How-to Play As A Number 10: Attacking Midfielder

“The classic role of a number 10 is to be a playmaker, someone that controls the game either by scoring goals or by creating chances for players around him to score”


In Football there is no number with greater significance than the number 10.

The ’10’ is an arbitrary use of the number, as it could’ve easily had been ‘7’, ‘6’ or ‘5’. The ideas that the number 10 has embodied is quite simple, they are an advance midfielder an attacking midfielder.

The number 10 is a revered number for players and fans alike, indicating the ‘best’ player on the team, a player that leads the team with goal scoring.

The number 10 conjures up memories of great plays and outstanding players.

The classic role of a number 10 is to be a playmaker, someone that controls the game either by scoring goals or by creating chances for players around him to score.

While each player that has worn the number 10 has their own unique style there are certain qualities that they all share.


One of the basic requirements of a number 10 is the ability to pass the ball effective using a range of passing (short/long passes).


Vision isn’t only about seeing what’s right in front of you but rather a sixth-sense. Being able to understand how the game is flowing in order to anticipate where your teammates will make runs and also how the opponent will react so as to intercept passes.


The ability to dribble is also a fundamental quality of a number 10. Maradona and Messi are perhaps some of the greatest examples of the art of dribbling. But numerous other numbers 10’s have used this beautiful skill to open up a defence.


Be it creativity with a through-pass, a back-heel pass or nutmeg, the ability to be creative given the numerous amount of challenges in a game is a necessity.

First Touch

You can’t do much if you can’t control the ball so most number 10’s have an outstanding first-touch. They can receive a fast and hard pass with one touch and change direction with the slightest of moves.


The field is finite and as such creating and seeking out space is vital to creating chances or scoring goals, this one thing that all number 10’s are great at doing.


Taking it all on their shoulders is something of a hallmark for a number 10. When the team needs a goal or a spark to regain control of the game, a number 10 has ability to take on the responsibility of leading them forward.

The Modern #10

As with all things in life, nothing remains the same for too long and as such the state of the number 10 is also changing.

In recent years, the role of the number 10 has been reduced somewhat as more defensive minded teams have attempted ways of minimizing the number 10’s impact on the game.

Either by man-marking (in some cases double man-marking), or using more physical tactics and at times changing formations to cut-off passing lanes.

However, as the game continues to evolve the number 10 will always have a certain myth and reverence.


Thanks for reading, what are some other qualities that a number 10 should possess, examples of a particular player are also welcomed. Let us know below.

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