The Libero Position In Football And It’s History

Go back 30 or 40 years and watch the teams fight back. It was a majestic sight. Most of them will feature a type of player that seems lost from the modern game. You will see an elegant defender sitting behind the defensive line, picking up stray balls from the attacker.

As he effortlessly puts her under his control, he goes forward with her, past the other defenders and moving into the midfield area. From there, he acts as a modern playmaker, starting the play and spreading it to the wings, playing it forward in midfield or attacking. This is the Liberian.

The role has become synonymous with the legendary former Bayern Munich captain Franz Beckenbauer. The 1974 FIFA World Cup winner demanded the freedom of the creative playmaker. During the 1996 European Championship, another German, in this case Matthias Sammer, played a little deeper than the other defenders in order to intercept passes closest to the goal, penetrating into midfield when necessary.

Franz Beckenbauer influenced the next generation of illustrious Liberians, most notably the legendary Franco Baresi, who, under the guidance of superb coach Arrigo Sacchi, helped form one of the most exceptional backlines in football.

What is a libero?

Libero means “free” and describes exactly the type of defender playing in the role. A libero is a defender who plays behind the rest of the back line, and is responsible for covering and sweeping spaces behind other defenders. The role grew to include forward passing after recovering and often counter-attack, eventually driving into the midfield with the ball, or running forward away from the ball to instigate an attack.

A revolutionary player in football, the libero is a player typically deployed at the center of a traditional five-back, sitting a bit deeper than the central defenders. The original example is Franz Beckenbauer, who played the libero during the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final, against the Netherlands – the revolutionary “total football” artists. Beckenbauer displayed qualities similar to those of a creative midfielder.

One of the main aspects required for free play in the offensive sense is composure with and without possession. This is because Libero provides security in defense, plus it is expected to initiate attacks on acquisition. A professional reading of the game is essential, allowing the player to intercept passes and balls passing defenders and linebackers.

The role of the Liberian

Initially, the libero was seen only as an additional defensive cover for the defence, in a position to provide clearance off target. However, as the role evolved, he began to include dribbles in midfield and clever forward passing at the feet of his fellow attacking players. These midfield dribbling – now common among modern midfield defenses – are used to break the first line of opponent pressure, overload the midfield position, or lure opponents towards the ball to free up teammates before the ball.

So, why can’t the libero be used in modern football?

Others argued that the rapid increase in the aggressiveness of the pressure meant that the Libero did not have enough time to pick up passes the way Franz Beckenbauer or Franco Baresi did. However, this question does not make sense, as it means that any turn that requires time on the ball will be extinguished as a result of pressing.

Playmaker is not extinct; It simply required the players to get smarter and faster with the ball. Instead of catching the ball and looking for a pass, playmakers are now required to look for the pass before receiving the ball, which means they can avoid wasting valuable time on receiving the ball. Just like the playmaker, the libero will simply need to become mentally faster in order to adapt to the rigors of the modern game.

Liberians in modern football

Liberos are not used in the modern game as they have been in the back for a long time, as their deep positioning does not suit the stealth rule or the extensive use of three attackers. As a result, the best examples of liberos not playing their own football this century.

There is an argument, quite correct, that liberos still exist, but we now call them “ball-playing defenders”. However, to compare them to defenders playing ball is to forget about the true art of the libero. Perhaps that is part of the development of football in general.

Not that these are not good players, but the role they play looks like a dip. With the evolution of the classic number 10, you can argue that they are becoming more mobile, more tactically aware, and more useful in the defensive phase. With a libero, you can’t argue with that. They are not more mobile, not more useful defensively, and not more tactically aware.

Even with the emergence of 3-at-the-back systems under managers such as Antonio Conte in recent years, it seems that the actual situation of the libero player will not emerge for another period thanks to the recent development of false playmakers. .