James Rodriguez as ‘Zehner’? Thomas Müller the ‘Raumdeuter’? German soccer positions explained For Worlds

James Rodriguez as Zehner
James Rodriguez as Zehner

James Rodriguez as ‘Zehner’? Thomas Müller the ‘Raumdeuter’? German soccer positions explained For Worlds

What do you get if you upload a 10, a double six, an 8 and a Joker? sounds like a mathematical question, right? the answer, though, is a quite accessible foundation for a Bundesliga group…

pressured? in that case, is here to place you at the proper track with our guide to German soccer lingo so one can have you ever discussing procedures like a neighborhood very quickly.



it’s miles hardly sudden the term is Italian given their recognition for shielding excellence however it became a function personified by way of a German: Franz Beckenbauer. Nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser’, the Emperor, the Bayern Munich first-rate was the polar opposite of the ‘fox inside the container’ goal-striking striker. His kingdom turned into the place among the centre-backs and his own goalkeeper through which he strode imperiously, nipping threat in the bud earlier than dispensing the ball from the lower back in the style of the excellent ball-gambling centre-backs of the cutting-edge day. A position requiring thought and intelligence, there is a good cause Beckenbauer is the best real footballer in Monty Python’s Philosophers’ football suit. The function become reprised by using Lothar Matthäus at Bayern within the twilight of his profession, but is hardly ever used now with the ‘sweeper-keeper’ à l. a. mode.

Bundesliga pleasant (ever): Franz Beckenbauer

Synonym: sweeper



No. 6

like the range eight (see under), the variety 6 or Sechser — literally Sixer — is a throwback reference to the times when shirt numbers corresponded with the players’ role on the pitch. he’s the shielding midfielder in either a four-three-three or 4-2-3-1 formation. essentially, he’s the person who snuffs out opposition attacks by means of sitting (now not literally! This role requires lung-bursting enterprise and marathon-runner stamina) in the front of his group’s lower back 4, anticipating threat, hoovering up ownership and giving the ball to the ones further up the pitch who have the expertise to do something more exciting with it. Unfussy, unspectacular, unheralded, however oh so critical. you can additionally listen ‘the Makelele role’ in connection with the previous actual Madrid and Chelsea midfielder who made the position glamorous within the first decade of the millennium.

In a 4-2-three-1 set-up, you can pay attention ‘Doppelsechs’ because of this the ‘2’ in the front of the again 4 are each protecting midfielders with constrained attacking abilities. more commonly, one in every of them is extra creative, the opposite greater unfavorable, imparting stability to the facet: e.g. Javi Martinez (damaging), Thiago (innovative) for Bayern.

Bundesliga bests: Javi Martinez, Julian Weigl

Synonyms: the Makelele position, protecting midfielder, sitting midfielder

Watch: Javi Martinez – Bayern’s midfield rock

Javi Martinez


There is no English equal for this role, that’s most usually employed in a 4-three-three formation. whilst the number 6 (the protective midfielder, don’t forget? sure? well completed! No? maintain up! 😉 ) is placed toward his very own team’s defence, the wide variety 8 performs further up the pitch, supplying the important link between back and front and is a key detail in transitions, from protecting to attacking and lower back once more. The satisfactory 8s have a dash of the chew and industry of a bona fide 6 mixed with a hint of the creativity of a Zehner (see underneath) and a slither of the goalscoring ability of the Torjäger (see under).

Bundesliga exponents: Leon Goretzka, Naby Keita, Corentin Tolisso

Synonyms: Relayeur (French)

Watch: Leon Goretzka’s pinnacle 5 Bundesliga goals



Ever wondered how to categorise Thomas Müller’s exceptional role? He’s no longer brief, he’s no longer athletic, he’s now not powerful — Arjen Robben once cautioned his bony Bayern crew-mate by no means got injured because he doesn’t have any muscle tissue — however isn’t he oh so effective? So what’s he? “Ich bin ein Raumdeuter,” he as soon as famously spoke back JFK style, “i am a area interpreter”. What does that mean? simply watch Müller in action, and respect his 6th-sense to move into the space where — as though by using magic — the ball seems a fraction of a 2nd later. Now regularly copied, but never bettered.

Bundesliga exceptional: Thomas Müller

Watch: Thomas Müller – the satisfactory player in the global without the ball

Thomas Müller


‘Zehn’ way ‘ten’ in German; in soccer, it corresponds to the blouse number that has — thru the a while — been worn by using the maximum creative player in the side. placed within the middle of the 3 at the back of the lone striker in a four-2-3-1 formation or at the tip of a diamond-shaped midfield in a 4-four-2 just like the peerless Zvejzdan Misimovic was throughout Wolfsburg’s sensational 2008/09 identify-triumphing season, your average ‘Zehner’ has the vision and imagination to identify the skip no-one else can see, and the capacity to supply it, usually with laser-guided precision. He isn’t always handiest the conductor however additionally the soloist performing the show-preventing wide variety earlier than the Torjäger comes up with the finale.

Bundesliga exponents: James Rodriguez, Mario Götze

Synonyms: playmaker

Watch: Mario Götze’s pinnacle 3 Dortmund desires



Germans love a compound noun. wherein different language can you, in idea, just cross on adding nouns to each other to get a phrase longer than your common Tolstoy conventional? wreck this one down: ‘Tor’ manner aim, ‘Jäger’ is hunter. If the ball is inside the penalty area, you are likely to find this guy someplace near it. The Bundesliga’s fine receives an award — a cannon — at the give up of the season referred to as, yes, you’ve guessed it, the Torjägerkanone. need to recognize greater? just ask Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Robert Lewandowski, they realize all about it…

Bundesliga bests: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Lewandowski, Timo Werner

Synonyms: centre-ahead, goalscorer, intention-poacher

Watch: Robert Lewandowski – the word’s nice striker



No, no longer the funniest guy within the dressing room, nor a laughable addition to the squad. In fact, if the opposition do now not take him critically, he could be the only having the closing snort. He’s the ace up the sleeve of the instruct, the person introduced off the substitutes’ bench to shop the day while his team wishes a hero. If he grabs a intention or even tees up a group-mate for one, he no longer simplest pushes his claims for a place within the beginning XI, he also makes his boss appear like a tactical genius.

Bundesliga bests: Nils Petersen

Synonyms: Supersub


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