In today’s modern football, it’s not easy to find a pure artist. Magicians are rare species. Still, one role in a team guides everyone. You can’t imagine a tremendous team, without this guy. For some, it’s a Deep-Lying Playmaker or how Italians like to call it REGISTA.
Firstly, I need to explain what this position does on the field. Secondly, I will give you some examples of players in the past, also present, that established this role as one of the most important in the team. Do you want to win trophies? Well, find high-class REGISTA!
For football fans all around the world, the most popular video game is Football Manager. We can find a definition for this role right there.
“Operates in the space between defense and midfield, aims to initiate attacking moves via pinpoint passes to players positioned higher up the pitch.”
In 2004, Claude Makelele left Real Madrid for Chelsea. Florentino Perez said to newspapers next words: “We will not miss Makelele. His technique is average. He lacks the speed and skill to take the ball past opponents, and ninety percent of his distribution either goes backward or sideways. He rarely passed the ball more than three meters. Younger players will arrive, who will cause Makelele to be forgotten.”
Quite strange, right? All things Florentino said were exactly things why Frenchman was so good. He was there to play simple and win the ball. During his stay in Chelsea, they finished second in Premier League and were knocked out by Monaco in semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League in the first season. In the second season, Jose Mourinho was appointed. It was a very successful period for the team from Stamford Bridge. They won Premier League and League Cup. Makelele’s skills allowed Franck Lampard, Arjen Robben, and Didier Drogba to unleash their attacking power. Probably the best way to explain the importance of Makelele for Real Madrid is to quote their current manager Zinedine Zidane when Claude was sold and David Beckham was bought: “Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?”.
When Leicester City won Premier League, the main stars were Jamie Vardy and Mahrez. On the other side, one player was a glue during the complete season. Ngolo Kante is an example, how one player can make a difference. This fairytale presents something special for football fans all around the world. Astonishing performance provides him transfer to Chelsea, and once again, he won the title with a new club in the first season.
The player they call “The Architect” is the finest term for this guy. Andrea Pirlo is liquid gold in the history of Italian football. Pirlo was a crucial part of the AC Milan winning team under Carlo Ancelotti. Andrea was always watching where his teammates are. When he gets the ball with just one pass creates an advantage for a team. The bottom line, he creates a complete game from the back, secure possession, and control rhythm. Before the game between AC Milan and Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson gave Park Ji Sung the task to stop Andrea Pirlo. Later even Pirlo made a statement about that game: “Even Sir Alex Ferguson, the purple-nosed manager who turned Manchester United into a fearsome battleship, couldn’t resist the temptation. He’s a man without blemish, but he ruined that purity just for a moment when it came to me. A fleeting shabbiness came over the legend that night. At Milan, he unleashed Park Ji-sung to shadow me. He rushed about at the speed of an electron. He’d fling himself at me, his hands all over my back, trying to intimidate me. He’d look at the ball and not know what it was for. They’d programmed him to stop me. His devotion to the task was almost touching. Even though he was a famous player, he consented to be used as a guard dog.”
It’s not fair to mention one guy who comes from Spain. The backbone of FC Barcelona. Youth academy La Masia gave them a player with superb technique and vision. Sergio Busquets’s role was to read the game. Vincente Del Bosque said: “You watch the game, you don’t see Busquets. You watch Busquets, you see the whole game.” In Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation, Sergio is deep between center-backs, that helps left-back and right-back to go forward. With just one move, he can turn defense into an attacking position.
The last couple of years were historical for Real Madrid, especially in the Champions League. One German still has a massive impact on the Real Madrid game strategy. Toni Kroos transfer from Bayern Munich was called “the robbery of the century”. He does incredible things on the field, pure talent. If you try to name the top 5 midfielders in the last decade, Toni will certainly be among them.
As you can see, there are many differences between these players. Still, they all have one thing in common. That is a football brain. As Andrea Pirlo said: “Football is played with the head. Your feet are just tools.”