HALL OF FAME - CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

BOX-TO-BOX

A midfielder who is tasked with significant ball-winning duties in his own half, but also expected to make lung-busting runs forward to support the attack and score key goals themselves. B2B midfielders tend to possess great athleticism and tenacity, operating at a breakneck tempo. Winning the ball back in one moment, before driving forward to support the attack in the next... whilst midfielders of this nature can take the game away from opponents when they're on form, they're ill-placed to control the tempo of the game over 90 minutes due to the multi-tasking and frantic nature of their role. A prominent example would be Lothar Matthaus.

REGISTA

These are often confused with deep-lying playmakers who operate just ahead of the defence. We have defined Regista as a playmaking central midfielder who operates in the heat of the midfield battle and is able to operate in very tight spaces. Similar to a DLP. in that they are responsible for controlling the tempo of the game but different in that they predominantly dictate the flow of possession in the opponents half. They usually recieive the ball after the CDM or DLP has successfully transitioned the ball from defence into midfield and have minimal defensive responsibility outside of getting back into position and helping the team keep their shape off the ball. The perfect modern day example would be Xavi.

DEEP-LYING PLAYMAKER

A midfielder who stations himself just ahead of the defence, and collects the ball of the centre-backs and dictates the game from this position. DLP's tend to lack the pure athleticism of a regista and therefore by dropping deeper, the extra space allows them to play the game at their own pace and whilst they may get less goals and assists than a regista, their influence on a game can be just as devastating. The perfect modern day example would be Xabi Alonso, and someone like Pirlo falls in between a DLP and a Regista.

ATTACKING HALF-BACK

An archaic term popularly used in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. to describe a midfielder who was the deep-lying playmaker of the side, but would also be expected to contribute defensively rather like a pivot. Positionally the role is broadly analogous to DLP/Regista area in the modern game, prominent examples include Bozsik and Ocwirk of the 1950's.


THE GREATEST CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS


DIDI 2
'ETHIOPIAN PRINCE'

DIDI

Masopust
'THE CZECH KNIGHT'

JOSEF MASOPUST

SOUNESS
'CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE'

GRAEME SOUNESS

MATTHAUS 2
'DER TERMINATOR'

LOTHAR MATTHAUS

aNDREA PIRLO
'THE ARCHITECT'

ANDREA PIRLO

Breitner
'DER AFRO'

PAUL BREITNER

Xavi
'THE PUPPET MASTER'

XAVI

REDONDO
'THE PRINCE'

REDONDO

PR FALCAO
'KING OF ROME'

PR FALCAO

Willem-van-Hanegem-1912201713
'THE CROOKED'

WILLEM VAN HANEGAM

Josef Boszik
'CUCU'

JOSEF BOZSIK

Johan_Neeskens 2
'JOHAN THE SECOND'

JOHAN NEESKENS