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World Cup 2018: 4 defensive midfielders to watch out for

Ameya Vaidya
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12.14K   //    05 Jun 2018, 14:17 IST

Matic in training

A good defensive midfielder is a great asset to any team. They are very talented and blessed with qualities like strength, stamina, excellent fitness levels and the ability to rotate the ball with fluency and accuracy. They provide the backbone which stands as a shield in front of the defence.

Nowadays. defensive midfielders have evolved in such a way that they have the ability to start an attack for their team from defensive areas and also possess the vision to provide the perfect ball for the attackers.

In 1970's Franz Beckenbauer changed the role of a defensive midfielder by inventing the 'libero' position, which means sitting in front of the defence and playing the ball out of it.

This led to a major transformation in the role of a defensive midfielder as it now included an attacking aspect to it. In 1990's Ronald Koeman was another good player who played the role of a libero. He was excellent in holding on to the ball and a dead ball specialist.

Being a defensive midfielder is one of the most thankless jobs in football, as they very rarely get the praise for the crucial role they play in the match. Let us look at the 4 defensive-midfielders who could impress at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

#4 Nemanja Matic

Matic is one of the tallest central defensive midfielders in the world. Being tall and strong, he is an intimidating figure for the opposing team. Matic is good in the air, is superb at man-marking and can glide past opponents as he is good with the ball at his feet.

Being one of the fittest players in the world, he has incredible stamina and the consistency to play each and every match for the whole season. In his first season at Manchester United, Matic was their most consistent player who broke down most of the counter-attacks of their opponents. He is probably the most important player for Serbia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Serbia will depend on Matic's experience, defensive abilities and the will to play the entire game with the same intensity to help them qualify for the knockouts.

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