Beating Your Opponent One-on-One
We have taken a look at Basic Skill moves, Advanced Skill moves, and Combo moves. You should have a pretty good feel for how each one works, and how to execute each move. The more time you spend working on your moves in the Arena, the quicker you will be able to perform them. We recommend starting with the basic moves like the Body Feint, Stepover, and Reverse Stepover. Then move on to the 360 Roulette and other more advanced skills.
Now it is time to take your new skills to the pitch and put them to use against both CPU and Human Opponents. You can be successful at Fifa 09 by just working the ball, using good tactics, and finishing, but what fun would that be? Breaking the ankles of a CPU defender or smoking our friend’s player and leaving him in your wake is much more fun.
We recommend avoiding skill moves in your own defending third. You could execute a simple Drag Back or Ball Roll if you are not under pressure and want to hot dog a bit. Skill Moves can be risky, and you don’t want to be risky in your defensive half. As you approach the halfway line, you can begin to pull out more of your arsenal. The final third is a great place to put your skills to use, as often you will have to beat a defender in order to get a chance on goal. In addition, using skill moves will often force the defence to foul you. This will provide you with set piece opportunities in dangerous areas of the pitch.
Control the Ball
One of the best pieces of advice we can give you when it comes to beating players off the dribble is to learn to lay off the Sprint button. You can’t turn as sharply, and your player is much easier to knock off the ball when he is at a dead sprint. Only use the Sprint button when your player has lots of open field, or to briefly explode past your opponent after you make a skill move.
There are a number of different skills that your player will utilize even when you don’t activate a skill. For example, top skilled players like Ronaldinho and the like will use a Cruyff move when they make a 180 degree change of direction. Highly skilled players will also be able to perform double-touch moves with the ball as they quickly change direction from side to side.
You can beat overeager defenders by just keeping your player at a jogging pace and making quick change of direction moves.
Use Change of Pace
Once you have mastered controlling the ball in tight spaces, you can begin to use change of pace to beat defenders. Use the Stop ball control liberally. Take a few dribbles, perform a hard stop, and then explode in a different direction.
Once you see a defender lean the wrong way, use the Right Thumbstick to knock the ball in a different direction. Make sure you have plenty of room, or you risk knocking the ball too far ahead into a second defender. Stop and go play is especially effective against human opponents. Blast straight down the field, hit R1/RB to hit the brakes, and then accelerate in a new direction. You’ll be able to create acres of space with this technique.
The Importance of Exits
One aspect of the Skill Move system that is often overlooked by Fifa gamers is the Exit move. While the Skill Move is pretty to watch, the Exit move is what makes the skill worth performing. Exit moves allow you to explode in a new direction and take advantage of a defender who has bitten on your fake.
NOTE: One mistake that gamers make is to perform the Skill Move too close to a defender. You need to be sure that there is enough space between your player and a defender to execute the move. You can get results even if the defender is 5 yards or more away. He will still bite on the fake.
You will want to spend time in the Arena looking at all the different types of Exit moves that can be performed. Look specifically at the Stepover, Reverse Stepover, and Drag Back moves.
Often a very simple stepover can reap huge benefits if it is coupled with an explosive exit.
In this example, Ribery begins to perform a Reverse Stepover as his defender closes in.
With the move completed, Ribery starts to push the ball to the left with the outside of his foot.
Already you can see him begin to clear his shoulders and seal off the defender.
Ribery completes the move and leaves the defender in his wake.
In this section of the guide, we will show you some of the best moves to use to beat defenders in one-on-one situations. Just about every skill move in the game has its proper place, but we have found that some moves are more effective than others.
Body Feint w/Drag Across Exit
This move is very strong in the open field. If you time it right, you’ll go by the defender almost every time. It can also be an effective choice when you get one-on-one with a keeper.
We are dribbling with Ribery in the middle of the field with an approaching defender.
We fake to the right with the Body Feint skill move.
After the fake, we exit forward and to the same side that we faked (45 degree angle Forward/Right).
We easily break free of our defender and head into open field.
Head-On Ball Roll
This is one of the simplest (and thus most overlooked) moves in the game. You can use this move to “change lanes” when a defender is attacking your player head-on. Look to see if the defender is shading to one direction, and go the opposite one.
We charge down the sideline with Ribery, ready to take on the defender.
The trick is to slow down just a bit and let the defender commit to his tackle.
We slap roll the ball to the left side (opposite of the side the defender was shading).
Ribery has space to escape down the sideline. This would be a good opportunity to use a Knock On and exploit Ribery’s speed advantage.
Jump Slide Tackle
If you are playing an opponent who is a slide-tackling machine, then you’ll want to break out this move to slow him down. We don’t recommend using it often against the CPU as they are tough to fool, but an overaggressive human defender can often be exploited.
We are dribbling the ball with Rooney and see our friend’s defender closing in for the slide tackle. This is his defensive tactic of choice when we are racing down the sideline.
We execute the move early to be sure that we can clear the defender. It looks really early in the picture, but trust us, it’s perfect.
Here comes the slide, right on cue.
Rooney completes the move by leaping over the would-be tackler.
Named for Celtic player Aiden McGeady, the McGeady spin is useful all over the pitch. You can use it to turn and get a shot off with a defender on your back. It is also useful to fool a defender and create space when you are face up with your opponent.
We have the ball with Rooney in midfield with a defender closing in.
Rooney begins to execute the move by pulling the ball away from the defender and shielding it with his body.
Rooney pivots and pushes the ball away with the outside of his left foot.
We now have the space we need to take a couple of touches on the ball and find an open player.
Reverse Stepover Drag
We just love the way this move looks. It doesn’t hurt that it is very effective as well. If you like a little bit of flair in your game, but don’t want to sacrifice function, then the Reverse Stepover Drag is going to be right up your alley.
Again, we have Ribery with the ball as we prepare to embarrass yet another hapless defender who over commits to his tackle.
We complete our Reverse Stepover fake as the defender closes in.
We exit the move Forward/Left. Ribery complies by dragging the ball forward with the heel of his rear foot.
The defender can only look on as we explode right by him into open space.
This move can be executed just about anywhere on the pitch, but it is most effective in the middle of the field. You can get closer to defenders before performing the 360 Roulette than any other move. For that reason, it can be useful when you have taken a bad touch and have a defender swooping in for the tackle.
We have just received a through ball with Ribery and are still fighting to get control of the ball. Unfortunately, a defender is closing in rapidly.
We perform a panic 360 Roulette in hopes that we can beat our defender and keep possession.
We successfully shield the ball as we make our turn. The defender is trying to check his momentum, but has committed too far to stop us now.
There is a lot of open field ahead of us as the defender tries to desperately close the gap. If you can beat the Central Midfielders with a skill move, it often opens up a great attacking opportunity for you, as your forwards will occupy the attention of the Central Defenders.
Ball Roll to Cross
Crossing on the run can work, but if you can square up on the goal and take your time, then your crosses will be much more accurate. Burst down the sideline and then use the L1/LB button to face the goal. Usually the defenders will come charging in at you. This is when you pull out the Ball Roll to create space to get your cross in.
We are able to get Rooney down in the corner and square up on goal.
As the defender charges in, we begin to execute the Ball Roll.
Rooney completes the move as the defender tackles empty air.
We have plenty of room to cross the ball or burst into the box for a shot of our own.
Cristiano Ronaldo is most known for this quick behind-the-leg cut, but Rooney can pull it off just as well. You will use this move typically down the sideline with a defender in hot pursuit. It works best if the defender is slightly ahead of your player.
We are busting down the line with Rooney. A defender is shadowing us and is ripe for the Ronaldo cut.
We execute the Ronaldo cut. Rooney throws his inside leg forward to clear room for the cut move.
Rooney heel flicks the ball behind this leg and to the inside.
The defender can’t match our move and Rooney cuts inside unmarked.
Shield Ball to Spin Out
A strong player can hold the ball up and protect it from a defender with the Shield Ball move. Target men can use it to keep position while the other strikers and midfielders join the attack. By holding the R2/RT button, your player will go into shield mode. You can then use the Right Thumbstick to perform ball fakes.
Ribery is holding off his defender down in the corner of the field.
We use a quick fake to make the defender think we are cutting towards the sideline.
We then release the R2/RT button and push the Left Thumbstick towards the goal to spin out of the Shield position.
Our defender is behind the play and we are on our way to the net.
Stepover to Flip Flap
This quick combination move needs lots of space to pull off. Life the other moves in the section, if can effectively beat defenders and create space for your player to attack the goal.
We start the Stepover move to the left as the defender moves in.
We exit the Stepover and immediately transition into an Elastico.
The move finishes with a hard cut move across the face of the defender and to the left.
Ribery beats the defender and takes off down the field.
Stepover to McGeady Spin
This final combination is one of our personal favourites. You don’t need as much space as the Stepover Flip Flap since you will be pulling the ball away from your opponent. The nice aspect of the McGeady exit is that it creates lots of space from your defender. If you hit the timing right, you’ll have plenty of room to make your next move.
Ribery begins the Stepover move to the left side, hoping to get the defender to commit in that direction.
We complete the Stepover, but the defender keeps coming straight in. With other exits here, the ball would be stolen.
The McGeady Spin shields the ball as Ribery begins to spin out to the side.
Ribery skips free of his marker and can hit his next target down the field.
This series of moves only scratches the surface of what you can do in Fifa 09. Each day that we play, we find a new combination that works. Master the moves in Arena mode and then take them onto the pitch and dazzle the fans while you wreak havoc on defenders!