How to tackle in football – Pro tips for defenders

by Pablo M27th Jun 2019

Tackling is a fundamental skill, no matter what position you play. Strikers and attacking midfielders often don’t know how to tackle properly, resulting in silly fouls or injuries. So, regardless of your position on the field, you should know how to tackle in football.

If you are fast as your opponent, tackle the upper body with your shoulder first. When you do this, bend your arm for extra strength and stability. Do not use excessive force. The intention is to move the attacking player out of his line of attack, nothing more. Once your body blocks the attacking path, the ball should be easier to take.

If your opponent is faster than you, get some speed first and then try to put your shoulder between your opponent and the ball. Tackle the ball when the opponent steps with their dribbling foot (usually their weakest). This foot won’t touch the ball, so that you can make a clean tackle.

Stay on your feet as long as possible. Sliding tackles should be your last option. If you must use a sliding tackle, do it from the side, not behind. If you tackle from the side, you will reduce the risk of a foul being called.

Finally, get your timing right. Executing the techniques above either too early or too late can result in completely missing the ball and the player or committing a foul. So, be patient and time your tackle.

In the video below, the team of Tactica demonstrates how to tackle in football. The audio could be better, but you will get the idea. Follow their tips, combine them with our other defensive tips, and you will win all one on one situations against top players.