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Should the “Paradina” Be Thrown to the Piranhas?

Piranhas B
Creative Commons License photo credit: hotcactuspepper

They say the English invented the game, but the Brazilians perfected it.

And looking through Brazil’s World Cup history it is hard to think otherwise.  And one thing that makes the World Cup so great is the fact that football from all around the world is fused together creating a unique, global blend unlike any other major sport.  But do the Brazilians go too far with their penalty taking tactics?

The Paradina is well known in Brazil as one of the most stylish and effective ways of scoring a goal via penalty kick.  The phrase means “little stop” and it defines the scoring tactic well.  When a player does the Paradina the focus is on faking the keeper out and then scoring after this has happened.  Usually the way in which the player fakes out the keeper is in the move itself.  

Pele is considered the godfather of the move and he often made keepers look foolish with the crafty deke in the 1970’s.  Cristiano Ronaldo is well known for his love of the move and young Brazilian star Neymar is considered one of the best at pulling off the Paradina in the modern day.  But what is the move exactly?  I will try and explain.

A player stands behind the ball on the penalty spot and slowly begins to go towards the stationary ball.  Then the player picks up speed and begins quickly moving their feet up to the ball until they are only inches away.  Then the player either completely stops on a dime before their foot makes contact with the ball or they intentionally swing and miss the ball watching where the keeper is at.  After the keeper commits a certain way or in some cases completely dives on the ground, the shooter quickly kicks the ball the opposite direction into the net.

Think it is unfair?  So does many other countries that will play this summer in South Africa.

But most consider the move to be only done strictly in Brazil and it is usually frowned upon if it is done anywhere else.  Of course several players have tried the move and failed to succeed as well (including Ronaldo in the Champions League a few years back).  But in all fairness the move is pretty cheap and should be regulated in such a critical event.

The keeper deserves an honest chance of stopping a shot that is already hard enough to stop without the move and such a move should in fact be outlawed because it is in fact unfair.  In baseball it is called a balk when the pitcher begins his motion and refuses to throw the ball.  In soccer it should be called something similar.  But it shouldn’t be celebrated. 

Well other than in Brazil of course.