Complete central midfielders require a wide range of skills other than fitness, since they need to tackle, dribble, shoot and pass during any match, but what boots are best for the midfield general? 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.
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A midfield player needs a boot that will give them good rotational traction as they twist and pivot in the centre of the park, rather than making straight-line runs. Many boots are designed to aid passing and control with touch pads, or specific areas, Nike’s CTR360 Maestri were an iconic boot designed just around that, with many boots still today offering specific passing elements.
Top 7 Boots for Midfield
Designed for skilful midfielders and worn by the likes of Casemiro, Rodri and Mason Mount; the control-based GX has a sticky Gripknit upper designed to improve every touch on the ball and with a lace cover (a full Ghost Lacing System on the DF model) to maximize the contact surface. The soleplate includes a combination of blades, conicals and the Tristars for a versatile stud configuration.
The Future Ultimate is worn by both attacking and defensive players, as seen with Neymar, Grealish and Akanji. The toe box, divided into a soft meshed instep and textured outstep, is fun to receive and the pass the ball with.
One of the most advanced football boots on the market, the Predator Accuracy contains High-Definition Grip rubber blocks that help in creating more curve in shooting and passing.
With a dampening synthetic leather 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.
All the benefits of the Accuracy+ in a laced setup. The boot helps the likes of Jude Bellingham, Paul Pogba, and Fabinho orchestrate from the deep.
Premium K-leather upper all throughout for a perfect first touch. Conical studs deliver ease of rotational foot movements. These are some elements combined together to create a traditional leather midfielders boot.
The Tekela was New Balance’s first laceless football boot. It applies ball control in passing and shooting thanks to the Kinetic Stitch texturing on its knitted upper.
How Do Midfielders Play Today?
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 were some of those 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.
Nowadays, midfielders have specialised into either the defensive half or the attacking half. On the former, they usually act as pivots or deep-lying playmakers. Those who are really good at tackling primarily act as ‘destroyers.’ The attacking midfielders, apart from being the advance playmaker, also has decoy roles like those who drift wide (false 10) or drop deep (false AM).