Rondos: going round in circles


Using rondos in training gives you the ability to replicate almost everything you will find in a game — and the confidence that you are following in the footsteps of rondos pioneer Laureano Ruiz and enthusiasts Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola!


This session is an exercise for an Under-12s team with 12 players, but is easy to adapt as long as you maintain an overload in each rondo group. This session works for both football and futsal.

Set up two circles the same size to start, and then add a grid of three sections adjacent to the circles. Put up two mini goals at one end to accommodate the one-touch finish progression.


Start with all players on the outside of the circle. Allow players to play freely and unopposed to begin with. See how many passes can be completed in two minutes.

Progress to having one or two defenders inside the circle, with attackers retaining possession for as long as possible.

Encourage one-touch from this point on if it suits your group’s ability. Where there are two defenders, ensure they work together. If a defender wins possession, they can swap with the attacker who lost the ball.


Encourage players to move the ball with both feet and different parts of the feet, preferably the sole, an important aspect of futsal. Depending on age and ability level, use just one, two or three touches where possible.

Also encourage a positive first touch and remind players to anticipate the next pass. This will require players to talk, look up and work as a team.


Each rondo group passes through the central grid, doing a set number of passes in each section – start with 10 (progress to fewer passes and more flowing movement between grid sections) and move to the next section. This encourages the passing movement to both retain possession and progress up the pitch in a game. This can be a timed or competitive game between the two groups.

You can add mini goals at the end of the grid – two players can leave the grid to create a one-touch opposed or unopposed finish before re-joining the group – rotate positions between players.

1. Set up two circles for two groups to begin the rondo session. The groups can play unopposed to begin and then progress to having one or two defenders working in the middle of the circles.

2. Set up a central grid made up of three sections and add two mini goals at the end of the area.

3. To progress from the initial opposed rondo, players move from the circle to the grid, playing a set number of passes in each section before progressing. They can end with a one-touch shot on goal.

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