Football Language: Scorpion Kick

A scorpion is from the same family as a spider (arachnids) and attacks its prey by using a sting in its tail. A scorpion kick is a type of backward or reverse bicycle kick or scissors kick. To volley the ball in football is a very difficult skill as a player needs to have good technique and ability to strike or hit the ball when it is in the air. In football if a player manages to volley the ball when the ball is behind him or her some people call this a scorpion kick – the player ‘dives forward’ in the air and raises his feet behind him/her to volley the ball. There is a little bit of luck involved with this movement as the player is unable to see the ball but instead hopes that his/her technique will guide the ball in roughly or approximately the right direction.

Perhaps the most famous example of this kind of scorpion kick can be seen in the game between England and Colombia in 1995 when Colombian keeper René Higuita produced this movement. There are variations of this type of volley, for instance, only one foot might be used rather than two or maybe the player flicks the ball to try to give it more direction but these are still seen as types of scorpion kick. These type of plays are rare in football and when players use them to score this is even rarer. However, in the past month two players in the Premier League have scored using this technique: Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Manchester United against Sunderland and then Olivier Giroud for Arsenal versus Crystal Palace – maybe more players will try this technique in 2017!
  • Example: Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud scored with a type of a scorpion kick against Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day 2017.
  • Example: Wikipedia’s page on the scorpion kick

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Football GlossaryEpisode 679