The rabona is a soccer skill that dates back to 1948, when Argentinian magazine El Grafico described Ricardo Infante’s swinging kick behind his planted leg as “hacerse le rabona,” or playing hooky (i.e., with one’s foot).
It’s a cool move with a cool name.
So, it’s fitting that Putnam (Milwaukie, Ore.) senior Tommy “The Shoe” Ciobanasiu (pronounced: Choo-bah-nah-shoe), who has one of the great nicknames in prep sports, has brought rabona kicks to the football field.
Also a senior captain and center midfielder on the school’s state-qualifying soccer squad, Ciobanasiu serves as the field goal kicker for Putnam’s football team, even connecting on a 45-yard, game-winner in the season opener. In an interview with The Oregonian, he explained the parallels between booting balls in soccer and football.
“When I take a free kick, I try to get it up and over the wall, so it dips as quickly as possible, and that’s a whole different technique than football, which is one of the things I’ve had to work on. They’ve wanted me to kick so it goes far and high — not up and down real fast — so it is a little bit different. But in terms of just booming a soccer ball and a football, I pretty much do the same thing and try to get as far as I can.”
In a video shot by the publication, Ciobanasiu draws one other parallel between the two sports, knocking a rabona kick through the uprights from 20 yards out during practice. Nice work, The Shoe. It’s unclear how this would ever come in handy on the football field, except to possibly melt the minds of the blocking team, but it’s still cool.
And it also gives us the opportunity to spend a few minutes enjoying the very best rabona kicks in soccer history.
Somewhere, Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano is drawing up a fake punt play using a rabona dropkick, right?