The number 10



We know that the trequartista is a player who seeks the best position on the field and although his work is more inclined to the offensive phase he also takes part in the defensive phase with the same intuition.

Trequartistas recover an average of 10/11 balls per game, that is 6% of a team's total amount.

 AverageIncidence on team's total% tackles
LOCATELLI 13.4 7.6% 25.2%
PIRLO 11.2 6.0% 23.4%
VERON 14.1 7.9% 20.3%
COZZA 10.9 6.0% 18.4%
RUI COSTA 10.1 6.1% 18.3%
BAGGIO R. 7.4 4.0% 17.0%
FIORE 11.8 6.2% 16.4%
SEEDORF 11.2 6.5% 14.9%
ZAULI 10.3 5.5% 14.5%
ZIDANE 8.7 4.9% 13.1%
MICOUD 9.3 5.0% 9.6%
  10.75 6.0%  

It is interesting to notice the difference in recoveries between the two flanks: 28% on the right, 35% on the left, a fact also recurring in other indices considered.

Certainly the different tactical position can give an explanation (players like Zauli, Cozza or Micoud usually start from the center-left for tactical reasons), but above all the characteristics of these types of players who - being predominantly "right-footed" – are more at ease on the center-left (the “inward” dribble and the resulting "Del Piero-like” assist or shot exemplify this point).


Here is the density of balls recovered by Zauli:


The most efficient ones at intercepting are Veron (7.9% of total recoveries for Lazio) and Locatelli (7.6% of total recovered balls for Bologna). The degree of commitment with which a player devotes himself to the defensive phase can be detected with the tackle percentage of the total amount of recovered balls: Locatelli shows to be more inclined to tackles (with which he recovers 25.2% of balls), while Micoud is the "least nasty" (9.6%).

Guidolin's favorite player is the one who makes the highest number of tackels between fantasistas overall, here is his density of game:


Zidane (4.9%) and Baggio (4%) have been the less involved in this type of score. It is clear that the probability of recovering balls is lower for the most offensive trequartistas. Actually they are not asked for particular covering tasks, if not for the need to drop back after losing the ball: not only to slow the opponents' attack – the mere presence in a certain zone of the field can be useful - but above all to act as a reference point for their teammates as soon as they come into possession of the ball.



Fase difensiva

Indeed, I believe that it is important for the trequartista in transition between attack and defense to take the best position he will decide. His task is to occupy an uncertain space that allows him or his team-mates to steal the ball. His aim is not to mark, but to move with intuition in search of a possible counterattack. His thought is: "If I or my team-mates recover the ball and give it to me, I can do this." The trequartista places himself with this thought in the central zone and from there he moves halfway between two possible pass directions.

Tattica EN-13Tattica EN-14

Tattica EN-15Tattica EN-16

This position - which is never a clear man-marking, but occupies a space in the middle - forces the trequartista to develop tactical intelligence for a defense only focused on immediately reversing the play. In midfield it is not risky, but if the same attitude were brought close to their own area it would be dangerous.

Always committed to disturb the opponents' ball circulation in the rearguard, the trequartista can bring pressure along with the other two strikers. Even in this case there is the cleverness of reading the opponents' difficulty stealing the ball forward.

Although athletic skills have improved, the trequartista must be – even for the defensive phase - a useful bearing between pure midfielders and attackers. Perhaps he will not recover many balls, but will force opponents to pass it to those who truly recover the ball and will prevent his team from flattening backwards.




We need to carry pieces of skill inside of us to explain them.