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The role of a Box to Box Midfielder in football

A box-to-box midfielder is a midfielder who is equally effective on both the offensive and defensive ends of the game. Box to Box players can also be considered as a team's extra defensive cover.

Last updated: 11.09.2021
Role of a Box to Box Midfielder in football

A box-to-box midfielder is a midfielder who is equally effective on both the offensive and defensive ends of the game. He'll be expected to have an impact on the game from both ends of the field, covering every blade of grass. They go from defending their own penalty area to attacking the other penalty box in order to score goals. Box-to-box midfielders must be hardworking and have strong all-around defensive and offensive talents. They can try to score by carrying the ball forward or making sprints into the opponents' box. They must also be able to track back to protect their own box, make critical tackles, interceptions, and block dangerous shots.

These midfielders are known for their stamina, vitality, and ability to dash through the middle of the park at breakneck speed. Box-to-box midfielders are usually part of a squad configuration that relies on the midfielders to defend rather than having the attackers' backs. Box-to-box midfielders are usually deployed by defensive or counter-attacking teams. If a player tries out as a box-to-box player, the best characteristic a coach can highlight is his stamina. Box to Box players can also be considered as a team's extra defensive cover. Even though the game's popularity hasn't risen in recent years, it has produced some of the top box-to-box players.

Box-to-box midfielders were strangely allowed for luxury elsewhere on the pitch under progressive proponents of 'Total Football,' such as Johan Cryuff and Arrigo Sacchi. As a box-to-box midfielder for Sacchi's AC Milan, Frank Rijkaard established himself as one of the most valuable and unusual players in the world, capable of dropping deep and surging forward as needed. In this "box to box" role, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have received worldwide fame. In today's football, though, this job is becoming extinct. Although a box-to-box midfielder is rarely accommodated by the 4-2-3-1's twin pivot, simple tactical modifications to the system allow such players to thrive. With the introduction of 4-2-3-1, the box-to-box midfielder may be phased out once more. Although it has lately been deployed, such as in Mourinho's first Chelsea side, which used a 4-3-3 formation with two box-to-box midfielders on either side of a holding midfielder.

Best ‘Box-to-Box Midfielder’ in the world right now – Luka Modric

Modric is one of the most technically brilliant players of his generation, and his work ethic and warrior-like mindset have served him well over the years. He is mostly used as a center midfielder, but he can also be used as an attacking or defensive midfielder. He is frequently used as a deep-lying playmaker. This is what distinguishes him as the world's best box-to-box midfielder. In the 2020-21 season, the 35-year-old made 48 appearances for Real Madrid, scoring six goals and assisting eight times as he rolled back the years and delivered for his team.

Modric has been an integral part of Croatia's "second Golden Generation," appearing in every major event for which the country has qualified, including the UEFA European Championships in 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020, as well as the FIFA World Cups in 2006, 2014, and 2018. Modric was named the Golden Ball winner for best player of the tournament after leading Croatia to the 2018 World Cup Final. He went on to become the most capped player in the history of the country in March 2021. Modric made history in 2018 by becoming the first Croatian to win the UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award, as well as the Best FIFA Men's Player and Ballon d'Or accolades.

Modric demonstrates the attacking playmaker's dribbling and key passing, the organizing playmaker's passing vision and possession-oriented mindset, and the defensive playmaker's positional defense and passing range regularly. As a result, the Croatian is what we can refer to as a "box-to-box playmaker." Consider him a more technically advanced and imaginative version of your typical box-to-box midfielder. Modric has gradually honed a complete set of midfielder talents, including the ability to determine when and when to employ each one for maximum impact and success.

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