Central defenders are the last line of players trying defend offensive moves of the opponent team which aims to reach their gate. They await between the half-way line (the middle of the field) and the goalkeeper.
It is essential for a central defender to have the right height and body structure, because they take part in both arranging the wall and the defense in case of static situations (free kicks, corners, etc.).
There are a few subtypes of central defender, according to the additional functions certain players have:
Central defender is the classic role of a defender whose task is to stop the other team’s offense and to clear the ball forward when they have to. In case of more aggressive tactics of the opponents, this type of the defenders are more useful because of their skill to take the ball over and their elegant dribbling game. In defense, this central defender moves inseparably together with the other central defender. They aim to distribute their tasks successfully and respectively to stop as much offensive actions as possible. The position of classic central defender also divides into 3 subtypes with fewer differences:
– Defend – the player is instructed not to keep the ball for long when he gets it, as well as to stay in approximately the same position, not to get carried away in offensive moves to the other half of the field;
– Stopper – they partially take over the functions of the defensive midfielder whenever necessary and presses the opponent’s offense right at the middle of the terrain. The downside is that if someone overcomes them, then offense against only one defender is likely to lead to a goal;
– Cover – similar to the first type, they have to clear all the balls and in particular, the balls behind the defense line. This type of player is used as a secondary defense assisting the other defender.
Examples of classic central defenders: Carles Puyol, Roberto Carlos, Ronald Koeman and others.
Ball Playing Defender is a position similar to the classic central defender with just one difference. These type of players are often burdened to organize partial counter-offensives when they have the ball. Most often, the players in this position look for quick passes to the backs or directly to the wings in order to form a counter-offensе ас soon as possible for their team.
Examples of players in this position are Bobby Moore, Rio Ferdinand, Ricardo Carvalho, Gerard Piqué i Bernabéu, Van Dijk and others
No-Nonsense CB is a position, whose task is to take the ball and clear it for a while to a further zone of the field without taking any unnecessary risks. This is really not a constructive offensive role, but it is also one of the most important roles regarding allowing goals due to simple mistakes in their own penalty area.
Examples of such players in the English Premier League are Robert Huth, Wes Morgan and Toby Alderweireld.
Managers, such as Bielsa, Pochettino and Pep Guardiola, are real masters in switching positions during the game. They assess what would work best in a certain situation and this guarantees very big advantages against teams, which are not aware of football practices in bigger and better trained teams.