11 examples of actual magic in football: Benitez, Sherwood, Cazorla…

Quick Reads
Rafa Benitez

Occasionally we’ll witness a moment in football that can’t be explained away normally, to the point that it feels as though there must be some other magical force involved.

Sometimes there’s a clear magician at play, a footballer who produces a piece of skill you’ve never seen before or contorts the ball in ways you didn’t think possible.

On other occasions things are a bit different, but no less eye-catching. We’ve picked out a few standout magical moments here.

Rafa Benitez makes a graphic appear

The layers to this.

He must have stooges working on this behind the scenes – no way this is a one-man job.

Tim Sherwood disappears

Making yourself disappear is always a popular act for a magician.

But has anyone ever done it at the side of a football pitch like Tim Sherwood? Now that’s magic.

Benjamin Kololli makes himself disappear

This is why you should always scout out the venue before performing your tricks

Santi Cazorla appears

Santi Cazorla has always been a magician on the pitch so it made absolute sense that Villarreal hired a magician to make him appear out of nowhere after he’d re-signed for the club.

As player unveilings go, it was pretty ridiculous. But it was also pretty impressive.

Lights out

Clapping to turn off a light is one thing, but imagine being able to simply wave your hand at any light to immediately make it go off.

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor can do it.

Josh Murphy chops an assistant in half

Sorry, we couldn’t resist.

Rodrigo Taddei trades sleight of hand for sleight of foot

Now we get to the other definition of magic.

This is like playing a game of three-card monte.

Your eyes are drawn one way, then the other, then back again, to the point you don’t know which way is up and which way is down.

Josh Dasilva creates a new move

We don’t know what this is called. We don’t know how he’s done it. We don’t even know how you’d go about trying to do this.

All we can do is watch back in awe without attempting to rationalise. We’re up to 100 watches already.

Ezequiel Calvente reinvents penalties

Perhaps the best new innovation in penalty taking since the Panenka (just kidding, there’s no ‘perhaps’ about it)

The brilliance of this comes from the fact that, if the goalkeeper is aware of the process, you’ve already lost. It’s like making the Statue of Liberty disappear.

Kerlon defies all logic

Sometimes seeing the process isn’t actually enough to win us over. Even with all the information in front of us, there’s a difference between ‘how did he do that?’ and ‘HOW DID HE DO THAT?!’

Enter Kerlon, and the famous seal dribble. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Sometimes the key to magic is playing with expectations as well as with reality.

Arthur Masuaku pulls a rabbit out of a hat

We’ve seen Arthur Masuaku beat a man, only to go back so we can beat him for a second time.

With that in mind, this shouldn’t surprise us, and yet… just look at it.


More from Planet Football

13 of football’s biggest sh*thouses: Ramos, Costa, Pepe, Van Bommel…

Can you name the 30 Brazilian players with the most PL appearances?

Arthur Masuaku, a new West Ham cult hero and why being bad can be good

An ode to Jimmy Bullard, who treats football with the seriousness it needs