Who Invented The Bicycle Kick In Soccer? (Revealed!)

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Who invented the bicycle kick in soccer?

First things first, soccer, also known as football, is the most popular sport in the world. Many skills and techniques have been developed over the years. One of them is The Bicycle Kick.

Over the years, many people have been looking to know who did the first ever bicycle kick.

But in this article, you are going to finally understand why there are so many assumptions about this topic, and what you should know about it.

Let’s find out together who deserves the credit for inventing this amazing move in soccer.

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What Is A Bicycle Kick In Soccer?

In soccer, a bicycle kick is an acrobatic strike by a player in the air. It’s achieved by jumping and throwing the body backwards up into the air, and hitting the ball before descending and touching the ground.

Other names to refer to a bicycle kick are overhead kick and scissor kick.

A bicycle kick can be very useful in two different situations:

  1. In defense to clear the ball away. Many defenders have used the bicycle skill to clear the pressure in their box area.
  2. Offensively to score goals. Many soccer players have scored fantastic goals using an overhead kick.

Who Invented The Bicycle Kick In Soccer?

The inventor of the bicycle kick in soccer/football remains contested, with claims from Chile, Peru, and Brazil. The skill’s true origin remains elusive, adding to its mystique and the debate surrounding its creation.

But, who is right and who is wrong?

Let’s deep deeper to find out.

1. In Chile

Who invented the bicycle kick in soccer - Ramon Unzaga

Many Chilean believe that the bicycle kick has been invented by Ramon Unzaga in 1914.

According to the Chileans, Unzaga invented the kick during a football match in Chile. During this match, the Argentina press did notice the spectacular move and decided to name it “La Chilena” which means The Chilean.

2. In Peru

However, Peruvians claim that the bicycle kick was created in Callao, the largest port in Peru in 1892.

Many Peruvians believe that the kick has been executed for the first time by a Callao local. They claim that it was during a soccer match against British sailors.

They also claim that many Chilean spectators witnessed this bicycle kick move and were so impressed that they named it “La Chalaca”.

3. In Brazil

Leonidas da silva

Brazil, of course, had to be part of this list.

Many Brazilians claim that Leonidas Da Silva was the first player to ever execute what they call “Bicicleta”.

According to many Brazilians, even the referee was so surprised and shocked that he didn’t know if he had to give a yellow or red card for this skill never seen before.

He is considered the king of the bicycle kick.

Did Pele Invent The Bicycle kick?

Millions still believe that Pele was the first player to execute a bicycle kick and therefore, invented it. But this assumption is not valid. In fact, Pele popularised and perfected the bicycle kick back in 1968 during a game between Brazil and Belgium.

Executing a bicycle kick during a soccer game is totally legal and allowed. There is no law in the football association that prohibits that skill. Contrary, this move is so spectacular that fans would pay to see it.

Some of the greatest players in the world have tried it.

For example, we can’t talk about the bicycle kick without mentioning C.Ronaldo.

During a UCL game between  Madrid and Juventus on the 3rd of April 2018, C.Ronaldo executed a fantastic bicycle kick assisted by Carvajal, and that will be remembered.

How To Do A Bicycle Kick?

Who invented the bicycle kick in soccer/football - Kid doing a bicycle kick and scoring

The first thing you have to know is that a bicycle kick can be as easy as shooting a ball.

Most soccer players did not go to school to learn how to do it. All it takes is some practice, repetition, and courage.

Why courage? You may ask.

Well, most people are not willing to throw their bodies backwards up into the air to do a bicycle kick.

I remember when I did my first bicycle kick during a Sunday league game with my friends, the bicycle kick came naturally based on the situation I was in. This day, the ball came up in the air and I didn’t think twice, I jumped and executed it perfectly. So unlucky it didn’t go in…

What do you have to learn from it?

Well, practice, practice, and practice on your own or during games with your friends.

Until the day comes… This day you are going to execute a bicycle kick during a game and not even realise it.

In the meantime, here are some tips to do a bicycle kick.

To perform a bicycle kick in soccer, follow these simple steps:

  1. Position yourself correctly: Stand with your back facing the goal and your eyes focused on the incoming ball.
  2. Time your jump: Gauge the flight of the ball and anticipate its arrival. Time your jump so that you can make contact with the ball at the highest point.
  3. Leap into the air: Jump off the ground, bringing your knees towards your chest and arching your back backwards.
  4. Execute the kick: As you reach the peak of your jump, extend one leg outward and upward, making contact with the ball. The other leg should remain in the air for balance.
  5. Follow through: After striking the ball, bring your kicking leg down while keeping your eyes on the target. Prepare to land safely on the ground.

Remember, mastering the bicycle kick takes practice and courage. Start with smaller attempts and gradually increase the difficulty.

Does The Bicycle Kick Hurt?

Doing the bicycle kick can hurt you if you land the wrong way. So, it’s important to have better control of your body and make sure to jump, execute the kick and descend with your hand touching the ground first to cushion the impact.

Does it mean the bicycle kick isn’t safe?

Is the bicycle kick safe?

The bicycle kick is safe for you if you do it the right way. However, it can be unsafe if a player is trying to head the ball while you are doing it.

In this case, the referee might penalize you and you could potentially harm the opposing player.

The good thing should be to do it when you are 100% sure no one is trying to head the ball at this moment.

Early Soccer Skills Before the Bicycle Kick

Before the bicycle kick took the soccer world by storm, there existed a variety of early soccer skills that laid the foundation for the game we know today.

These skills were simpler yet crucial in shaping the sport.

Players focused on basic techniques like passing, dribbling, and shooting, honing their abilities through practice and determination.

While acrobatic moves like the bicycle kick were yet to be discovered, these early soccer skills played an essential role in developing the game’s fundamentals and fostering a passion for the sport among players and spectators alike.

Spread of the Bicycle Kick

After its inception in Latin America, the bicycle kick gradually spread its wings, captivating soccer enthusiasts around the world.

As the sport gained popularity, players from different regions embraced this impressive move and incorporated it into their playing styles.

Through international competitions, exhibitions, and media coverage, the bicycle kick became widely recognized and admired.

Its awe-inspiring nature transcended borders, captivating fans and inspiring future generations of players.

Today, the bicycle kick is seen in matches across continents, showcasing its universal appeal and the global impact of this remarkable skill.

Influence on Modern Soccer

The bicycle kick has had a profound influence on modern soccer, shaping the tactics and strategies employed by teams worldwide.

This acrobatic move has become an integral part of the game, with both attackers and defenders utilizing it to their advantage.

Offensively, the bicycle kick offers a powerful and unexpected way to score goals, leaving goalkeepers and defenders stunned. It adds an element of surprise and spectacle to matches, captivating fans and creating unforgettable moments.

Defensively, players can employ the bicycle kick to clear the ball away from their own goal, effectively preventing the opposition from scoring.

Coaches and players analyze and study the bicycle kick, incorporating it into training sessions and game plans.

Its influence on modern soccer extends beyond the pitch, as its popularity has seeped into media coverage, advertising, and even player celebrations.

The bicycle kick’s impact on the sport is undeniable, forever changing the way the game is played and enjoyed by millions around the world.

Training and Coaching

When it comes to mastering the bicycle kick, training and coaching play a vital role in honing the necessary skills and techniques.

Coaches guide players through a step-by-step process, emphasizing proper body positioning, timing, and coordination.

Training sessions focus on building strength, flexibility, and balance to execute the move with precision.

Players practice repetitive drills, gradually increasing the level of difficulty as they improve.

Coaches provide valuable feedback, correcting any errors and encouraging players to push their limits. Alongside formal training, individual practice is crucial for developing confidence and muscle memory.

Players dedicate countless hours to perfecting their bicycle kick, whether it’s in their backyard, at a local field, or during team practices.

With dedication, persistence, and guidance from coaches, aspiring players can unlock the secrets of this acrobatic manoeuvre, turning it into a weapon in their soccer arsenal.

Evolution of Skills in Soccer

The evolution of skills in soccer is a fascinating journey that reflects the continuous development and innovation within the sport.

Throughout history, players have pushed the boundaries, introducing new techniques and moving to outwit opponents and showcase their creativity.

From the early days of basic ball control and passing, soccer skills have evolved into a dynamic blend of speed, agility, and precision.

As the game grew in popularity, advancements in training methods, technology, and coaching have contributed to the refinement of these skills.

Today, players exhibit exceptional dribbling, shooting, and tactical awareness, honed through rigorous training and professional guidance.

The evolution of skills in soccer is an ongoing process, driven by the pursuit of excellence and the desire to entertain fans worldwide.

As the sport progresses, who knows what breathtaking skills and techniques players will introduce in the future, captivating audiences and leaving us in awe of their immense talent?


At last, no one can be really sure where this bicycle move came from.

Whether it comes from Peru, Chile, or Brazil, what is certain is that the bicycle kick comes from Latin America.

Maybe it has been invented on a different continent. No one will ever know because the way to communicate in some parts of the world wasn’t anything like today.

Do you know any other assumptions about who invented the bicycle kick in soccer? Have you ever executed this acrobat before? Did you learn something new today? Let us know in the comment section below.

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