The Trivela

The “trivela” (translates from Portugese as “curl”) is a term used in soccer to describe a specific technique of striking the ball. It involves using the outside of the foot to curl or swerve the ball in the opposite direction of the foot’s natural movement.

When a right-footed player executes a trivela, for example, they would strike the ball with the outside of their right foot, causing it to curve to the left. Similarly, a left-footed player would strike with the outside of their left foot to make the ball curve to the right.

Trivela example

Breaking down the Trivela: Step by step tutorial


Start by positioning yourself correctly relative to the ball and your target. If you’re planning to cross the ball, approach it from an angle that allows you to strike it cleanly with the outside of your foot towards your intended target. Similarly, if you’re aiming for a shot on goal or a pass, position yourself accordingly.


Take a few short steps or a slight jog towards the ball, ensuring that you maintain your balance and control throughout the approach. The pace of your approach will depend on the distance to your target and the power you intend to generate with the strike.


As you reach the optimal striking distance, plant your non-kicking foot next to the ball. Ensure there’s enough distance between your standing leg and the ball (otherwise you might kick your other leg and trip over!). Swing your kicking foot towards the ball with the outside of your foot. Ensure there’s enough back lift, or the shot will lack power/swing.


Aim to make contact with the lower half of the ball, slightly below its midpoint and to the side. This contact point helps create the desired curl or swerve effect.


After making contact with the ball, allow your kicking foot to continue its natural motion, following through towards your target. This follow-through helps add power and accuracy to the strike while maintaining control over the direction and trajectory of the ball.


Like any other soccer skill, mastering the trivela technique requires practice and repetition. Start by practicing the motion slowly and gradually increase the speed and intensity as you become more comfortable with the technique. Experiment with different angles, distances, and power levels to fine-tune your proficiency with the trivela.

Youtube Tutorial

Soccer Blade youtube channel

The significance of trivela

Much like the rabona, the trivela is considered an unnecessary skill. Jose Mourinho saw its use as a lack of discipline, while Rafa Benitez urged Modric to stop using it at Real Madrid [2].

A problem with the trivela is that it is associated with one-footedness, with the egotism of the gifted but lazy star. 

Barney Ronay, The Guardian (source)

But like the robona again – and as highlighted by Barney Ronay in the aforementioned article – the skill possibly has a deeper significance. It transcends mere skill; it is an embodiment of freedom on the football pitch.

When to use the trivela?

Keeping the above information in mind, use the skill only when you’ve mastered it. Prioritize developing your weaker foot over the trivela. Employ the technique to surprise defenders or goalkeepers with an unexpected flight path of the ball. Use it strategically to surprise defenders, create scoring opportunities, or deliver precise passes to your teammates.

It requires precise timing and technique to execute effectively and is often used for crosses, shots, or passes. Some players like Ricardo Quaresma and Zinedine Zidane are particularly renowned for their proficiency in using the trivela, adding an extra dimension to their playmaking ability.


  1. Soccer blade youtube channel
  2. The Guardian
  3. Playing for 90
  4. Tom Harris Football