What Is CDM In Soccer

What Is CDM In Soccer? (Central Defensive Midfielder – Explained!)

Soccer is immensely popular because it is a team game where 22 players have active participation. And there are many positions in soccer that managers use to make different formations. So now, we are going to reveal what CDM is and their roles in soccer.

CDM, or Central Defensive Midfielder, is a position in soccer that plays a critical role in both defending and attacking. A CDM typically operates in the central part of the field, just in front of the defenders, and acts as a shield to protect the backline. The CDM position is also known as a holding midfielder or a defensive midfielder.

There are several great soccer players who played in the CDM positions during their heydays. And there are many such current players also exist who are taking this role to a new height.

Different Types Of CDM

There are different types of CDMs, and they can be classified based on their playing style and the responsibilities they have on the field. The following are the different types of CDMs:

  • Deep-Lying Playmaker: A CDM who focuses more on the attacking side of the game, and they are responsible for initiating and controlling the team’s attack from a deeper position.
  • Ball-Winning Midfielder: A CDM who specializes in intercepting passes and breaking up the opposition’s attacks. They are responsible for winning the ball back and quickly distributing it to their teammates.
  • Regista: A CDM who is known for their excellent vision, passing accuracy, and ability to dictate the tempo of the game.
  • Destroyer: A CDM who is physically imposing and strong in the tackle. They are tasked with disrupting the opposition’s rhythm and breaking up play.
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Some of the best soccer defenders currently act also as destroyers or deep-lying midfielders. Due to their diverse skillset, managers use them in several different positions.

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Various Formations Where A CDM Can Be Used

A CDM can be deployed in various formations, depending on the team’s tactical approach. But most of the greatest soccer managers rely on certain formations to use CDM to their advantage. The following are some of the formations where a CDM can be used:

  • 4-2-3-1
  • 4-1-4-1
  • 3-5-2
  • 5-3-2
  • 4-3-3
  • 4-4-2 (Diamond)

While modern football is moving towards hybrid formation, CDMs are now used for various roles. They mainly operate from the back and ensure the proper ball supply to the forward line.

Responsibilities Of CDM

The responsibilities of a CDM are critical in both the defensive and attacking phases of the game. The following are some of the key responsibilities of a CDM:

  • Provide cover for the defenders.
  • Break up the opposition’s play.
  • Win back possession and quickly distribute the ball to the teammates.
  • Shield the backline and prevent counter-attacks.
  • Start the team’s attack from deep areas.
  • Provide support to the attacking players.
  • Cover for the full-backs when they move forward.

Most teams use the tallest soccer players as their CDM, such as Raphael Varane, who now plays as CDM for the French national side. They get a tactical advantage for their height.

Importance Of CDM

A CDM is an essential position in modern football, and their contributions to the team’s success cannot be understated. Some of the reasons why the CDM position is so crucial are:

  • Provides a balance between defense and attack.
  • Offers cover to the defenders.
  • Disrupts the opposition’s rhythm and prevents counter-attacks.
  • Starts the team’s attack from deep areas.
  • Creates and controls the tempo of the game.
  • Provides a link between the defense and the attack.
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CMDs are also known for their accurate tackling in soccer. So, they can act both as a defender and a traditional midfielder. Many teams now use CDM to primarily block the attack.

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What Is CDM In Soccer
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The jersey number for a CDM can vary depending on the team and the player’s preference. However, the most common jersey number for a CDM is 6.

No. 6 is also among the most popular soccer jerseys, as most clubs have these numbers assigned to some players. It is traditionally seen that CDMs prefer to wear jersey numbers between 4 and 6.

Some of the best CDMs of all time include players like Claude Makelele, Sergio Busquets, N’Golo Kante, Javier Mascherano, and Dunga. While there are many great CDM currently active, many retired soccer players also left their marks while playing in this position.

Skills Needed To Become A CDM

To become a successful CDM, a player needs to have a combination of physical and technical skills. The following are some of the skills needed to become a CDM:

  • Good positional sense.
  • Strong tackling ability.
  • Good passing ability.
  • Excellent vision and awareness.
  • Good reading of the game.
  • Strong physical attributes, such as stamina and strength.
  • Good decision-making skills.
  • Ability to anticipate the opposition’s moves.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Leadership qualities.
  • Tactical discipline and understanding.

It is usually seen that CDM are great with their footwork and ball control. They are also seen juggling with soccer balls, even during matches.

5 Best CDM Of All Time

CDM needs immense strength and ball control, as they also operate as central defenders when there is an attack. So, some of the strongest soccer players play in this position. Here are the top five:

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PlayerTotal GoalsTotal Matches
Claude Makelele22718
Sergio Busquets16668
N’Golo Kante18337
Javier Mascherano3708
Dunga691

It is traditionally seen that CDMs earn more caps in soccer, as players are limited for this position in the international circuit. For that, a CDM playing for the national team tends to have a career span between 6 to 10 years in the top tier.

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Final Note

The CDM position plays a crucial role in modern football, and it requires a unique set of skills and attributes to excel. A successful CDM needs to have a balance between attacking and defensive skills, a good understanding of the game, and excellent physical attributes.

The CDM position has produced some of the best players in football history, and their contributions to their teams’ success cannot be overstated. So that’s all we need to tell you. Feel free to drop your queries and start a conversation with us in the comment box below.

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