Who Invented The Bicycle Kick In Soccer? (Answered)

Share it with others

Who invented the bicycle kick in soccer?

First thing 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 get started.

Quick Navigation

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 defence 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 Origin of the bicycle kick, also called the Overhead kick, has been contested for several decades now. In fact, the invention of the Bicycle Kick in soccer has been contested in three Latin American countries as Brazil, Peru, and Chile, all claiming to have invented this fantastic skill.

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?

Today, millions of people still believe that Pele was the first player to ever execute a bicycle kick and therefore, invented it. But this assumption is not true. 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 Execute A Bicycle kick? Tips

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.

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.


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 in a different continent. No one will ever know because the way to communicate in some part of the world wasn’t anything like today.

Do you know any other assumption on 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.

Leave a Comment