HALL OF FAME - DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS

DESTROYER

The quintessential defensive midfielder, tasked with shielding the defence and performing purely defensive duties. A role which requires physicality, great tactical awareness and aggression.. with the ability to intimidate and limit the fanciest of attacking midfielders. Ball playing skills are not essential in this role but a basic ability to play simple passes out of defence is still necessary especially at the highest level.

BALL-WINNING MIDFIELDER

Similar to a Box-to-Box midfielder in that they are expected to cover every blade of grass, but different in that unlike their sexier counterparts, they do so in hunt for the ball and are expected to feed the ball to more talented team mates, without anything expected from them in attacking output bar this supporting role. As a result they tend to be very underrated and unsung heroes within a side, but nevertheless can be a key tactical cog for sides who want to win the ball quickly.

PIVOT

Similar to a Destroyer in terms of positioning, looks to sit in front of the centre-backs and screen for the first sign of danger. Where a pivot is different however is that they are in essence also deep-lying playmakers who seek to take primary responsibility for transitioning the ball from the defensive third into the midfield third. A prime example would be Sergi Busquets who is defensively robust and protects the defence but is also skilled at bringing the ball out of deeper areas and connecting the various thirds of the team together as a conduit.

HOLDING MIDFIELDER

A midfielder who is part destroyer/part deep lying playmaker in the sense that they are expected to shield their defence, at times tasked with marking the opposing attacking midfielder, with defensive responsibilities being of primary importance but also expected to be able to bring the ball out of defence and act as a conduit between defence and the midfield, for example as a link between the ball playing centre back and the regista.


THE GREATEST DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS


Rijkaard
'LLAMA'

FRANK RIJKAARD

Makelele
'ANACONDA'

CLAUDE MAKELELE

zito 2
'MANAGER'

ZITO

deschamps
'WATER CARRIER'

DIDIER DESCHAMPS

MONTI ANIME
'DOUBLE WIDE'

LUIS MONTI

desailly 4
'THE ROCK'

MARCEL DESAILLY

obdulio-varela 2
'THE BLACK CHIEF'

OBDULIO VARELA

busquets
'THE OCTOPUS'

SERGI BUSQUETS