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Identifying / Scouting a perfect centre Defender

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Football Player Profile: Identifying / Scouting a perfect Centre Defender in football

With advancement in technology and coaching and the desire for players to stick more to a coach’s tactics rather than primarily on their gifted skills, it is not surprising that one can actually create a perfect centre defender.

However as long as football is concerned with human beings, it does not just take training to create the perfect centre defender.

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Here I quote “Skills FIRST before anything else”

It is why scouting or identifying football talents [centre defender.] will always be the primary means of creating a perfect centre defender. It is just like saying without a good idea, one cannot gather the rightful resources to produce the right and perfect output.

Modern football tactics has blinded many scouts and coaches today in identifying mostly electrifying and ground breaking and tall talents with speed and power as that of Van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Antonio Rudiger etc.

It is why scouting and creating the perfect centre defender, a generational football player nowadays is so rare compared to 15 years ago like we saw with the likes of Maldini, Puyol, Gerard Pique, Jap Stam, John Terry etc.

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The question that is left is, so how then do we scout or identify the perfect player before taking them into training?

This brings us to the idea of Player Profiles of a centre defender.

We all know a player’s profile must include their technical, physical, Psychological and tactical mentalities or qualities.


Player Profile: Attacking Midfielder.


  • Range of passing with both feet
  • Defensively sound in 1v1/1v2 scenarios
  • Can compete in the air
  • Capable of emergency defending
  • Ability to anticipate opposition movement . Offers support to goalkeeper, defence and midfield units
  • Comfortable in possession
  • Reads and blocks passing lanes into forward players


  • Acceleration over short distances
  • Vertical leap
  • Change of direction
  • Ability to recover
  • Competes physically
  • Uses body to shield/protect the ball
  • Stamina
  • Nutrition and lifestyle

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  • Recognizes when to play forward and when to . retain possession
  • Knows when to switch play to exploit weak side
  • Able to receive and carry out instructions Fluid in pressing, covering and balance
  • Maintains correct distances and angles with other defenders
  • Moves forward as part of a unit when attacking
  • Attempts to delay when outnumbered
  • Utilizes offside trap at correct moments


  • Good communicator
  • Confident
  • Responsible and accountable
  • Takes pride in defending / a will to win
  • Leadership skills
  • Demonstrates restraint / self-control
  • Maintains high levels of concentration
  • Puts the needs of the team first



As a scout, just try following all the aforementioned qualities of a centre defender and you are very sure to give birth to the next John Terry, Maldini, Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Rigobert Song, Taribo West or the likes of promising youngsters like Cameroonian defender in Christopher Wooh, Ibrahima Konate, Arsenal’s William Saliba etc.

As a football talent willing to improve yourself as an centre defender to catch the eyes of scouts, follow our aforementioned qualities and the rest will be history.

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