Soccer Rondo.

Soccer Rondo – Basic Structure And Best Drills For Rondo

Soccer, often referred to as the “beautiful game,” is a sport that combines strength, skill, and strategy. In recent years, the soccer rondo has gained prominence as a tactical element. The rondo is a training drill that originated in Spain and is now used by teams worldwide to improve players’ technical abilities, spatial awareness, and quick decision-making.

What is soccer Rondo?

What is soccer Rondo?

A “rondo” is a training drill designed to enhance players’ technical skills, ball control, and decision-making abilities in a tight space. The term “rondo” is derived from the Spanish word for “round,” reflecting players’ circular or round formation during this exercise.

Key components of a soccer rondo include quick passing, movement off the ball, pressure management, and effective communication. The drill is known for its intensity, creating a challenging environment that simulates actual match situations.

The basic structure of soccer rondo

The basic structure of soccer rondo.

The soccer rondo’s basic structure involves players forming a circle with defenders in the center. They collaborate to keep possession through quick and accurate passing, emphasizing skills like ball control. The circle’s size and defender numbers vary based on the drill. Players constantly move, creating passing lanes, offering options, and evading defenders.

What Are Rondos Used For?

What Are Rondos Used For?

Rondos enhance a soccer team’s performance by emphasizing quick passes, ball control, and decision-making. The drill fosters spatial awareness, aiding effective navigation during matches. Rondos promote teamwork, communication, and cohesion—essential for collective success.

Defenders’ pressure in the drill simulates real-game situations, developing resilience and composure in players. Integrating rondos into training sessions contributes to a team’s adaptability, fitness, and positive mindset—key elements for on-field success.

See Also: How Long Is A youth Soccer Game?

5 best Soccer Rondo drills

Rondo drills are soccer training exercises designed to improve players’ ball control. It also improves passing and movement in a small-sided game setting. Here are some of the best rondo drills.

1 – 3v1 Rondo

3v1 Rondo drill.
  • Set up a small square or circle with four players.
  • Three players (attackers) try to keep possession of the ball against one defender.
  • The defender aims to intercept the ball or force it out of bounds.
  • If the defender successfully wins the ball, the player who lost possession becomes the new defender.

2 – 4v2 Rondo

4v2 Rondo drill.
  • Arrange a larger square or circle with six players.
  • Four players (attackers) attempt to maintain possession against two defenders.
  • The two defenders work together to win the ball and switch roles with the player who lost possession.
  • Encourage quick ball movement and player rotation.

3 – Triangle Rondo

Triangle Rondo drill.
  • Create a triangular playing area with three players on the outside and three players in the center.
  • The players in the center try to keep possession by passing to each other while the outside players attempt to intercept.
  • If an outside player successfully intercepts the ball, the player who made the errant pass goes to the outside.

4 – 7v2 Rondo

7v2 Rondo dril.
  • Set up a larger playing area with seven attackers and two defenders.
  • The attackers aim to maintain possession with quick passing and movement.
  • Defenders work together to win the ball, and if successful, they switch roles with the player who lost possession.

5 – Circle Rondo

Circle rondo drill.
  • Form a circle with players evenly spaced around the perimeter.
  • One or two players stand in the center and try to intercept passes between the outside players.
  • If a pass is intercepted, the player who made the pass or lost possession swaps positions with the player in the center.

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entertaining practices with Soccer Rondo

practices with Soccer Rondo

Here are some fun and creative practices with rondos. These practices will help you to increase your skills and strengths entertainingly.

Musical Rondo Madness

Make a playlist of varying-tempo songs. During a rondo, pause the music at random intervals. Play continues when the music stops and the ball player performs a dance move. As well as improving ball control and agility, this adds a playful twist to rondo training.

Shadow soccer Rondo

Divide the players into pairs, with one player designated as the “shadow.” The shadow player replicates the movements of the player with the ball, attempting to intercept passes. Teamwork and communication are encouraged as teammates work together to outsmart shadows.

Color-coded Rondo:

Assign different colors to cones placed around the playing area. Each player has to pass the ball to a teammate standing next to a cone of a specific color. To make it more challenging, change the color coding periodically. This drill improves passing accuracy, communication, and awareness of both teammates and the field.

Rondo Tic-Tac-Toe

Set up a large tic-tac-toe grid using cones. Players must complete a sequence of passes to place their team’s marker (e.g., a different-colored cone) in a desired square. This game adds a strategic element to the rondo, encouraging players to think ahead, coordinate movements, and develop a cohesive playing strategy.

Rondo Island Hopping

Place small islands (cones or markers) throughout the playing area. Players hop from island to island using quick passes. Players who lose possession must perform a quick exercise (e.g., jumping jacks) before rejoining. The drill improves ball control under pressure and encourages dynamic movement.

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How to get the most out of rondos?

How to get the most out of rondos?

Rondos, a popular soccer training exercise, is an essential tool for improving players’ technical talents, decision-making abilities, and overall team chemistry. When done correctly and strategically, rondos can be a game-changer in player development. Here are five key considerations to get the most out of rondos.

Consider the Size of the Space

Rondos’ effectiveness is influenced by the playing area dimensions. Coaches must balance space size to challenge players appropriately, with smaller spaces emphasizing quick play and larger ones encouraging longer passes.

Adjust the Number of Attackers and Defenders

The attacker-defender ratio is critical in rondos. Coaches should experiment to create a competitive yet constructive environment, understanding that more defenders increase pressure, while fewer defenders provide more time and space for attackers.

Usage of Neutral or ‘All-Time-Offense’ Players

Incorporating neutral players enhances rondos’ intensity. These ‘all-time-offense’ players, always attacking, create numerical superiority, simulating real-game scenarios and emphasizing quick decision-making.

Minimum Passing and Time in Possession Requirements

Coaches should set passing and possession goals in rondos to enhance technical skills under pressure. Establishing time-based objectives also conditions players to think and act swiftly in fast-paced game situations.

Restricting the Number of Touches

Limiting player touches is crucial in rondos. Coaches promote one-touch and two-touch play, stressing ball control and quick decision-making. This restriction challenges players to scan the field, anticipate movements, and execute precise passes.

See Also: How Long Does A High School Soccer Game Last?

Pep Guardiola uses rondo for training sessions

Pep Guardiola uses rondo for training sessions

Pep Guardiola is well-known for introducing rondos into his training sessions as an important component of his tactical strategy. Rondos are small-sided games that emphasize fast ball movement, possession, and spatial awareness. Guardiola uses rondos to help his players improve their technical ability, decision-making abilities, and understanding of positional play.

Area for soccer rondo

Area for rondo.

The size of the area needed for a rondo can be quite flexible, depending on several factors:

Skill level of players

Beginners: New to rondos? Start with a larger area, like 15×15 meters, giving more time and space for ball control and decision-making.

Intermediate: As players progress, tighten the space to 10×10 meters. This increases pressure, encouraging quicker thinking and passing.

Advanced: Elite players excel in smaller spaces, such as 7×7 meters or even 5×5 meters, demanding exceptional technical skill and coordination.

Number of players

Small groups: Try a 2v1 rondo in a tiny area, like 3×3 meters. Focus on tight control and quick passing.

Larger groups: Opt for a 5v2 or 6v2 rondo in a bigger space, around 12×12 meters, providing room for movement and passing options.


What is a rondo in soccer?

In soccer, a rondo is a training exercise where players in a circle try to keep possession of the ball while one or two players from the center try to intercept it.

Why is it called a rondo?

It’s called a rondo because the term “rondo” translates to “round” in Spanish, reflecting the circular shape of the players.

How do you play Rondo?

To play rondo, players in the outer circle pass the ball among themselves while the players in the center try to intercept it. The emphasis is on quick, accurate passes and maintaining possession.

Why are rondos important in football?

Rondos are important in football for improving players’ technical skills, ball control, and decision-making in tight spaces, enhancing their overall performance on the field.

What is Rondo famous for?

Rondo is famous for its role in developing the skills of elite soccer players and is widely used in professional training sessions around the world.


The soccer rondo is a key training gem, fostering holistic talent development and tactical awareness. Coaches and players value their role in building technically skilled squads with spatial awareness and collective strategy. The soccer rondo embraced worldwide, solidifies its crucial role in the quest for mastery in the beautiful game. Its global acceptance attests to its significance in honing skills and fostering strategic play on the field.

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