- Keeping to ball close to the feet when dribbling, not too close to cause the player to trip over it, and not too far to cause the player to lose control of it
- Employing the Shoulder drop to trick the opponent to commit in the wrong direction, quickly anticipating this and reacting accordingly
- Usage of feints with swift changes in dribbling direction, also done by quickly changing the direction of the hips
- Quick, short changes in direction when dribbling
Such a dribbling style, mastered by the great Maradona, and imitated by many preceding players can be a joy to watch. Especially when an attacker dribbles past defending players using smoothly executed feints and shoulder drops and quick changes in the direction of the hips, deceiving the opposing player into making the wrong decision. There are several different so-called trademarks of the Gambetta, some of which are:The term ‘Gambetta’ is rarely heard of in the footballing world of Europe and Asia, but in the football-loving nation of Argentina, it is almost a way of life. In the words of Jorge Valdano, who used to play alongside Diego Maradona in the 80’s: “it is another form of tango with the pleasures of applying those extra flourishes with those twists and turns”. There are essentially two elements to the ‘Gambetta’. The first one is skill, where I with my foot can do anything I want. This gives a player a certain dignity. The other is deceit, where I have got to fool the defender into believing the opposite of what I am going to do. The taste for deceit is apparently very Argentinean in nature, as they brought up to celebrate cheekiness. When you combine the two elements, you get the most celebrated move in Argentinean football, which is the ‘Gambetta’.