Playmakers are undoubtably my favourite type of players, and are the primary reason for my love of football. Nothing resonates with me more than when a player opens up a team with a defence splitting pass, that bends around the defence straight into the path of the on-coming striker. Or that body feint that bamboozles the defender leaving just enough space to off-load a shot onto goal.
They refuse to give up possession, they are always composed when in control of the ball, and they are never fazed by hounding defenders.
Considering England are one of the most advanced football nations, I always find it confusing why we fail to create many flair playmakers. Is it because of English coaching focused towards strength and pace rather than technique, why do other nations seem to produce them players at will? Lampard and Gerrard are great goal scorers but they lack the flair and invention that I enjoy seeing, they are more ruthless and workman like.
Some of my fav playmakers past and present would be:
Everyone shouts from the rooftops about Messi and Iniesta but the real conductor at Barca is Xavi, he allows the others to take the glory while he plays in the shadows, releasing gem after gem.
In-fact he had a staggering 29 assists last season, and was the main man on the field behind one of the greatest teams in modern history, if not all-time.
His decision-making, vision and passing accuracy are unrivalled in World football.
A dedicated Youtube video of all of Xavi’s assists in 08/09 is here:
Let’s hear it for the playmaker…
- Always playing the game 3 moves ahead of the opposition.
- Can visualise a potential opening or passing opportunity in the blink of an eye.
- Unlike the scorer, he does not flaunt and scream after that pinpoint precise pass that leads to a goal, but is quiet, modest yet at the same time deadly.
- Dictates the whole game creating openings for team-mates to exploit, and goals to be scored.
- Cruyff “Football is a mindgame, you play with your brain”. Playmakers are the Einsteins of football they see things others don’t, think faster and more abstract allowing them to perform acts others wouldn’t even contemplate
- They are the beauty behind the beautiful game.