Central defender roles include all player roles in central defender playing positions*, which are:

  • Sweeper (SW)
  • Centre back (CB)

The information provided for each role is explained in the Player Roles and Duties guide and the associated tactical theory* guides that it links to.

1. Sweeper

1.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Sweeper

Duties:

  • Defend

1.2. Game Description

The Sweeper drops behind the defensive line, aiming to sweep up through balls, pick up extra attackers and make goal saving tackles, blocks and interceptions.

His exceptional athleticism and reading of the game enable him to cover for defensive errors, take possession of loose balls from a deep position and secure possession.

He rarely, if ever, ventures forward.

1.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Hold Position
  • Dribble Less
  • Shoot Less Often

1.4. Analysis

Sweeper (SW Defend)

Description:

  • Holding, restricted-dribbling, restricted-shooting, disciplined and cautious sweeper.

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.25

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover; providing defensive cover.
  • Supported responsibilities
  • Supplementary responsibilities - playing safe.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; stretching play.

Focus level: 4.0

Role categories:

  • Covering central defender
    • Specialist - restrained central defender
    • Orthodox central defender
      • Specialist - withdrawn central defender
    • Specialist - protecting central defender
  • Safe-playing central defender
    • Supplementary - restricted central defender

2. Libero

2.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Sweeper

Duties:

  • Support
  • Attack

2.2. Game Description

The Libero drops behind the defensive line, aiming to sweep up through balls, pick up extra attackers and make goal saving tackles, blocks and interceptions.

His exceptional athleticism and reading of the game enable him to cover for defensive errors, take possession of loose balls from a deep position and secure possession. However, he will also roam forwards in support of the midfield when the team has possession.

With a Support duty the Libero will step into the midfield when possession is secured and look to play balls through to attacking teammates.

With an Attack duty the Libero ventures much higher up the pitch to provide a goal scoring threat from distance alongside looking to play in teammates.

2.3. Default Player Instructions

  • More Risky Passes

Attack only:

  • Get Further Forward
  • Shoot More Often

2.4. Analysis

Libero (SW Support)

Description:

  • Supporting, ball-playing, creative and cautious sweeper
  • Supporting sweeper => attacking phase auxiliary sitting, ball-playing and creative defensive midfielder

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 0.75

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - providing defensive cover; creating chances.
    • In central midfield - creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities - stretching play.
    • Atypical in central midfield - taking chances (sitting player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.
    • In central midfield - providing attacking cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; playing safe.
    • In central midfield - playing safe.

Focus level: 3.0

Role categories:

  • Supplementary - restrained central defender
    • Supplementary - withdrawn central defender
    • Specialist - protecting central defender
  • Supported - running central defender
  • Specialist - skilled central defender
  • Supplementary - auxiliary withdrawn central midfielder
  • Specialist - auxiliary central midfield creator
  • Supported - auxiliary central midfield goal-scorer (atypical - sitting player)

Role category implementations:

  • Auxiliary defensive midfield countering-playmaker* (auxiliary ball-playing and creative defensive midfield creator)

Libero (SW Attack)

Description:

  • Offensive, ball-playing, shot-taking, creative and cautious sweeper
  • Offensive sweeper => attacking phase auxiliary supporting, ball-playing, shot-taking and creative defensive midfielder

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 0.50

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - stretching play.
    • In central midfield - taking chances.
  • Specialist responsibilities - providing defensive cover; creating chances.
    • Atypical in central midfield - creating chances (shot-taking player).
  • Supported responsibilities
    • In central midfield - stretching play.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover; applying defensive pressure; playing safe.
    • In central midfield - playing safe.

Focus level: 4.0

Role categories:

  • Specialist - protecting central defender
  • Designated - running central defender
  • Specialist - skilled central defender
  • Supported - auxiliary number-eight central midfielder
  • Specialist - auxiliary central midfield creator (atypical - shot-taking player)
  • Designated - auxiliary central midfield goal-scorer

Role category implementations:

  • Auxiliary defensive midfield countering-playmaker* (auxiliary ball-playing and creative defensive midfield creator)

3. Central Defender

3.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre back

Duties:

  • Defend
  • Stopper
  • Cover

3.2. Game Description

The main job of the Central Defender is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

However, especially for more aggressive tactics, he must also possess the technique and composure to be able to help the team maintain possession and lay off simple passes to more creative players.

With a Defend duty the Central Defender will stay in line with his defensive partner and look to break up attacks, mark opposing forwards and prevent the ball from getting into the box.

With a Stopper duty the Central Defender will push ahead of the defensive line and close down players before they get to the area.

With a Cover duty the Central Defender will drop a little deeper and sweep up through balls behind the defensive line.

3.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Hold Position
  • Dribble Less
  • Shoot Less Often

3.4. Analysis

Central Defender (CB Defend)

Description:

  • Holding, restricted-dribbling and restricted-shooting centre back

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.
  • Supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover; applying defensive pressure.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - playing safe.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - stretching play.

Focus level: 2.0

Role categories:

  • Covering central defender
    • Designated - restrained central defender
    • Orthodox central defender
      • Designated - withdrawn central defender
    • Supported - protecting central defender
  • Balanced central defender
    • Protecting central defender
    • Supported - stopper central defender
  • Safe-playing central defender
    • Supplementary - restricted central defender

Central Defender (CB Stopper)

Description:

  • Holding, restricted-dribbling and restricted-shooting centre back aggressor
  • Centre back aggressor (if off-centre) => defensive phase auxiliary narrow full back

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing attacking cover; applying defensive pressure.
  • Supported responsibilities
    • On the flank (if off-centre) - applying defensive pressure.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - playing safe.
  • Weak-designated responsibilities - providing cover.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing defensive cover; stretching play.

Focus level: 3.0

Role categories:

  • Orthodox central defender
    • Designated - withdrawn central defender
  • Safe-playing central defender
    • Supplementary - restricted central defender
  • Designated - stopper central defender
  • Supported - auxiliary pressing wide player (if off-centre)

Central Defender (CB Cover)

Description:

  • Holding, restricted-dribbling, restricted-shooting and cautious centre back.

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing attacking cover; providing defensive cover.
  • Specialist responsibilities - providing cover.
  • Supported responsibilities
  • Supplementary responsibilities - playing safe.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; stretching play.

Focus level: 3.0

Role categories:

  • Covering central defender
    • Specialist - restrained central defender
    • Orthodox central defender
      • Designated - withdrawn central defender
    • Designated - protecting central defender
  • Safe-playing central defender
    • Supplementary - restricted central defender

4. Ball Playing Defender

4.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre back

Duties:

  • Defend
  • Stopper
  • Cover

4.2. Game Description

The main job of the Ball Playing Defender is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

However, unlike standard Central Defenders the Ball Playing Defender is encouraged to launch defence splitting through balls from deep to generate counter attacking opportunities.

With a Defend duty the Ball Playing Defender will stay in line with his defensive partner and look to break up attacks, mark opposing forwards and prevent the ball from getting into the box.

With a Stopper duty the Ball Playing Defender will push ahead of the defensive line and close down players before they get to the area.

With a Cover duty the Ball Playing Defender will drop a little deeper and sweep up through balls behind the defensive line.

4.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Hold Position
  • More Risky Passes

4.4. Analysis

Ball Playing Defender (CB Defend)

Description:

  • Holding, ball-playing and creative centre back

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.
  • Specialist responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover; applying defensive pressure.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - stretching play; playing safe.

Focus level: 3.0

Role categories:

  • Covering central defender
    • Designated - restrained central defender
    • Orthodox central defender
      • Designated - withdrawn central defender
    • Supported - protecting central defender
  • Balanced central defender
    • Protecting central defender
    • Supported - stopper central defender
  • Specialist - skilled central defender

Role category implementations:

Ball Playing Defender (CB Stopper)

Description:

  • Holding, ball-playing and creative centre back aggressor
  • Centre back aggressor (if off-centre) => defensive phase auxiliary narrow full back

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing attacking cover; applying defensive pressure.
  • Specialist responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities
    • On the flank (if off-centre) - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-designated responsibilities - providing cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing defensive cover; stretching play; playing safe.

Focus level: 4.0

Role categories:

  • Orthodox central defender
    • Designated - withdrawn central defender
  • Designated - stopper central defender
  • Specialist - skilled central defender
  • Supported - auxiliary pressing wide player (if off-centre)

Role category implementations:

Ball Playing Defender (CB Cover)

Description:

  • Holding, ball-playing, creative and cautious centre back

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing attacking cover; providing defensive cover.
  • Specialist responsibilities - providing cover; creating chances.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; stretching play; playing safe.

Focus level: 4.0

Role categories:

  • Covering central defender
    • Specialist - restrained central defender
    • Orthodox central defender
      • Designated - withdrawn central defender
    • Designated - protecting central defender
  • Specialist - skilled central defender

Role category implementations:

5. Defensive Centre Back

5.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre back

Duties:

  • Defend
  • Stopper
  • Cover

5.2. Game Description

The main job of the Defensive Centre Back is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

The aim is to win the ball without giving away a free kick and get it cleared safely up field in a no-nonsense manner.

With a Defend duty the Defensive Centre Back will stay in line with his defensive partner and look to break up attacks, mark opposing forwards and prevent the ball from getting into the box.

With a Stopper duty the Defensive Centre Back will push ahead of the defensive line and close down players before they get to the area.

With a Cover duty the Defensive Centre Back will drop a little deeper and sweep up through balls behind the defensive line.

5.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Hold Position
  • Dribble Less
  • Shoot Less Often
  • Fewer Risky Passes

5.4. Analysis

Defensive Centre Back (CB Defend)

Description:

  • Holding, restricted-dribbling, safe-passing, restricted-shooting and disciplined centre back passer

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.
  • Specialist responsibilities - playing safe.
  • Supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover; applying defensive pressure.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - stretching play; creating chances.

Focus level: 4.0

Role categories:

  • Covering central defender
    • Designated - restrained central defender
    • Orthodox central defender
      • Designated - withdrawn central defender
    • Supported - protecting central defender
  • Balanced central defender
    • Protecting central defender
    • Supported - stopper central defender
  • Safe-playing central defender
    • Specialist - restricted central defender

Defensive Centre Back (CB Stopper)

Description:

  • Holding, restricted-dribbling, safe-passing, restricted-shooting and disciplined centre back passer and aggressor
  • Centre back aggressor (if off-centre) => defensive phase auxiliary narrow full back

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing attacking cover; applying defensive pressure.
  • Specialist responsibilities - playing safe.
  • Supported responsibilities
    • On the flank (if off-centre) - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-designated responsibilities - providing cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing defensive cover; stretching play; creating chances.

Focus level: 5.0

Role categories:

  • Orthodox central defender
    • Designated - withdrawn central defender
  • Safe-playing central defender
    • Specialist - restricted central defender
  • Designated - stopper central defender
  • Supported - auxiliary pressing wide player (if off-centre)

Defensive Centre Back (CB Cover)

Description:

  • Holding, restricted-dribbling, safe-passing, restricted-shooting, disciplined and cautious centre back passer

Penetration score: 0.00

Solidity score: 1.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing attacking cover; providing defensive cover.
  • Specialist responsibilities - providing cover; playing safe.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; stretching play; creating chances.

Focus level: 5.0

Role categories:

  • Covering central defender
    • Specialist - restrained central defender
    • Orthodox central defender
      • Designated - withdrawn central defender
    • Designated - protecting central defender
  • Safe-playing central defender
    • Specialist - restricted central defender