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4 of the greatest 4-man midfields of all time

Subhadeep Roy
Top 5 / Top 10
2.74K   //    02 Jan 2019, 19:48 IST

The "magic square" was awe-inspiring

Midfield is arguably the most important position in football as football matches are usually won by a team having the superior midfield. Midfielders create moves by playing passes and positioning themselves according to the situation of the match.

They also help the defenders by falling back to defend and winning balls at the centre of the field. These players also employ the high-press at times to win the ball back in the opposition half itself.

It is no coincidence that most of the greatest players in the history of football were midfielders. The likes of Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini, George Best, Lothar Matthaus and Bobby Charlton were all midfielders and remain the luminaries of world football.

However, there can be different variations and formations in a team’s midfield and it can consist of 3, 4 or 5 players.

In this article, we would take a look at the 4 greatest 4-man midfields of all time:

#1 Platini-Tigana-Giresse-Fernandez (French National team)

The French team of 1984
The French team of 1984

The “magic square” of the French national team quite possibly remains the finest 4-man midfield of all time. It had the industry of Jean Tigana, the speed of Luis Fernandez, the finesse of Alain Giresse and above all, the genius of Michel Platini.

They drove France to European glory in 1984, when Platini scored 9 goals in 5 matches to win the European Championship on his home soil.

France also made it to the semifinals in 2 successive World Cups in 1982 and 1986 but lost to West Germany on both the occasions. They were a bit unlucky in 1982 as West Germany came two goals from behind to win the match on penalties.


They played in a diamond formation with Tigana sitting deep, Platini playing as the attacking midfielder cum no.10 and Giresse and Fernandez playing on the two wings.

Giresse used to move to the central areas to help Platini create moves as well. Fernandez was a fast footballer who made incisive runs through the wings and Tigana remained an astute passer and good reader of the game. 

Each of them earned more than 50 caps for the French national team except Giresse, who fell short by three caps. They also enthralled the spectators worldwide with their magical displays.

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