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Best Centre Midfielder's Boots

In general, complete central midfielders require a wide range of skills other than fitness, since they need to tackle, dribble, shoot and pass during any match. In essence, a good central midfielder must be combative as well as creative. They occupy the most influential part of the pitch, so central midfielders are perhaps the most likely to influence the outcome of a match.

Top 7 Boots for Central Midfield

1. Nike Phantom GT 2

Designed for creative midfielders and headlined by Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne; the control-based GT has a data-driven texturing designed to improve every touch on the ball & with off-centre lacing to maximize the contact surface. The soleplate has an open-arch,lateral rib structure and a couple of split conicals to suit the pivots and lateral movements of a central midfielder.

2. Mizuno Rebula Cup

Premium K-leather upper is structured with control pods for a perfect first touch. Conical studs deliver ease of rotational foot movements.

3. Puma Future Z 1.2

The Future Z is worn by both attacking and defensive midfielders, as seen with James Maddison and Nemanja Matic. The textile upper and Fuzionfit + combine well to provide a comfortable fit and feel for those central players wearing them.

4. adidas Predator Freak+

One of the most advanced football boots on the market, the Predator Freak + contains grippy Demonskin rubber elements that also helps in creating more curve in shooting and passing. The boot is worn by Dele Alli.

5. New Balance Tekela 3+

The Tekela 3+ is New Balance's first laceless football boot. It has a knitted upper packed with Kinetic Stitch texturing so that you can have more control of the ball.

6. Nike Tiempo Legend 9

With a streamlined K-leather upper and memory foam pods assisting first touch, not to mention the Legend being the lightest Tiempo to date, Nike's popular heritage boot is simply no longer just a defender's boot. Expect the boot participating more in the middle of the park among the game's best playmakers.

7. adidas Predator Freak.1

All the benefits of the Freak+ on a laced setup!

There is a saying in chess that goes; Whoever controls the centre controls the game. With football having a pitch that is vast and wide, this concept all the more becomes important. Though one can determine who the midfield players are depending on their usual positioning in the playing area, football has evolved significantly over the years to the extent that midfield play has been adapted to both team formations and player abilities. No matter the division of function, the midfield serves as the gateway from defense to attack and vice-versa.

Positionally, there are the wide midfielders and the central midfielders. Most especially in a flat 4-4-2 formation, the two central midfielders usually perform a box-to-box role, using great stamina in tracking back to cover their own box and making penetrating runs to the opponents’ box for goal-scoring attempts. Given the demands from both attack and defence, box-to-box central midfielders have an inclination for physical and direct play. Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira had performed such roles to suit their aggressive type of football. Arturo Vidal and Radja Nainggolan are some of the current players who can perform the box-to-box role.

The wide midfielders are the ones occupying the left and right sides near the touchlines. Aside from the added protection in the flanks off-the-ball, the wide midfielders/midfield wingers pace through the opponents’ own and deliver crosses. The Manchester United duo of David Beckham/Ryan Giggs and Bayern Munich’s very own ‘Robbery’ (Arjen Robben and Frank Ribéry) had displayed some of the best plays from wide midfielders.

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The innovation in football formations especially in the last few decades introduced the concept of angles and in turn changed some midfield roles. No less than Johan Cruyff explained that all things being equal, a triangle would always beat a straight line, basing his formations on a 4-2-3-1 instead.

The special one Jose Mourinho, who played 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 formations, even had this to say: Look, if I have a triangle in midfield – Claude Makelele behind and two others just in front – I will always have an advantage against a pure 4-4-2 where the central midfielders are side by side. That’s because I will always have an extra man. It starts with Makelele, who is between the lines. If nobody comes to him he can see the whole pitch and has time. If he gets closed down it means one of the two other central midfielders is open. If they are closed down and the other team’s wingers come inside to help, it means there is space now for us on the flank, either for our own wingers or for our full-backs. There is nothing a pure 4-4-2 can do to stop things.

Central Midfielders

Central midfielders are now generally categorized as either a defensive midfielder or an attacking midfielder. Defensively speaking, central midfielders nowadays could either be ‘destroyers’ or a ‘deep-lying playmakers’ and position in front of the centre backs to cover the main backline. As the title implies, ‘destroyers’ are the more defensive-oriented and aggressive tackles and interceptions are trademarks of their play. They are the defensive midfielders who try to win possession before passing the ball to the more creative ‘deep-lying playmakers’ (or at least to the team’s playmaker in general). DLPs start play using vision, technique and passing to start the attacking play from their own defensive halves. N'Golo Kanté can be an example of today’s destroyer while Jorginho operates on a role similar to that of a DLP.

The attacking midfielder, or the number 10, has always been present back to the 4-4-2 days (more prominent with a diamond 4-4-2 and behind the striker in 4-4-1-1). The number 10 is the creator and support in the attacking half of the midfield and is greatly represented by the likes of Mesut Özil. As of late, there are now what we call false 10s who drifts wide to both to create an overload on the flanks and create space in the middle for wingers and other midfielders to fill.

Side midfield roles have generally been transferred to forward wingers where inversion is commonly adapted so those flank players, by being fielded on the opposite wing, can cut into the centre with their stronger foot.