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Who Really Invented the Bicycle Kick?

Curious to know who really invented the bicycle kick? Let's dive into the history of this iconic football move!

Who Really Invented the Bicycle Kick?

Who Invented the Bicycle Kick

The bicycle kick is one of the most spectacular moves in football, known for its acrobatic beauty and astonishing power. It is a technique where a player jumps into the air and strikes the ball with an overhead motion, using the momentum of the body to generate velocity and accuracy. The bicycle kick has been used by some of the greatest football players in history, from Pele to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and has been the subject of much debate and controversy regarding its origin and inventor.

The Basics of Bicycle Kick

The bicycle kick is a striking technique in football where a player hits the ball with an overhead motion while in the air, using the legs to generate power and direction. It is also known as a scissors kick, due to the scissor-like motion of the legs, or an overhead kick, due to the position of the body. The bicycle kick requires advanced level skills and athleticism, as it involves jumping, twisting, and balancing, but when executed properly, it can be a devastating goal-scoring move that leaves the spectators in awe.The bicycle kick is typically used as a last resort, when the ball is in an awkward position or the player has no other options to make a shot on goal. It is often seen in crowded penalty boxes, where a player has to improvise and make a quick decision. The bicycle kick can also be used as a means of shooting from a distance, catching the goalkeeper off guard with a sudden strike.

History of the Bicycle Kick

The origin of the bicycle kick is uncertain, as there are no clear records of who invented the move. However, there are some early examples of the technique that date back to the early 20th century. One of the earliest recorded instances of a bicycle kick was in a match between English teams Manchester City and Manchester United in 1914, when City's Harry Makepeace scored a spectacular goal with the move.Over the years, the bicycle kick became more popular among football players, especially in South America and Europe. Pele, widely considered one of the greatest football players of all time, was known for his mastery of the bicycle kick, scoring several memorable goals with the move throughout his career. In 1959, Pele scored what is widely regarded as the first official bicycle kick goal in a match between Santos and Fluminense.

Controversies Surrounding the Invention

Despite the popularity and widespread use of the bicycle kick, there are several claims to the invention of the move. Some sources credit Arthur "Tury" Camburo, a Uruguayan footballer who was known for his acrobatic skills, as the first player to perform a bicycle kick in a match. Others argue that it was invented by Leonidas da Silva, a Brazilian forward who scored a breathtaking bicycle kick goal in the 1938 World Cup.The debate over the true inventor of the bicycle kick continues to this day, with no clear resolution in sight. Some argue that the move was simply a natural evolution of football skills, with different players adding their own variations and refinements over time. Others believe that it was a groundbreaking innovation that revolutionized the way football was played.In addition to the debate over the origin of the bicycle kick, there has also been an ongoing dispute over patent rights. In 2012, a Chinese inventor named He Zili filed a patent claim for the bicycle kick, arguing that he had invented a new and improved technique that was different from the traditional move used in football. However, many football fans and experts rejected the claim, arguing that the bicycle kick was a skill that belonged to the public domain and could not be patented.In conclusion, the bicycle kick is a remarkable technique that has captured the imagination of football players and fans alike. While its inventor may never be known for certain, its impact on the game of football is undeniable. Whether it is used as a tool for scoring goals or simply as a show of skill and athleticism, the bicycle kick will always be remembered as one of the most iconic moves in the history of football.

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The Evolution of the Bicycle Kick

The bicycle kick, also known as the overhead kick or scissor kick, is one of the most spectacular moves in football. It is a technique where a player jumps and kicks the ball over their head, usually resulting in a stunning goal. But who invented this move? The answer is not straightforward as it has evolved and been modified over time.

Variations of the Bicycle Kick

The bicycle kick has several variations, each with its unique style and execution. The scissor kick is perhaps the most popular version where a player jumps with one foot and drives the other leg over their head to strike the ball. The overhead kick is similar to the scissor kick, but the player jumps with both feet and strikes the ball with an overhead kick.

The reverse overhead kick is another variation, where the player jumps and turns their back to the goal, then strikes the ball with one foot, flicking it behind them. This move takes exceptional skill, accuracy, and timing to execute properly. It is also less commonly used than the other two variations.

Bicycle Kick in Modern Football

Over the years, many footballers have used the bicycle kick to score spectacular goals. One of the most memorable goals scored with a bicycle kick was by Pele in the 1970 World Cup. Since then, many players have replicated the move with some coming up with their variations.

Some current players known for using the move include Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney. These players have increased the use of the bicycle kick in modern football, making it a more popular and impressive move to watch.

However, despite its popularity, the bicycle kick is becoming less common in modern football. This is because of the growing emphasis on possession play and team tactics over individual brilliance. Modern coaches encourage players to pass and maintain possession instead of taking risks with high-risk moves like the bicycle kick. This has limited the use of the move in modern soccer.

Bicycle Kick in Other Sports

The bicycle kick is not only used in football but also in other sports such as volleyball and martial arts. In volleyball, the bicycle kick is a legal move that is used to return a ball that is difficult to reach with regular skills. The move is also used in martial arts, especially taekwondo, as a form of advanced kick utilized in competitions and combat scenarios.

The bicycle kick is an impressive move that has evolved over the years, with many variations being developed. It is a testament to the creative and artistic side of football, and when executed correctly, it produces a breathtaking spectacle.

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How to Perform a Bicycle Kick

When it comes to eye-catching moves in soccer, the bicycle kick is certainly at the top of the list. This acrobatic move involves kicking the ball while in mid-air and is a sight to behold when executed correctly. In this guide, we'll take a closer look at the prerequisites, step-by-step process, and common mistakes to avoid when performing a bicycle kick.

Prerequisites for the Move

Before attempting a bicycle kick, it's important to understand that this move requires a significant amount of physical fitness and technical skill. Ultimately, what sets apart players who can perform a bicycle kick with ease from others is practice, practice, and more practice. To execute a bicycle kick, you need to be flexible and agile as it demands coordination of movements between your body and the ball. Additionally, you must possess strong core strength, particularly in your abdominal and lower back muscles. The move requires a high degree of explosiveness, so prior athletic ability and general soccer skills such as good ball control and kicking technique are crucial.

Step-by-Step Guide to Executing a Bicycle Kick

Here are the steps involved in executing a bicycle kick

Starting position

Before attempting the kick, position yourself in a way that allows you to jump and strike the ball. You should be facing the goal post with your back to the ball and your non-kicking foot placed behind the ball. These steps set you in a stable position to take off.


A successful bicycle kick demands a high jump, so as you leap, swing your kicking leg quickly over your head and make contact with the ball when it's already behind you. Keep your eyes on the ball to ensure better control and accurate timing during the move.

Mid-air positioning

There are several variations to mid-air positioning, but the most common one involves swinging your hips to face the target and kicking the ball with the center of your cleat to add accuracy and power to your shot.


As you execute the kick, keep your eyes on the ball and ensure a soft landing by bending your knees and landing on the ball of your kicking foot. This way, you reduce pressure on your joints to make the move more comfortable and smoother.


Once you've landed, complete the move by bringing your feet back to the ground. A good follow-through involves maintaining balance and readiness to position yourself for your next move.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While practicing bicycle kicks, it is important to factor in the most common mistakes made to perfect the move.

Poor timing

A common issue with bicycle kicks occurs when timing is incorrect, causing a mistimed or completely missed kick. To avoid this, work on improving your timing when jumping or positioning yourself in the air.

Incorrect technique

Executing a bicycle kick requires proper form. Common technique mistakes include positioning the non-kicking foot too close to the ball, improper foot-to-ball placement, or incorrect posture. To prevent these mistakes, use instructional videos or seek guidance from a coach.

Lack of confidence

Confidence is key when performing a bicycle kick. The slightest doubt or hesitation can lead to poor execution and reduce the likelihood of success. To gain confidence, it's important to practice repeatedly and gradually increase the level of difficulty.In conclusion, performing a bicycle kick is a highly enjoyable move that demands skill, fitness, and confidence. With regular practice, you can master the move and become a skilled player. Remember, it's all about your passion and perseverance. Good luck!

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