What Are The Qualities Of A Good Football Midfielder?

The midfielders are very important in any football team. But most times, football fans judge midfielders only by their number of goals and assists. This is not just enough to know how good a midfielder is. What then are the qualities of a good Midfielder?

Well, before going into details, it is important to mention that there are different types of midfielders, hence, their quality differs. So, we will analyze their qualities based on specific Midfield roles.

Qualities of A Good Defensive Midfielder

The Defensive midfield role is the link between a team’s defence and attack. The Defensive Midfielders are not given so much credit for their work because they do the “dirty job” in protecting their defenders.

Below are the Qualities of a Good Defensive Midfielder:


A good vision is a very important quality of a Good Defensive Midfielder. Most defensive midfielders start the buildup play as a deep-lying playmaker, hence the need to have a great vision for short or long-range passes.

A perfect example of a Good Defensive midfielder who has an incredible vision is Xabi Alonso. Interestingly, he is one of the best Midfielders ever in Football as reported by Soofootball.

Ball Winner (Recovery)

Another important quality of a good Defensive Midfielder is Recovery. In most cases, Defensive Midfielders are duty-bound to break up opposition attacks. It is therefore important that Defensive Midfielders win the ball back.

N’golo Kante is a perfect example of a ball-winning Defensive Midfielder.


Recovery is one thing but tackling is another. A Defensive Midfielder can recover the ball without tackling (maybe through interception). However, tackling is one of the remarkable qualities of a good Defensive Midfielder.

A prime example of a hard-tackling Defensive Midfielder is Paul Scholes.

Ability To Dictate Game Tempo

A defensive Midfielder needs to be able to control the defence and also start the attacking moves. By doing so, he can easily dictate play and control the tempo of the game.

Qualities of A Good Attacking Midfielder 

For the purpose of this article, “Attacking Midfielders” here are any other type of midfielder who is not a Defensive Midfielder. These types of Midfielders contribute more to attack than defence. They are the link between the Midfield base and attack.

Here are some known qualities of a good Attacking Midfielder:


An attacking Midfielder needs to be very creative. Creativity goes beyond accurate passing – it is all encompassing. Off the Ball runs are also a very important aspect of creativity. One important stat peculiar to Attacking Midfielders is (big) chances created.

Eye For Goals

Attacking Midfielders are expected to score goals but not as often as strikers are expected to. An average minimum of 8 to 10 goals per season is decent for an attacking Midfielder. 

However, in some rare cases, attacking Midfielders score over 20 goals in a season. For example, in the 2013/14 season, Yaya Toure scored 20 Premier League goals.


Dribbling is one of the most important attributes of a good Attacking Midfielder. A typical example of a good dribbler is Andres Iniesta. 

Setpiece Specialist

Most Attacking Midfielders are dead ball specialists. They are able to create goals with their Freekicks and are also able to score directly. 

Juninho is a typical example of a Freekick specialist. Find below some of his greatest Freekick goals.

[Embed – Juninho Top 13 Ridiculous Free Kick Goals That No One Expected]

Final Thought

Midfielders are very important in football, so they should be appreciated. Here, we highlighted the qualities of a Good attacking and Defensive Midfielder but it is important to note that it may be impossible for one Midfielder to possess ALL of these qualities.

Depending on the specific role of a Midfielder, he could possess 2 or 3 of the qualities highlighted here

Nonetheless, you are not left in the dark as to what qualities are expected from Midfielders generally.


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