In football, ambipedal players are as rare as a solar eclipse but when they emerge it’s always exciting to watch.
Ambipedal refers to the ability to use both feet with equal measure of effectiveness.
Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is one of the best ambipedal footballers in recent years. The Spanish midfielder’s ability to deliver passes, crosses and goals with both feet is a sight to behold. There are other players who by practice managed to be effective with both feet.
French maestro Zinedine Zidane, naturally right-footed, is remembered for his superb left-footed volley in the 2002 Uefa Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen, has spoken about how he used to practice perfecting his weaker foot when he was young.
And then you have the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Forlan.
The PSL has also seen a few players. Some were natural while others practiced to be good at both feet. Other players like Kermit Erasmus, who can strike the ball well with both feet, need time to prove their effectiveness. FARPost picks five.
- Thabo Matlaba
The Black Leopards captain is by far the leading player who is good with both feet. This quality has made it easy for him to be deployed anywhere on the pitch. He can play leftback, rightback, leftwing or rightwing. Matlaba does chip in with great goals from either foot at times. His high levels of endurance make him a must have in any team.
- Bernard Parker
There’s a small margin of difference between his left and right. Though he played as a left wing which meant he used his left more, Parker surprised many that whenever he took penalties he used his right. Parker can take freekicks from either side of the pitch.
- Brent Carelse
The former Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United midfielder was a key member of the teams he played for. From the midfield position, he was very influential in that he created and scored goals. His playmaking role was great. He could switch play at any given time since he was good on both feet.
- Abia Nale
Blessed with terrific pace at his prime, Nale, who played for Golden Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs, was unplayable at some point in the PSL. He could turn to left or right and still be able to cause trouble for any defender. His ability to use both feet made him a nightmare for defenders.
- Franklin Cale
Just like Parker, Cale, who played for Mamelodi Sundowns and Highlands Park among other teams, was a left winger but he had an advantage of crossing with both left and right. He could also take corner kicks with either foot. He didn’t hesitate to shoot with either whenever he got opportunities.
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By Hosea Ramphekwa