THE IDEAL MIDFIELDER The brain in the field

The middle of the field is occupied by players with greater vision and technique. Today’s midfielder is not just a game engineer, but must deploy defensive work and manage time.

The ideal midfielder must handle certain features, functions and adapt to different situations to fulfill his role totally. He is an all-rounder. An intelligent player with a lot of technique, who manages the periods of the match and at the same time performs as an attacker and starts a counter attack.

The integral capacity of the modern winger to perform in the field serves as a great example for children. A natural leader in this position is Andres Iniesta, Barcelona player and key figure in the Spanish National Team. Today, at 32 years old, he remains a top midfielder, and is considered one of the best in his position.

A world player opinion

“Today’s soccer demands all players to participate, some in offensive duties and others in more defensive; but in general, the midfielder position demands, not only aerobic capacity, but to have plenty control of the ball, apart from knowing how to run the pitch”. Says Jaime Duarte, ex world player with the National Team of Peru and youth coach in Peru.

Advice for the kids

Duarte comments about the functions the ideal midfielder must develop, taking into account the modern game that exists nowadays. “I’ve watched videos of Iniesta when he was little and he has always been able to have the field in his head, that is to say, he has peripheral vision. Without much fuss, he already knew what he had to do, whether to play by himself or if he could control it to elaborate the game later. That quality is not for everyone, it seems easy, but it’s not. A child must be taught to see and to be seen, his ability to lose marks must be shown, and I love that because he’s in connection with the performance of team. Losing marks comes first; otherwise there will be no passes. Kids should adapt to that method”, added the 1978 and 1982 world player.

Tips for a midfielder

1. Knowing his place in the field to receive the ball. There is much traffic in that area.
2. Good foot skills, dead ball training and short and long passes practice.
3. Equally strong with both feet.
4. Be fast in every way.
5. Leadership is important; it’s not an issue of character, curse words or kicking. It’s about asking for the ball, it’s not necessary to talk much.
6. Watch lots of soccer. National and international. That’s the way you learn: watching.