The midfield positions highlighted in relation to other positions in association football.

midfielder is an association football position.[1] Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their team's defenders and forwards. Some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being more mobile and efficient in passing: they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box, or holding midfielders. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the team's formation; the collective group of these players on the field is sometimes referred to as the midfield.[2]

Most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing team's attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match. Because midfielders arguably have the most possession during a game they are among the fittest players on the pitch.[3]

Central midfielder

Former Spain midfielder Xavi was voted to the FIFPro World XI eight years in a row.

Central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence and to dominate the play around the centre of the pitch. These players will try to pass the ball to the team's attacking midfielders and forwards and may also help their team's attacks by making runs into the opposition's penalty area and attempting shots on goal themselves.

When the opposing team has the ball, a central midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward and press the opposition ball-carrier to recover the ball. A centre midfielder defending their goal will move in front of their centre-backs in order to block long shots by the opposition and possibly track opposition midfielders making runs towards the goal.

The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders. The 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders,[4] and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder.

Box-to-box midfielder

The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who are hard-working and who have good all-round abilities, which makes them skilled at both defending and attacking.[5] These players can therefore track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots and also run to the opponents' box to try to score.[6] The change of trends and the deviation from the standard 4–4–2 formation to the 4–2–3–1 formation imposed restrictions on the typical box-to-box midfielders of the 80s, as teams' two midfield roles were now often divided into "holders" or "creators".[7]

Other Languages
aragonés: Centrocampista
asturianu: Mediocampista
تۆرکجه: هافبک
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Паўабаронца (футбол)
български: Полузащитник
bosanski: Vezni igrač
brezhoneg: Kreizer
català: Migcampista
Ελληνικά: Πλάγιος μέσος
español: Centrocampista
euskara: Erdilari
فارسی: هافبک
한국어: 미드필더
Bahasa Indonesia: Gelandang (sepak bola)
italiano: Centrocampista
Kiswahili: Kiungo (michezo)
lietuvių: Saugas
Malti: Midfilder
Bahasa Melayu: Pemain tengah
Nederlands: Middenvelder
norsk nynorsk: Midtbanespelar
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Yarimhimoyachi
português: Meia (futebol)
Scots: Midfielder
shqip: Mesfushori
Simple English: Midfielder
Türkçe: Orta saha
українська: Півзахисник
Tiếng Việt: Tiền vệ (bóng đá)
吴语: 中场
粵語: 中場
中文: 中场