and professionally. To this end, they must offer the best support services, at all levels. To carry out his missions, he must benefit from quality training with player agent schools.
What is a football Agency?
With FIFA, UEFA, and major football leagues banning third-party ownership of players as well as the International Professional Players Association calling for the reform of the existing transfer system, the development and protection of potential underage players has once again become an important issue.
Therefore, as a football agent, you must take on more obligations to strengthen the development and protection of underage players. It is necessary to genuinely plan the career of underage players from the perspective of the player’s long-term development, and at the same time strengthen the cultivation of learning life skills outside the football field of play.
Nowadays, more and more agents have established their own brokerage companies and have begun to provide players and clubs with more and more diversified services, including media copyright operations, sponsorship, commercial endorsements, venue marketing, and various sports events.This companies are known as player’s agency.
Mergers, joint ventures, and strategic cooperation have become the development trend of brokerage companies. It is believed that the functions of football brokers in the future will be more diversified and personalized.
What Makes a Good Football Agent?
To be a good footballer agent, you will obviously first need to know the world of football inside and out: the players, clubs, coaches, the rules and trends which govern and animate this sport. Good intuition is not enough, you will need to have real expertise so as not to make mistakes in your choices, as this could be life-changing!
In addition, good knowledge in trade and negotiation will be real assets to carry out the signing of contracts that you will have to make. Finally, of course, the player’s agent must have excellent interpersonal skills, charisma and persuasiveness that will allow him to be the best possible in business and also to weave a solid ration with the footballers being managed.
Since a football agent is thus multitasking between intermediary, tax advisor, wealth advisor, career advisor and so on, this profession involves knowledge in many areas, namely: sport, marketing, law, management, taxation, public relations and without forgetting, a mastery of foreign languages. While it is above all necessary to have a good address book, you must also be a good communicator, negotiator and educator.
How to Become a Football Agent
To exercise the profession of sports agent, there is no need for a diploma or a specific level of studies, even though in absolute terms the profession requires multiple skills; only a license is required. This authorization is issued by the Football Association (not FIFA) of the country for which one wishes to operate for a period of 3 years.
Obtaining one is subject to review. This review, quite complex, includes a general test (general legal knowledge, football law) and a technical test (sports rules relating to the discipline for which one wishes to officiate). In France for example, there is an annual rate of between 400 to 500 candidates who apply to become certified football agents with a success rate of between 10 and 20%.
Some schools prepare for the license of football player agents such as the WST (Worldwide Sport Training) or the EAJF (School of Football Players’ Agents).
It should be noted that since the law known as the modernization of the judicial or legal professions of March 2011, a lawyer can now act as a sports representative. In this case, there will be no need to hold the professional license but in return his field of expertise is more limited than that of a sports agent. An agent under this circumstance will be prohibited from prospecting for new talents.
Are Football Agents in Demand?
Yes, they are. But this profession remains one of the most competitive in the sporting industry. Since this job is the dream of many young football enthusiasts, therefore, it remains difficult to access because there are very few football agents in football, in relativity to footballers.
How Much Do Football Agents Make?
A football agent earns a salary based on commissions calculated from the gross remuneration of the player in his care. This percentage varies from 3 to 10% in some countries, while other countries do not have such limits.
The income of this professional is therefore very variable depending on the popularity and the “bankable” nature of his clients. The more popular an agent becomes in the community, the more he will be able to take charge of reputable and talented footballers, becoming a “superagent.”
The player’s agent is an intermediary. He/she advises athletes (player or coach) in choosing a club and negotiates the amount and conditions of their contract. In return, he/she receives a commission based on the athlete’s remuneration.
Football agents can get between 10%-20% of the players’ commercial income from advertising and management.
Top 20 Football Skills to Dribble Past Any Opponent (with GIFs)
In a football game, when faced in a one-on-one situation with an opponent, it is important that every footballer, no matter the position of play, should know how to dribble their way through. Yet no opponent will give you the time in the world to rummage your repoirtre looking for the best football skill at that time before a tackle comes flying, so a split decision is necessary, so as to ensure that the entire team can continue a quick forward foray.
In this case, we have cited 20 of the best football skills that can be easily learnt by anyone to get past even the toughest of oppositions. If you want to become a better all-round footballer, follow this article.
20 Best Football Skills to Dribble Any Opponent
NB: Right foot in this article is the dominant foot, while the left is the weaker.
Football Skill 1: Change the direction of the ball using the outside of the instep
One of the simplest, yet extraordinary direction-changing technique. This football skill is indeed a very effective way to break through.
- First, the ball is approached to the opponent to a certain proximity, and then suddenly use the outside of the foot to move the ball to the side to complete the dribble.
Football Skill 2: Change the direction of the spike on the inside of the foot
- This looks very similar to the previous football skill, but requires a different technique. The major difference is that this uses the inside of the foot while the other uses the outside of the foot.
Football Skill 3: Step Over and Change Direction
- When dribbling close to the opponent, first use one foot to make a step from inside to the outside to beffudle the opponent.
- Then use the other foot to dial the ball very naturally with the outside of the foot to complete the change.
Football Skill 4: Full Step Over and change direction
- When the ball is close to the opponent, use both feet to continuously complete multiple step overs from the inside to the outside to form a cycling motion.
- When the opponent feels hesitant or there is a gap, use one foot to dial the ball naturally with the outside of the foot to complete the change.
Football Skill 5: Stride the center of gravity and change the direction of the ball
- After approaching the opponent with the ball to within a proper distance, take a sudden big step with your left foot to the front left side with an accompanying shoulder-drop effect.
- The size of the drop and whether you can quickly correct it to the other side is the key to the success of this breakthrough.
- When doing this drop action, make your opponent think that you are about to complete a breakthrough from this side, and then suddenly change direction when the action is half done.
- After causing the opponent to misjudge your move, quickly change the center of gravity and use the outside of the right foot to dial the ball to complete the change of direction breakthrough.
Football Skill 6: Pull the ball and step over
- When approaching the opponent, turn your body sideways and use the back foot to pull the ball to your side.
- Then use the front foot to make a step from the outside to the inside to make the opponent think that your are about to change direction.
- Then complete the turn and accelerate the ball in the opposite direction to complete the breakthrough.
Football Skill 7: Drag and chop to change direction
- After dribbling the ball to a reasonable distance, keep your right foot at the same angle and height behind the ball, and always keep contact with the ball with the inside of your foot. Now use the left foot to jump to the left side to complete the forward movement.
- When the opponent thinks you want to complete the breakthrough on the left side, make a sudden chop with the right foot to complete the breakthrough from the right side.
Football Skill 8: The Iniesta Tap
This excellent skill used by Iniesta should be familiar to everyone.
- After getting within a close proximity to your opponent, use the inside of your left foot to tap the ball to your right.
- Then make a lateral escape by driving forward.
Football Skill 9: Pull the ball horizontally to change direction
- When dribbling the ball to within a reasonable distance, use the sole of the left foot to pull the ball to the inside of the right foot laterally.
- Then change to the inside of the right foot to move the ball forward and accelerate to complete the breakthrough.
Football Skill 10: Marseille Roundabout
- When dribbling the ball to a reasonable distance, step on the ball with one foot and turn around to complete a 180° turn.
- Use the sole of the other foot to pull the ball back.
- Finally, drive the ball forward and accelerate to complete the breakthrough.
Football Skill 11: Advanced Shoulder Drop
- Before dribbling the ball to within close proximity of your opponent, first use the left foot to make a forward step, tricking the opponent to make a judgment first.
- Then double tap the ball on the inner side of the left and right foot to complete the direction change of the move.
- This move is essentially a combination of Football Skill 5 and 8.
Football Skill 12: Pull the ball then step and change the direction of the ball
- First use the sole of your right foot to pull the ball toward the front left of your body.
- Then use your left foot to make a step over from the inside out.
- Follow this with another stepping movement with inward and outward directions.
- Finally, use the outside dial to speed up the breakthrough.
Football Skill 13: V-shaped Dribble
- After dribbling the ball to within the vicinity of the opponent, step on the ball with the sole of the right foot.
- Then first pull the ball back, and then use the inside of your foot to move the ball forward and to the right.
- Finally accelerate the dribble to complete the escape.
Football Skill 14: The double pull
- First, pull the ball behind with your right foot.
- Then push the ball forward with the sole of your foot in the direction of your opponent, while you open up your body.
- When your opponent attempts to tackle, pull the ball back with your other foot, then accelerate to complete the escape.
Football Skill 15: The Ronaldo Chop
- After dribbling the ball into the vicinity of your opponent, jump forward in the direction in which the ball is rolling.
- Then midair, hit the ball with the inner side of the back foot to change the direction of the ball, thus forming a breakthrough.
Football Skill 16: Pull the ball, knock the ball and change the direction of the spike
- After dribbling the ball into the vicinity of your opponent, first step on the ball with your right foot and pull it towards you.
- At this time, withdraw the supporting foot [left foot] so as to jump up and use the inside of the foot to move the ball forward again.
- While landing on both feet, use the inside of your right foot to buckle the ball to the left side of your body.
- Finally, accelerate to complete the breakthrough.
Tip 17: The Snake
- After dribbling the ball into the vicinity of the opponent, first use the outside of the foot to move the ball to that side, and suddenly use the inside of the foot to complete the move.
Football Skill 18
- After driving the ball to a reasonable distance from the opponent.
- First move the supporting foot forward to a certain distance, leaving enough space for the ball to pass through the back of the leg.
- Then use the inside of the other foot to push the ball behind the supporting foot.
- After the ball rolls behind your supporting foot, control the ball in a way that it moves onto the tip of your boots, now flick.
- Finally, accelerate the completion of the breakthrough.
Football Skill 19: The rainbow
The rainbow is one of the most extraordinary and flamboyant move in football that can offset multiple opononets at a go.
In real life football, this football skill was popularised at the 2002 World Cup when Turkey’s golden boy, Ilhan used this trick to destroy Roberto Carlos, the world’s strongest left-back at the time
- After dribbling the ball to a reasonable distance from the opponent, place one foot before the line where the ball is rolling, and block the ball with the heel.
- Then use the inner side of the other foot to clamp the ball onto the heel and pull up.
- Release the ball after generating enough power and let the ball pass over the opposing defender in a large parabola.
Football Skill 20: Overhead Flick
- Pull the ball back with the soles of your feet while leaning against your opponent.
- Pick up the ball with the toe of the other foot.
- You can try to pick up the ball in any way you like or are familiar with.
- Finally, use the outside of the outside foot to flick the ball high and over your opponent .
It is pertinent to maintain a proper speed when dribbling and do not forgot to accelerate after completing the dribble.
Also try not to dribble same opponent two or three times on the spot. While this might be showboating and demoralising to your opponent, it will only sap your physical strength.
At the same time, it is best to practice with both left and right feet at the same time during the training, just like the instructor demonstrated in the clips.
How to Kick a Soccer Ball for Kids and Beginners (with GIFs)
Are you looking to branch into the game of soccer either for fun or professionally? Or do you want to help a child master the art of kicking a football with the right technique? This article comprehensively covers with expert-provided GIFs, how to kick a soccer ball with elite-level technique.
How to Kick a Soccer Ball For Kids And Beginners
To better understand this, let’s look at the most basic passing. When you pass the ball, you should pay attention to some important details.
First of all, no matter when the ball is passed, there must be a certain measured distance between the ball and the foot, this way the kicked ball is more powerful.
The second is the supporting foot. If the right foot kicks the ball, the left foot should be almost parallel to the ball, because this will better maintain the balance of the body.
Follow the visual figures below to better understand how to master this basic kicking technique.
If you can’t maintain a good balance, you will be forced to incline backwards when the ball is kicked, which is a poor kicking posture
To maintain a good balance, place the left foot parallel to the side of the ball, and then use the inside of the foot to complete the pass.
When hitting the ball, use the part of the foot highlighted in the clip below to kick the middle of the ball. If the kick position is too low, the ball will be kicked upwards, which will cause difficulty for the receiver.
Now combine all of the aforementioned four steps and swing the calf to hit the middle of the ball firmly and powerfully.
At this point, we want to emphasize that many footballers tend to possess insufficient kicking strength due to an inaccurate swing of the calf. This is one mistake you should avoid. The clip below fully explains to swing your calf accurately to generate enough power.
If the the right part of the ball is hit with the right method, the kicked ball will move forward on the ground and the teammates will have better control. So if the pass is good, the ball will go straight to the teammate.
Another important point in passing is the direction of the supporting foot. If you want to pass forward, the toes of your supporting foot should point forward, as this is your line of sight.
This is a point often overlooked when practicing. The correct placement of the supporting feet not only allows you to pass the ball more accurately, but also helps you maintain your body balance.
We can take a look at the following example. If we want to pass the ball straight ahead with our supporting foot pointing to the side of the body, it is obvious that the body will be very awkward. This makes it easier for the opponent to detect your intention and dispossessed you.
This kind of mistake is especially easy for kids and beginners to make. Remember that the kicking foot should always be at a 90-degree angle to the supporting foot, and the supporting foot should point in the direction you want to pass.
How to Kick a Soccer Ball: Overhead Long Pass
The second way of kicking the ball is to hit for a long pass. This is also a skill that must be mastered in order to better understand how to kick a soccer ball. When serving goal kicks or switching play, the high ball will play a very important role.
Unlike regular passing, kicking the ball is nothing special so the preparations before kicking are exactly the same. The ball is moved away from the foot to leave enough space for the ball but more importantly, the supporting foot is slightly adjusted this time, at a distance farther away than ordinary passing.
Rather than the top, kick the bottom of the ball with the position of the shoelace of our foot.
The only way to hit a long pass is to hit the lower part of the ball, which will also produce a spin. If you had kicked in the wrong position, the ball might get to its intended target, but with the amount of uncontrolled rotations it will generate, it will be difficult for your teammates to control your pass.
Just as various spins are applied in table tennis to make it difficult for the opponent to receive the ball, so also try to make the ball spin downward to give your teammate the most stable pass.
When kicking the ball, the body naturally leans back, which also helps to kick the ball up.
When the body is leaned back, the foot is easier to hit the bottom of the ball, which is a correct body posture for a long pass.
When kicking the ball, the foot will naturally sweep across the ground, which signifies that if your foot does not sweep across the ground, you are kicking in the wrong position.
However, be careful not to sweep the body horizontally too early, as this might result in sweeping the football with your toes, making it difficult to kick the ball.
How to Shoot a Soccer Ball
The next step is shooting.
Many people want to make their kicks “harder” and how to shoot with power is the biggest concern of many footballers, even professionals. In the next few diagrams we will explain how to shoot a soccer ball with the right technique.
It is important to first note that different positions have different hitting powers. If you are far away and want to shoot hard, you should shoot with the front of your foot.
When shooting goalwards, first let the ball move away from the body. If the space is too tight, it will be difficult to exert force. Put the ball in front of you at an angle, and place the supporting foot parallel to the ball. This is similar to passing the ball.
However, when kicking the ball, the toes should face down completely. If the foot is lifted up a little bit, it is likely to be inaccurate, therefore, this must be strictly followed.
When shooting, you must face down and hit the ball with the front of your metatarsal.
Of course, you can also use the inside of your foot to shoot, which is more accurate, but if you want to use more power, you must use the front of your foot.
The source of strength comes from swinging your legs, so swing your calves back to the hips, then hit the ball.
The greater the amplitude or swing, the greater the power. A lot of footballers tend to pay too much attention to force or want to execute their shot quickly, that they ignore the pertinence of swinging the leg. This is the most important factor behind weak shots.
Finally, when shooting, you should kick the ball out and follow the whole body. After the kicking foot hits the ball, take a step forward and let the whole body move forward with the ball, so that you can generate more kinetic energy.
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