In association football, a playmaker
is a player who controls the flow of the team's offensive play, and is often involved in passing
Passing the ball is a key part of association football. The purpose of passing is to keep possession of the ball by maneuvering it on the ground between different players and to advance it up the playing field....
moves which lead to goal
Goal refers to a method of scoring in many sports. It can also refer to the physical structure or area of the playing surface where scoring occurs....
One example of this position was Diego Armando Maradona
Diego Armando Maradona is a retired Argentine football player and widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time. Over the course of his professional club career Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys, setting...
, who has been described by FIFA as a "playmaker and goalscorer."
In English football the term overlaps somewhat with attacking midfielder, but the 2 types of mifielders are not necessarily the same.
In Italian football there are actually 2 types of playmakers, the trequartista (playmaker in the central attacking midfield position) and the regista (deep-lying playmaker).
The trequartista, jersey number 10, will sit between midfield and the forwards and make incisive passes to the wingers or forwards, seeing them through on goal or to deliver killer crosses.
The registas or deep-lying playmakers, jersey number 8, 6 or 5 (in south-american football), operate from a deep position - in or even behind the main midfield line, where they can use space and time on the ball to orchestrate the moves of the whole team, not just attacks on goal.
In Argentinian football a playmaker is known as an enganche, literally meaning hook.
In Brazilian football the deep-lying playmaker is called meia-armador, while the attacking midfield playmaker is called meia-de-ligação.
The most complete playmakers are known as advanced playmakers, or free role playmakers, as they can operate both in central and attacking midfield and in wide positions.
Playmakers are not necessarily constrained to a single position - creativity, tactical awareness and good passing ability are the true requirements.
Because many midfielders have these attributes, they tend to be the playmakers of a team. The attacking playmakers are sometimes called the "number 10" of the team, as they often wear the number 10 jersey.
Qualities of a good playmaker
Perhaps the most important quality of a playmaker is the ability to read the game, and get into good positions making for effective reception and distribution of the ball. Intuition is another key element of a playmaker's game, as they need to know where different players are at different times, without taking too long to dwell on the ball. A good playmaker will often hold possession, allowing other team members to make attacking runs. The ostensible role of the playmaker is to then provide or facilitate the final pass which leads to a goal. In football terminology this is often known as a killer ball
or the final ball
and is officially recorded as an assist
In association football, an assist is a contribution by a player which helps to score a goal. Statistics for assists made by players may be kept officially by the organisers of a competition, or unofficially by, for example, journalists or organisers of fantasy football competitions...
Playmakers and tactics
Classical No. 10 playmakers are not often renowned for their tackling or defensive capabilities, hence English commentators often see them as a luxury in a football team, but they retain their places due to their ability to change games. In a 4-4-2 formation a playmaker will usually play alongside a defensive midfield player to ensure that the team is not vulnerable to attack. However with different formations a team may play with multiple playmakers. Most English teams usually use only one playmaker to minimize defensive frailties and also because using more than one may inhibit each playmaker's playing style. The downside to this approach is that a team lacks the necessary creativity when faced with a defensive opponent. Some contemporary teams using formations such 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1, 4-5-1 have multiple playmakers, usually a regista (deep-lying playmaker) and a trequartista.
- Association football positions
In association football, the formation describes how the players in a team are positioned on the pitch. Different formations can be used depending on whether a team wishes to play more attacking or defensive football....
A midfielder is an association football position. Some midfielders play a more defensive role, while others blur the boundaries between midfielders and forwards. The number of midfielders a team uses during a match may vary, depending on the team's formation and each individual player's role...
Within the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposition from attacking....
In association football, the goalkeeper occupies a position that represents the last line of defence between the opponent's offence and his own team's goal. The primary role of the goalkeeper is to defend his team's goal and prevent the opposition from scoring a goal...
- Point guard
Point guard , also called the play maker or "the ball-handler", is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position – essentially, he is expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that...
, a basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...
position with a similar role to the association football playmaker, and actually translated "playmaker" in several European languages