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7 attributes of an ideal centre-back

The traits that make a centre-back truly world-class.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal shows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 30, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Koscielny is one of the most versatile centre-backs on the planet

“You must stop either the ball or the man. Both must never get past you.”

A centre-back is one of the most crucial players in a team for its prolonged success, and no team is complete without one. In the modern game, with the increasing speed of play and more physicality involved, the centre-half is challenged immensely. His job in the team is harder than ever before. So, what exactly are the ingredients that go into making the ideal central defender? Let’s take a look:

Also read: What are the different field positions in football?

#1 Positioning

Evidently, the most important characteristic that a centre-half should possess is awareness and sense of positioning. Having a keen eye for predicting a striker’s next move and sensing when to cut off the danger or make a vital interception allows defenders to win the ball without taking on the opposing player, thereby making up for a lack of pace, like in the case of Per Mertesacker.

The importance of positioning cannot be overstated: Having this quality goes a long way in being a great defender. Giorgio Chiellini and Jerome Boateng are perhaps the best examples of the same.

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