Last Updated: July 16, 2023
The midfield position in soccer is one of the most difficult positions to play. If you can dominate the midfield during a game, you can have control of the ball and therefore, easily win it.
Today, you are going to find out 11 things you should know about the midfield position in soccer.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Midfielder In Soccer?
- Different Roles and Responsibilities of Midfielders
- What Is The Purpose Of A Midfielder In Soccer?
- Tactical Strategies and Formations Involving Midfielders
- Importance of Communication and Coordination
- Physical Attributes and Fitness Requirements for Midfielders
- Training Drills and Exercises for Midfielders
- Defensive Responsibilities of Midfielders
- Creative Playmaking and Vision
- Teamwork and understanding of Teammates
- Mentality and Leadership Qualities
- Transitioning to Professional Midfield Play
- Is Midfield A Good Position?
- What Do Scouts Look For In Midfielders?
- What Do Midfielders Do In Soccer?
- Do Midfielders Score Goals?
Midfielder Tips For Beginners
Midfielder Skills To Master
- Common Mistakes as a Soccer Midfielder
- Wrap Up
What Is A Midfielder In Soccer?
In soccer, a midfield is a player whose role is to help his team transition from defense to attack. He does it by using his positioning and awareness. A midfielder is also required to have a technical and passing ability to control the midfield and ensure possession.
There are four types of midfielders:
- The central midfielder
- Defensive midfielder
- Attacking midfielder
- Left and right midfielder
Different Roles and Responsibilities of Midfielders
Midfielders in soccer can have various roles and responsibilities depending on their position.
Central midfielders are often the link between defense and attack, involved in both defensive duties and creative play.
Defensive midfielders focus on shielding the defense, breaking up opponents’ attacks, and distributing the ball to teammates.
Read more about defensive midfielders here.
Attacking midfielders play a more offensive role, providing key passes, creating scoring opportunities, and sometimes even scoring goals themselves.
Left and right midfielders are responsible for providing width to the team’s play, making overlapping runs, and delivering crosses into the box.
How To Improve Positioning As A Midfielder?
- As a midfielder, you have to relieve pressure and create space by dropping in and off.
- The perfect way to drop off and create that space is to run at a slower pace than the rest of the players.
- Position yourself in between the players to receive the ball with an advantage.
- Constantly come back to help the defenders play the ball out.
- Move towards advanced zones of the rival field with great intelligence occupying free spaces.
How To Improve Awareness?
- Take note of where your options are.
- Pay attention to where the opposition is and who they are going towards.
- Set yourself up to relieve pressure on the ball once you see an opponent player moving towards you.
- Think about what to do with the ball even before receiving it.
- Use the knowledge you get from scanning to make plans and improve your decision-making.
- When your team is experiencing a high amount of pressure, you have to find a solution to exit the ball.
- Help your team defensively to stop any counter-attack that might occur.
What Is The Purpose Of A Midfielder In Soccer?
In a nutshell, the main purpose of a midfielder is to link the defense to the attacking in soccer. A midfield has to take the ball from the defenders and find the forwards. He is like a car engine. During a game, without a good midfield, it’s almost impossible to have possession.
Tactical Strategies and Formations Involving Midfielders
Coaches and teams utilize different tactical strategies and formations that involve midfielders.
For example, the diamond midfield formation positions midfielders in a diamond shape, allowing for better central control and build-up play.
Box-to-box midfielders are known for their high work rate and ability to contribute both defensively and offensively.
Inverted wingers, often used in modern formations, see midfielders playing on the opposite side of their favoured foot, cutting inside to create scoring opportunities.
Importance of Communication and Coordination
Effective communication and coordination with teammates, particularly the defense and forwards, is vital for midfielders.
Clear communication ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding movement, positioning, and strategy.
Coordination helps in maintaining the team’s shape, executing coordinated attacks, and organizing defensive efforts.
By understanding each other’s intentions and making timely decisions, midfielders can maximize their impact on the game.
Physical Attributes and Fitness Requirements for Midfielders
Midfielders require certain physical attributes and fitness levels to excel in their role.
Stamina is crucial as they cover a lot of ground throughout the game, constantly moving between defense and attack.
Agility and quickness enable them to change direction rapidly, evade opponents, and maintain control of the ball.
Endurance is essential for maintaining a high level of performance throughout the match.
Training Drills and Exercises for Midfielders
Training drills and exercises can help midfielders improve their skills.
Tackling drills improve defensive skills, teaching them when and how to win the ball back effectively.
Decision-making drills simulate game situations to improve their ability to make quick and accurate decisions under pressure.
Defensive Responsibilities of Midfielders
Midfielders have important defensive responsibilities on the field. This includes pressing opponents, applying pressure to force turnovers, and closing down passing lanes.
They also play a role in marking opponents, tracking runs, and intercepting passes to regain possession for their team.
Creative Playmaking and Vision
Midfielders are often creative playmakers, using their vision and passing ability to create scoring opportunities for their team.
Their ability to read the game, anticipate movements, and deliver accurate through balls or key passes is crucial in unlocking defenses and setting up goals.
Modric is the perfect example of a creative playmaker.
Teamwork and understanding of Teammates
Successful midfielders understand the movement and positioning of their teammates, allowing for effective combination play and maintaining team cohesion.
By communicating and developing an understanding of each other’s playing styles, midfielders can build strong partnerships on the field.
Mentality and Leadership Qualities
Midfielders often exhibit leadership qualities on the field.
Their ability to motivate teammates, make critical decisions under pressure, and take responsibility for the team’s performance can significantly impact the overall dynamics and success of the team.
Transitioning to Professional Midfield Play
Transitioning from youth or amateur levels to professional midfield play comes with unique challenges.
The speed, physicality, and level of competition increase significantly.
Aspiring midfielders need to focus on continuous improvement, adaptability, and seizing opportunities to showcase their skills at higher levels.
Is Midfield A Good Position?
Midfield is one of the most important positions in soccer. It requires a lot of discipline and awareness. A midfielder is expected to touch the ball more than any other player on the pitch. Whoever has those qualities will do good as a midfielder. Yes, the midfield is a fantastic position.
What Do Scouts Look For In Midfielders?
There are four main things scouts look for in midfielders: Great passing ability, movements, positioning and how fast a midfielder can think on the pitch.
If you are a midfielder with those skills, chances are scouts will recruit you.
What Do Midfielders Do In Soccer?
There are four main things midfielders do in soccer: transitioning from defence to attack, ensuring ball possession, attacking and defending.
You can read the whole article and have a deeper explanation of what midfielders do here.
Do Midfielders Score Goals?
Yes, midfielders score goals. The midfield position is one of the best positions to score many goals in a team. The midfielder often finds himself right outside the opposition’s penalty box where he can easily shoot and score.
Although the main job of a midfielder is to link the defence to the attack, this doesn’t mean midfielders don’t score goals.
In effect, the best midfielders out there have scored many goals in their career.
For example, Luka Modric, Francesco Totti, Del Pierro, etc.
This is because midfielders help the forwards and create numerical superiority in the attack.
The amount of work midfielders do is mind-blowing. This is why it is the hardest soccer position.
Midfielder Tips For Beginners
Those tips will help any beginner trying to improve their midfield game.
Always talk to the other midfield standing next to you.
Play one-two touches. Sometimes, you are going to have little space to work in. So you have to get rid of the ball quickly to retain possession. Make sure your control is very effective.
Take advantage of the spaces. Whether you are an attacking or defensive midfielder, you need to make yourself available to your teammates and know where space is.
Be creative. Most of the greatest soccer midfielders in the world are very creative.
For instance, some defensive midfielders are very good at long-range balls. They are not just there to break up things defensively and dictate the tempo. Some great examples can be K. De Bruyne, A. Iniesta, etc.
You have to try through balls. Knowing how to play a Through ball will make you a great midfield.
What makes the midfield the hardest position in soccer is the fact that you have to run all over the place to attack and defend. So, be aware of your defensive responsibilities.
Playing as a midfielder requires more than those tips, but this is a great place to start.
None of these works unless you go out there and practice.
Midfielder Skills To Master
Here are some midfielder skills that will help you keep the ball, beat defenders, and play an amazing Through pass.
1-Awareness of the defender’s movement and space available behind you.
When you are receiving a pass and the defender is trying to get in front of you to get it, turn your body so that your back is facing your defender. Finally, let the ball pass you and the defender.
2-Curving the pass so that it goes behind the defense but away from the goalie.
When you are receiving the ball from the wing, use the curve technique and hit the ball with your first touch. This gives the striker the perfect pass to run onto.
3-Get close to the defender before passing the ball.
When you are on your way to the goal and there is a lot of space between you and any defenders, don’t pass the ball right away. Instead, continue your run until you get closer to the defender, then release the ball to your teammate.
In this situation in the image above, if you were to pass the ball, the defender would have the time to get across and get between your teammate and the goal.
But by continuing towards the defender, he would have to come and engage you. When they move to stop you, that’s when you pass the ball to your teammate.
4-Playing against the defender’s momentum.
When you receive a ball, and you see the defender coming towards you to close you down, take the first touch so that it goes against the defender’s momentum.
Common Mistakes as a Soccer Midfielder
1-Fear of going forward.
As a midfielder, you are responsible for moving the ball from one side of the pitch to another. So, being scared of taking on your responsibilities won’t help.
2-Taking decisions very late.
Most midfielders get the ball and don’t know what to do with it.
A saying says: “The moment you start thinking on the pitch, you have already lost”.
By this, you understand that the best midfielders out there know what they will do with the ball even before they get it.
3-Lack of discipline.
Most young midfielders struggle a lot with positioning and defending.
For example, a lot of midfielders are selling themselves too cheap when they try to tackle the ball. They get too easily eliminated by strikers.
At last, midfielders don’t often communicate clearly who should go and stay.
Now you know the most common mistakes midfielders usually make. Try to avoid them.
If you are playing as a midfielder, you are probably going to receive the ball more than anyone else on the pitch.
You have to be ready to receive the ball and know what to do once you get it.
If you play in another position and would like to switch and become a midfielder, you have to start playing in that position when you play with your friends and implement all the tips shared in this article.
Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comment section below.