Who said that soccer players have to always play in the same position? Let's meet the professionals who knew how to reconvert and improve their performance.
These are the players who decided to abandon their lifelong positions to have a new role on the court. Photos: IG-garethbale11, IG-philipplahm, IG-danialves
LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla
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Leer en español: Jugadores de fútbol que destacaron cambiando de posición
We are used to thinking that certain soccer players have only one function in their field. This is obviously based on the position they occupy, something that is determined by their abilities. However, there are also some cases where a coach decides, for one reason or another, to convert a player to a new role.
Perhaps the most emblematic case of today is Marcos Llorente. The Atlético Madrid player began his career at Real Madrid as a containment midfielder, but Diego Simeone realized that he had enormous potential for finishing, which is why he began his metamorphosis as a striker, with great results.
His versatility has even been such that he is considered the "wild card" of Simeone, as he has also had performances on the right side, more than fulfilling his duties. Therefore, we decided to make a list of other cases where the players decided to abandon their lifelong positions to have a new role on the court.
Few people remember him, but the current Tottenham player, the Welshman, had started his career on the left-back. When he made his debut at Southampton, he stood out for his enormous potential as the band, although with a more defensive tactic. That is to say, it managed to surprise by its power and its arrival in the area.
However, he was a player with wasted potential, as he had a really powerful punch. When he arrived at Tottenham, he began to display his talent on the left-wing, although ahead. That is to say, although he had his games occupying a marking role, he reached stardom by playing the steering wheel on the left.
Later, he began to occupy a playmaker position, where the left-hander knew how to have more freedom and generate more goals. When signing for Real Madrid, he began playing on the left, although he collided with the figure of the team: Cristiano Ronaldo. Later, he returned to his position as a midfielder, although as time went by he ended up being a winger on the right, a position he usually occupies today.
Throughout his career, Javier Mascherano was an outstanding defensive midfielder. After a really fruitful stay at English Liverpool, where he shared the center of the pitch with the idol Steven Gerrard, he decided to move to Pep Guardiola's FC Barcelona, a place where he had a new “resurgence” in his career.
At first, he signed for this club with the aim of being a substitute for Sergio Busquets. However, Guardiola was confident in the Argentine's abilities, which is why, due to the defensive deficiencies that the team was going through, he decided to invoke him as Gerard Piqué's rear partner.
The result was good, to the point where he spent his entire career in the culé team being important in that position. The really curious thing is that later, both in his return to Argentine soccer in Estudiantes and in his own team, he did not play too many games in the position that he managed to reconvert, but the technicians chose to place him in his “natural position”.
One of the most incredible cases of all. Sergio Ramos began his career occupying the right back, to the point where he managed to start in that position in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where the Spanish National Team won the World Cup. However, as with the other soccer players, there was wasted talent.
According to El País, in 2011, the then technical director of Real Madrid, José Mourinho, opined that "Sergio Ramos can be much better central than lateral." Although he had acted with solvency in that position, at the rear he could provide much greater output, better advances and optimal defensive security for his team.
The results are in sight: today, Sergio Ramos is seen as one of the best defenders in history. His technique and leadership make him really complete to go out with the ball at his feet, but he also provides defensive security and, above all, a huge quota of goal from set pieces.
In this case, a player appears who had already had some positional change throughout his career. We are talking about Philipp Lahm, the historic Bayern Munich player we met as one of the most regular right-backs of all time. However, due to his ability to function on both wings, he had also played on the left.
However, no one would imagine that the captain of the German National Team who was champion in the 2014 World Cup could have a role in the center of the field. With the arrival of Guardiola to the Bavarian team, he knew how to display an inner midfielder potential that many people did not believe he had.
Finally, we talk about the Brazilian soccer players who knew how to be a true partner of Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona. The truth is that Dani Alves became an eminence of the right-back , as he managed to demonstrate enormous power, reaching the goal and, above all else, speed.
However, time passes for everyone, so he had to "reinvent himself" to occupy a position that does not demand so much from the physical, despite having an enviable resistance. According to the newspaper Diez, when he arrived at Sao Paulo in Brazil, he decided to play as a midfielder, renouncing the wear and tear demanded by the right-back, to have much more influence on the plays.
All of these footballers had to reinvent their positions to continue performing at their best!