YouTube superstars THE KNUCKLEBALL TWINS give MATCH a step-by-step guide on how to strike the sweetest knuckleball free-kick around!

THE RUN-UP…

“The run-up should consist of five to seven steps directly back from the ball, with two steps either side, depending on what foot you strike the ball with. Your stance should be at a slight angle, approach the ball on your toes at a steady pace, with the last stride the biggest. This enables your kicking foot to open up and make the correct contact!”

THE CONTACT AREA...

“For the contact, you want to be striking the ball with the ‘instep’ part of your foot – aka ‘the sweet spot’. You’re gonna need to open up your striking foot 90 degrees, as if you are performing a side foot pass, to make contact with your instep. This is the hardest bone in your foot, and is vital in order to perfect the knuckleball technique!”

STRIKING THE BALL…

“When making contact, it’s important to strike the centre of the ball – if you don’t strike the ball in the centre, the ball will have back spin or curve on it, resulting in no knuckleball effect. When you place the ball for a free-kick, make sure you have a logo or ball marking facing you as you approach it. This will help you strike the ball in the centre. The valve can also be a good point of reference!”

FOLLOW THROUGH…

“As you make contact with the ball, put your weight on your left shoulder and lean your body to the left, with your head over the ball – or the reverse for left footers. The follow through must be short and snappy, to ensure there’s little rotation on the ball after contact. As you start to practise, shoot from a short distance to allow your technique to adapt from a curve shot to a knuckleball!”

WHERE TO AIM…

“The knuckleball is the most unpredictable shot out there, so in terms of aiming a free- kick, this is what makes it so exciting! You could be aiming for the middle of the goal, and the movement of the ball could make it fly into the top corner! We normally aim our free-kicks high into the corners, as it gives the knuckleball shot the best chance to be the most effective. A low knuckleball towards the goal can be effective, providing the distance isn’t too far!”