How to prepare your finishes with the ball roll skill move!
December 24, 2020


When it comes to finishing your chances consistently, a clean preparation of the shot is one of the most important things you need to have. Normally this is done with left stick dribbling into a certain direction. In FIFA 21 however skill moves are the meta and as it turns out, one skill move in particular is extremely efficient when it comes to setting up your shot: the ball roll! In this article I want to give you a compact overview on the technique.

How to do it

The ball roll is not a hard skill move to do and in order to combine it with your shooting variation of choice, you just need to make the input for it right after doing the ball roll. So don't take an extra touch in between the ball roll and the shot, that will take too much time and you are going to lose the angle.
  • PS & Xbox: Do a ball roll (briefly hold right stick towards left/right relative to running direction of your player) and then power up the shot right after.

How to use it

The ball roll is an extremely versatile skill move in itself and therefore you can prepare a lot of different finishes with it aswell. Mostly you are trying to get a different angle on the goalkeeper or a defender in order to then shoot past them more easily.

1vs1 with goalkeeper (scenes #1 to #3)
When approaching the goalkeeper in an isolated situation you have a lot of time to think. Sometimes too much it feels like and you decide for a corner when suddenly you realise that the angle isn't that good or your opponent moved his goalkeeper and you are trying to turn again to shoot the other direction but it all takes too long and in the end you fail. 
With the ball roll this is a problem of the past. Simply
  • approach the opponents goal in a neutral angle
  • watch the goalkeeper and his movement closely and decide for one corner
  • do a ball roll towards that side and finish the chance

In spots like these the ball roll is extremely useful to quickly put the ball on one foot and finish right after. Since the combination is very smooth and quick you can wait calmly until the opponent makes his move with the goalkeeper. No surprise that the wonderkid Anders Vejrgang is using this move aswell!

Mostly in these situations where you are free on goal, you can just finish with a driven shot since getting a better angle with the ball roll is enough for the shot to go past the opponents keeper. However if the goalkeeper is rushing out very far, you can also prepare a curved shot.

If the opponent fully commits then you can make sure that the goalkeeper has no chance of getting the ball by curving it around him. Most of the times you want to put the ball on the inner foot with the ball roll and then finish far post.

Getting a better angle inside the box (scenes #4 to #8)
When you are able to create some space inside the box, time and options are often limited due to pressure from defenders. You can't always prepare a shot far post for example even if it would be the best option for the spot. Once again the ball roll comes in handy here: in situations where normally the chance of scoring would be pretty low or you would be forced to try lobbing it over the keeper, you can instead consistenly change the shooting angle with the ball roll and score.

I'm in a touch spot with Martial, the opponents defender pressures the inside and my angle on the near post isn't great. However by doing the ball roll upwards I can somewhat go around the goalkeeper in this spot and finish near post successfully.

When approaching the goal from a central position, you can almost always finish with a driven shot. However when you're coming more from the side and run towards the goal diagonally (scene #7), then finishing with a curved shot is also a great option after the ball roll!

Other variations (scenes #9 to #11)
As already mentioned there are many possibilities with the ball roll and also with its combination with a finish. Basically whenever you need to turn slightly in order to be able to go for a good shot, you can use the ball roll to do so.

Here I am facing away from goal and use the ball roll to turn upwards so that I have an angle for a curved shot. The very quick and close control that you have over the ball gives the opponent very little time to defend.

Once again it is about experimenting and being creative. There are a lot more spots where this technique can be useful, just try it out and have fun scoring!
About the author:
Georg "CruZzAve" Raffelt is creating educational FIFA content since FIFA 13 around which time he also started his competitive journey in the game. He was able to qualify for the Grand Final of the German National Championship 'Virtuelle Bundesliga' twice in 2014 and 2015. Online he managed to reach the weekly and monthly Top100 in the Weekend League numerous times.

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