Ball Control Football – How to improve your close control and touch?

Have you ever wondered how to improve your close control and touch and what it would be like to have complete ball control in football and  be able to play like Messie or Ronaldo?

close ball control
close ball control

In this article I will show you a few tips and look at how to improve your close control and touch with the football.

Well the good news is many years ago when a Mr Messi & a Mr Ronaldo fell in love with football, they too had to learn to control a football.

A basic ball skill that top players make look easy but unless you learn how to do this, it can make the game a lot harder than it should be for yourself.

You should always make this a priority when practicing football skills,  remember if you are in control of the ball you will have more time to make the pass.

Ever heard this saying in football “the top players look like they have more time on the ball”.

The simple answer to this saying is they have the ball instantly under their control, this gives the impression that the have more time on the ball.

He is a question for you?  Could you make it look easy as well?

Here are some top tips to get that ball under your spell and help you feel like you have more time on the ball.


Cast the ball under you magic spell!

The first important piece of advice to all players looking to improve ball skills does not even involve the ball.

This is a must at all times for you if you want the ball to be under your magic spell.

keep your eye on the ball. Yes watching it at all means that you have more chance of controlling it when the ball gets passed into you. Players seem to forget this basic and wonder why the ball gets away from you.

By keeping your eyes open and staying alert your close ball control will improve.

You must look at ways of improving your focus and concentration.

on the run in soccer
on the run in soccer

Tip : In your spare time try this. Learn to juggle 3 balls for 5 mineuts without dropping them . Why do this?

This will prove difficult at first for you but by practicing you juggling skills, your focus, attention and concentration will become very sharp. You will then find watching just one big football becomes much easier and your eye to ball skills will improve dramatically.



It is so much better to use two feet than one!

If you are going to start practicing to improve skills always start by doing it right and that means using both feet in football.

When you receive a pass and the ball is moving towards you, this forward momentum means that if you try to stop the ball with your foot, it will push your foot back slightly.

Use this motion to help you.

You should let the ball cushion into your foot let it move slightly back, not much, about and inch or two.

This will stop the ball dead in front of you.  If you push your foot at the ball it will fly off too fast and you would have lost control of the ball.

If you just let the ball hit you then the ball is in control not you.

Practice this :

Find a friend or a wall if no one is about, and start knocking the ball at your friend or target.

Use the left foot then the right foot.

When the ball comes back towards you, start seeing if you can use the forward motion of the ball coming towards you, to improve your first touch by letting it cushion into you foot.

Your aim is to be able to stop the ball with your first touch right in front of you.

When you can do this every time with either foot. Then you know that your control is becoming first class.

Dribbling with the ball while running!


running with the ball
running with the ball

This skill uses all the best things about football. The ball stuck to your foot and freedom of running with it.

The key elements here are using the front of your foot, from your big toe to the little one, and your head should be slightly raised so you are looking up and aware of what’s around you but also able keep a keen eye on the where the ball is, stuck to the front of your foot.

If you find an open field start with a gentle jog.  Have the ball slightly in front of you at your feet.

Try lifting your head as you go and keeping the ball just in front of yourself.  When you have gone about 100 metres, turn around and jog back using the other foot doing the same thing.

Do this as many times as you like.  More practice never hurt anyone.  You will be improving every time you do it.

The aim here is to get comfortable with the ball at your feet. This will allow you to start running faster and faster as you keep doing the same thing.

The end aim of this exercise is to be sprinting up and down so that you cannot even notice the ball is at your feet.



Controlling the ball with a cushioned header!

There are many way parts of the body to control a football with, not your hand, unless you are the goalkeeper.

The cushioned header is always a favourite of mine.

What you will be doing here is taking the pace off the ball as it comes of your head to gently run it into the path of your teammate

Sounds simple right!

The ball has a forward motion when it is heading towards you. Remember this and when it his your head, let your neck muscles relax slight in towards your shoulders.

Try to use your forehead. This gives the ball a bigger target to hit, which means more control for you.

Try this for an exercise.

Set up a target anywhere around you.  A cheap option is to use a pair of socks as this works just as well and you can move this around easily enough, to different areas.

Find yourself an open area.

Throw the football up into the air as high as you like.  Get yourself underneath it and use those neck muscles, to cushion the header down towards that target. This will prove difficult at first, the ball will fly off faster than you want it to and probably way of the target.

The aim is to control the downward header gently and slowly.

Try to hit the target no matter where you place it.

The words you want to hear ” great first touch”

in air ball control
in air ball control









To have an easy looking first touch takes time and a lot of practice.

Just remember all footballers start from the same place, the love of the game, a football, and the will to be a better player.

The key elements for you to remember is to always keep your eye on the ball. Watch it till you have it under your control.

Use the forward motion of the ball to help you think about how fast or slow you need to move your foot or other part of the body towards the ball so that you are in control and no the ball.

Keep your eyes open so you can see where you are aiming at.

Keep practicing and have fun with it.  As long as you are enjoying learning and finding ways to get better close control for yourself, then your game will improve.

This is football it is meant to be fun so enjoy. Good luck and remember this famous saying ” the harder I practice the luckier I get”.

I would love to hear from you about this topic so please contact me with any feedback or questions, or thoughts.

Please leave me a comment below.

Best Wishes






Please follow and like us:

12 thoughts on “Ball Control Football – How to improve your close control and touch?

  1. I am really a die-hard football fan and I am really passionate about football. I am a true to the heart supporter of Chelsea football club. I do play football to catch fun Aon weekends but controlling the ball is an area I really want to improve upon and your article is really informative and helpful. I would love to be controlling like Hazard and Messi. I will follow your guide in this article to achieve that. Good job!

    1. Hi Felicity. 

      Another die-hard football fan that’s gets  a thumbs up from me. 

      I am pleased that my article might help improve your game in some way. That was the aim of writing it. 

      More like this article to follow so I look forward to seeing you back on my website soon

      Thank you for the lovely message. 

  2. Hi Matthew, 

    I am impressed with the effort you put into making this article on Ball Control Football – How to improve your close control and touch?, a great read. 

    I actually felt like you were talking to me face to face, making it easy for me to learn more. 

    I am on my way to practicing what you’ve just taught. Thanks for the time you put into putting this article together. 

    1. Hi Peace

      Thanks for taking the time to message me. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

      It is my fantastic  to have helped you with improving your game in some small way.

       Keep learning and improving that’s the way to become your best 

      Take care my friend. 

  3. I always consider myself pretty good with ball control. But I never really trained systematically for it. My skills just improves through playing, which is so much fun. I do think however that at my skill level right now, if I were to further improve, I need some good training. Love how you explain the concepts and couple them with exercises. Will try those with my friends.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi wei

      The main thing about playing football is to keep enjoying it, to have fun. 

      If this article helps in any way to improve your game then that is what I want to happen for you. 

      Top man for taking the time to message me. 

      Hope to see you back on my website soon. 

      Take care. 

  4. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article here, I appreciate you taking time and breaking it all down for us.  This is great.
    I am not that really good in playing football but your article just helped me out. I have always wonder how to control ball cause I do love to watch football. You have really imparted me. I would share that with my friend who loves play football I’m sure this would also help him out too.

    1. Hi Musbau

      It doesn’t really matter if you not that good at playing football as long as you keep having fun playing the game. 

      Thank you for sharing this article with your friend. I do hope it can improve his game even in a small way. 

      Very nice message from you so thank you for that. 

      Best wishes  

  5. This was a great and simple to follow guide on how to improve close  control and touch in football. You laid it all out clearly and showed examples that helped emphasize your various points. This guide will be very useful for people like me because i love playing football on daily basis. Infact my favourite sport is football and i really learnt alot from your writeup.

    Thanks for the eye opener

    1. Hi Tracy

      Wow what fantastic comments from yourself. Thank you very much. 

      Keep learning and improving and you game you skyrocket forward. 

      Take care and good luck. 

  6. Really liking the tip to use the wall and aim to stop the ball in front of you with your fist touch.  I am always having a kick about with my son at the park but he is so good i hardly ever get control of the ball. 

    I am very sneakly learning some tips and tricks online to blow his mind. haha.

    great tips many thanks 😉

    1. Hi Dianne

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article and for commenting on it. 

      You never know you might be able to help show your son some new tricks:)

      Good luck to you. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow by Email