10 Tips for Attacking Midfielders

Have you ever wondered how the likes of Eden Hazard, David Silva, and Mesut Özil pull off an amazing performance in the field? I’m sure you’d love to be like them. Just read along and absorb all those tips for attacking midfielders.

Well, the secret to their incredible performance is days, months, and years of practice. But don’t worry, I’ll give you tips on how to be like them, just read along.

Surprisingly, these players wouldn’t play as they do if they were put in a different position. You know why? Because they are attacking midfielders {CAM}. Speaking of which, do you know the exact role of an attacking midfielder in a football {soccer} match?

The Role of an Attacking Midfielder

Typically, the attacking midfielder is a creative player that controls the offensive play of the team {also called a playmaker}. They normally act as a link between the midfield and the forwards. Since they play the major role in controlling the offensive play, the attacking midfielder must be mobile, creative, and extremely skillful. Yep, that is why you see David Silva {Man City}, Eden Hazard {Chelsea} or Paulo Dybala {Juventus} usually given the ball when the team is on the attack. In some cases, an attacking midfielder can act as a secondary striker.

If you want to learn more about the role of an attacking midfielder, Daily Soccer Skills explains it perfectly.

Looking for a pair of soccer cleats? Check our guide on Best Soccer Cleats for Midfielders.

How to Play As an Attacking Midfielder

So, if you would like to play as a CAM, you know what you should be doing on the pitch. But how can you become a 5-star player like the mentioned playmakers? Here 10 useful tips for attacking midfielders;

1. The First Touch Must Be Perfect

I know, you’re thinking why the first touch must be well-mastered. Well, before the ball gets to you, the opposing team’s defense will rush towards you with an intention of dispossessing you. For that, your first touch must be taken properly so that the ball stays on your foot. Check out this post by Four Four Two to improve your first touch in the field. Keep in mind that a bad first touch can slow down the momentum of the team or it can lead to dispossession.

2. Have a Quick {and Wise} Reaction

So you have made a classy first touch, what next? A good attacking midfielder will be quick to dribble, pass, and even shoot the ball. If you don’t make your next move quickly, the opposing team will take the ball from you.

3. Be Accurate With Your Passes

You need to put the right weight on those passes. First off, you need to be sure where you want the ball to meet your target player. Also, you should calculate where the defenders are, and whether they will get to the ball. You might have to practice more for you to master this skill. Try watching how Cesc Fabregas is accurate with his passes to learn a thing or two.

4. Be Creative With Your Movements

We did mention earlier that an attacking midfielder has to be mobile. The mobility has to be creative as well. You will need to move around the pitch in areas that your teammates can feed the ball to you with ease. Yes, the defenders will be on you trying to block the ball from landing on your feet, but here is where you will need to prove that you are a CAM, and you are there to demolish them. Ideally, you should fake a run and dart the other way or make diagonal runs, rather than running straight towards the ball. Doing so helps to create openings for you to freely get the ball.

5. Have a Good Team Chemistry

Nothing pushes a team forward with precision than a good chemistry. Since you are the team’s attacking pivot, you should be on the same page with every teammate at all times. Always try to study and know what your teammate will do next. In this case, there’ll be a better chance to hold possession and also have a scoring opportunity. Before you get to the match, ensure that you practice the team chemistry on the training ground.

6. Shoot When You Can

Yes, your role is to create scoring chances. But don’t forget that you are also a second striker. For that, when you are looking for the striker to feed them the ball, but they are crowded with defenders, think otherwise. As long as you are in the position to score or even attempt, don’t hesitate to take a shot. You’d thank yourself later when the ball hits the back of the net.

7. Master The Dribbling Art

Sometimes in the game, it can be difficult to pass the ball to your target man. Also, you just can’t pass the ball back to your defensive midfielder or the defenders. That isn’t a quality of a good CAM. So what would you do in such a situation? Here is where you will need to pull a Messi on those defenders. Dribble through them and get as close to the goal post as possible. Your aim is to get past the defenders and score, or at least create a scoring chance for your teammate. Soccer Training Guide gives tips on how to dribble professionally.

8. Don’t Forget To Defend

Well, this doesn’t mean that you should run back to your defenders’ line and try doing their job. Neither does it mean that you should chase the ball all around the pitch as you try to dispossess the opponents. Instead, you will need to put pressure on the opposing side’s center backs, center midfielders, and wingbacks. Try as much as you can to disrupt the opponents from developing an attack on your team.

9. Be a Clinical Finisher

Other than shooting when you can, a good attacking midfielder should be a good finisher as well. It is your job to ensure that the play leads to a goal. So what if you are left alone with the goalkeeper, what would you do? Of course, you would make your best move and score that goal. You can watch some of the best CAMs like Dele Alli or Sadio Mane to see just how good they can be with their finishing.

10. Study The Entire Field As You Play

A good attacking midfielder should study where each player is in the field while they keep their eyes on the ball to receive it. This way, you will be able to deliver a better pass, pick the right person, and even get in the perfect position to shoot. Some might call it seeing things in slow motion.

Other than being a technical player, you also need to be one that is physically fit. Here is a guide by Soccer Training Methods to help you have the right physical attributes as an attacking midfielder.

Keep in mind that practice makes perfect. So never give up on the training ground.

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