An Ode to the Dink: Football's Most Under-Appreciated Maneuver

dinks mobile
Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

You’re on the shoulder of the last defender and you know you have the best of him for pace. In a flash, you’re off. Running into the space behind the defense, only VAR can stop you now. You’ve timed it perfectly, the ball and green grass in front of you, one touch to take it under control as you cross the white line into the box. No need to look up, you can feel the keeper on his way and you know exactly where the goal is. With the deftness of a golfer and his wedge, your foot connects with the bottom of the ball sending it over the unsuspecting keeper. No need to wait for it to hit the net, you wheel away to the corner flag to celebrate the goal that’ll be shared across the world tonight. You’ve just dinked one over the keeper.

The beautiful game has many beautiful sights, but for me, one surpasses all others in the level of deftness, audacity and even arrogance displayed. Maybe it’s the years of playing FIFA, where dinking the opponents keeper was viewed as the height of showmanship.

There’s just something about a player running through one on one with the keeper and having the calmness and technique to lift the ball over, rather than going for a side or putting their foot through it and going with power. There’s not many more aesthetically pleasing sights in football, maybe even all sports?

So what exactly constitutes a dink? There’s certainly a family of shots that find the net by arcing over the keeper in some way. There’s the lob, which is probably best distinguished by distance. Think that David Beckham goal that shot him to prominence:

Beckham's Lob

Dempsey's Chip

Lionel Messi

Hernan Crespo

Henrik Larsson

Antonin Panenka

The dink is king

You can keep your diving headers, your 30-yard thunderbolts or postage stamp corner finding free kicks. The dink is truly the king of finishes in football. With NFTs exploding in popularity right now, I wonder how long it will be before we see a ‘Topshot’ style football moments version. Sorare scratches the itch to a certain extent, but doesn't include the coveted "Moments" function of Top Shot.

The world’s most popular sport seems a ripe market to create a chance to own little pieces of history. Your own team’s goals, your personal favorites, goals from matches you attended, the list goes on. There is just so much potential out there for a huge fanbase to delve into.

One thing’s for certain, when we see tokenized goals, you’ll find my collection full of dinks. Bring me ALL THE DINKS. That Larsson goal? I dread to think how much I’d be willing to pay to own it.

Did you like this article?
Thumbs Up
Thumbs Down