On occasion you see sometimes players try this tactic where they squeeze the ball between two feet and hop across the goal line in an attempt to score. This is usually kids learning the game or adults goofing around.

Is this legal or must a ball be kicked across the line to count as a goal?

2 Answers 2


This is completely legal, provided it is done in a manner in which it is still possible to safely challenge for the ball or there are no opponents nearby.

FIFA Laws of the Game, 2013/14, p. 121:

Playing in a dangerous manner is defined as any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player himself). It is committed with an opponent nearby and prevents the opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury.

If the referee decides that the action by the player makes it dangerous for opponents to challenge for the ball, an indirect free kick is awarded to the opposing team.

If this goes further, and playing the ball moves from being unsafe to an impossibility (for an unreasonable amount of time), a player is cautioned for unsporting behaviour. Note that there is no requirement here for opponents to be nearby.

This is no longer contained in the present text of the Laws, but was last seen in the 2006 FIFA Q&A to the Laws of The Game, p.30:

A player intentionally lies on the ball for an unreasonable length of time. What action does the referee take?

He stops play, cautions the player for unsporting behaviour and restarts play with an indirect free kick.

In the current (2013/14) laws, this roughly corresponds to the following on p. 123:

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, e.g. if a player:


  • acts in a manner which shows a lack of respect for the game


The restart is once again an indirect free kick.

Thanks to posdef, here is a clip of Cuauhtémoc Blanco using this technique.


A player is not allowed to control the ball (so that it can't move freely) at any time, which would include across the goal line. Exceptions would be the goalkeeper, or during a throw in.

  • 1
    And to answer the other part, it doesn't have to be kicked - it can be headed, struck with the body, leg, etc. Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 5:33
  • 1
    Hmmm... I read through the FIFA laws of the game, and couldn't find a clear prohibition. But it would probably fall under dangerous play. Same for sitting on a ball in play, or lying on top of it. Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 6:11
  • 1
    You could probably call a foul for impeding as well, although both of those would end up with an indirect free kick for the opposition. Of course, if you managed to really do something special it could count as a misconduct for unsporting behavior, but I really doubt that'd ever come up.
    – Ashen
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 15:00
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    I haven't seen this in the rules either. Do you have a reference? Players trap the ball all the time and I've never seen anyone called for it. Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 19:20
  • 5
    Well this answer is not entirely correct, see the Blanco dribble (aka the bunny hop) from WC'98 (youtube.com/watch?v=v5SB-L8jpbs)
    – posdef
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 6:20

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