Birth of the bicycle kick
From Chileans to Peruvians – not forgetting Brazil’s ‘Rubber Man’ and ‘Deadly’ Doug Ellis – plenty lay claim to creating the acrobatic volley
Bilbao-born, naturalised Chilean Ramon Unzaga is said to have invented the spectacular move in the port city of Talcahuano in 1914. The Argentine press later christened it the ‘chilena’ after seeing Unzaga pull it off at the 1916 and 1920 Copas America.
Peruvian city Callao has claimed several creators. One of African descent apparently performed the move against British sailors back in 1892, while teams from Callao and the Chilean port of Valparaiso regularly faced each other in the late 19th century.
BRAZIL TO BIRMINGHAM
Nicknamed the ‘Rubber Man’, 1930s Brazilian star Leonidas declared ownership to anyone who’d listen to him. So too, for a while, did former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis (above), who said he invented the kick during the Second World War.
DEATH TO THE TRICK
The overhead kick first visited Europe in 1927. Chileans Colo Colo toured Spain, with locals marvelling at David Arellano’s constant athleticism. Arellano died on the tour, contracting peritonitis following a collision with a Real Valladolid player.