The Trequartista is an Italian football expression. When translated, it means three quarters in English. The word is mostly used in Italian football cycles to describe a midfielder who plays in the position between the striker and central midfielder. Players like these are usually placed in that area of the pitch because of their ability to pick a pass and have a knack for scoring goals from midfield.
Trequartistas are gifted dribblers who have the ability to retain possession under pressure. They are not burdened too much with defensive responsibilities but are required to just remain in attacking positions to add support to the main striker.
Furthermore, the role of a trequartista is to score goals as well as create goal-scoring opportunities. He is able to find space between the opponent’s midfield and defensive line and can drift behind the lines, score goals or provide passes that create spaces for the strikers. They typically have lower work rates and speed, but their skill with the ball and passing vision and accuracy are sublime.
Classic examples of trequartistas include Diego Maradona, Juan Roman Riquelme, Kaka, Totti, Wayne Rooney, and Zinedine Zidane.
There are many players in today’s modern game who can be described in such terms. Here are some of the top trequartistas on football right now.
1. Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian is one of the most gifted midfielders currently in world football. The Manchester City talisman frequently plays across the middle of the park due to his technical ability on the ball and vision for picking out a pass. Most times, De Bruyne operates in the hole just behind the striker. His skill and dexterity on the ball allow him to retain possession easily. Kevin’s eye for goal and great positioning always makes him a goal threat. Kevin De Bruyne is also one of the best midfielders in the world.
2. Thomas Muller
Although Thomas Muller calls his position ‘Raumdeuter,’ which in German roughly translates to ‘the space interpreter, he is very much a modern trequartista. He has sharp reactions and shows a predatory instinct in front of goal.
In fact, most of his goals and assists come as a result of him anticipating a chance before a defender has the chance to clear or move ahead of him. He regularly tops the assists charts in Europe because he is always on the move, drifting into new and unexpected positions and finding the killer pass.
3. João Félix
The Atlético Madrid forward has been likened to Kaka, not just because of their striking resemblance, but also because of their similar playing styles. João Félix has been in fine form for his club in the 2021/22 season, scoring 10 goals and assisting 5.
The Portuguese is a great trequartista; he is a very versatile, intelligent, and technically gifted player, with an eye for goal. Although his main qualities are his creativity, finishing, touch on the ball, and dribbling skills, he also possesses an incredible vision and precise passing.
4. Martin Odegaard
The talented Norwegian is a very technical player. His ability to retain possession and eye for goal are some of his outstanding attributes. The Arsenal midfielder has been one of Mikel Arteta’s key players this season since his permanent move to north London in the summer. Odegaard’s goals have been crucial for the Gunners this season as they chase a lucrative 4th spot in the UEFA Champions League.
5. Lionel Messi
The Argentine is a perfect example of a player who can execute that role to perfection. The 7-time Balon D’or winner is blessed with extraordinary skill and vision that enables him to play just behind the forward player. Messi’s reading of the game and excellent goal-scoring record make it hard for the opposition to guard against. Lionel Messi is one of the best trequartistas right now and the greatest playmakers in football of all time.
6. Philippe Coutinho
The Brazilian playmaker has great ball-carrying skills that help his team keep possession, thereby putting pressure on the opposition defense. Coutinho has featured for various club sides in an advanced attacking position for the various clubs he has featured for, including his current club Aston Villa.
7. Paulo Dybala
The Juventus player has also been known to fill in the trequartista position on occasion. His deftness on the ball and goal-scoring instinct has helped him execute his role effectively for the Old Ladies. Dybala is also highly technical, which enables him to retain and rotate possession for his team.
- Bruno Fernandes
- Kelechi Iheanacho
- Antoine Griezmann
- Dele Alli
- Lucas Paquetá
- Memphis Depay.