Each player on a football team plays v a number displayed on the back of their jersey. Among these numbers that you regularly see a player attract is the number 6. However, understanding the meaning behind the number 6 in soccer and the function and position associated with it deserve to be a difficulty for countless people.

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So, let’s uncover out all about it.

The number 6 in soccer is the defensive midfielder top top a team. Castle play simply in front of the defenders, and their function is to protect the defense, connect up the play in between the defense and midfield, and also tackle and also intercept the round as vital to disrupt any kind of attacks from the opposition.

This answer provides a broad overview the the function of a number 6, however exploring what this way can carry out a much better understanding that the role. Especially as there are plenty of times as soon as no player ~ above the field is even wearing the number 6!

This post will be specifically around the number 6 in soccer however to discover more about defensive midfielders in soccer click below to walk to my write-up – 17 attributes of a defensive Midfielder.

Meaning of the Number 6

Whether you watch, play, or take any type of sort of attention in soccer you will certainly have, at part point, checked out a player through the number 6 presented on their earlier or heard someone refer to the role of a number 6 throughout a game.

As an instance of this take a look at this video of the optimal 10 objectives scored by football player wearing the number 6 jersey.

Watch this video on YouTube

The use of soccer terminologies, such together referring come a player or a place as a number, have the right to be an extremely confusing to someone who is together yet uninitiated to all the terms and phrases used in soccer. To uncover out the definitions to many of the terms and also meanings offered in soccer click here to inspect out mine comprehensive soccer glossary.

Just below this section, we’ll look at the particular roles and also position the a number 6, however first, it’s beneficial to know why a player is described as a number 6 and also why in some gamings you view a player wearing this number top top the field yet there are likewise many times as soon as you don’t.

Why a player is referred to as a number 6

The numbering system in soccer has been in place due to the fact that the 1920s once an English coach, Herbert Chapman, sent out his football player onto the ar with a number from 1 with 11 displayed on the ago of your jerseys.

Although using this numbering device didn’t finish up being more widely accepted until 1939, the idea behind it to be to give each player a clear expertise of what place they must be in top top the football field.

It also helped those roughly them to view where every other player should be.

For example, if a player to be to beat on the ideal side of the field near the halfway line, they would wear the number 7 jersey.

If a player to be to play as a goalkeeper, they would wear the number 1 jersey, and also if a player were to pat in the center section the the field, just in prior of the defense, they would wear the number 6 jersey.


In this number is numbered system, the players were numbered in ascending order from the back of the soccer ar to the front.

Where players were positioned along the same line as another player the numbers ascended indigenous the best side that the ar to the left.

So the goalie, who plays at the back was given the number 1 jersey and the the furthest forward attack player ~ above the left of the field was provided the number 11.

Over the years, the positions of these numbers have adjusted slightly as the setup the teams has actually evolved, and also the positioning of players can change from game to game.

Still, most of the numbers accounting a similar position on the ar as they did originally.

This means of number is numbered the players additionally meant the the number a player wore could adjust from one game to the following as the numbers were related to the place on the field, no the player.

If a player play on the left-wing in one game, they would wear the number 11. If in the next video game they began on the appropriate side, they would certainly wear the number 7.

Another reason for making use of a numbering mechanism was to it is in able to plainly describe to civilization where a player is positioned ~ above the football field.

If girlfriend only supplied the name of the position to define where a player is top top the field, climate it’s feasible you would uncover yourself even much more confused together there can be many names because that the very same position.

For instance, a right-sided defender can be described as a right-back, full-back, a wing-back, or simply a number 2.

Using a straightforward number, such together the number 6, have to tell you all you have to know around the position and function that player is fulfilling in the game.

Because in a game, they are playing in the position and role that is traditionally known as the place and function of the number 6, castle are often referred to as a number 6.

This leads to the question “if a player is playing in the duty of a number 6 climate why don’t they always have the number 6 on the ago of their jersey?”

Why over there isn’t constantly a player top top the ar wearing the number 6 jersey


In the modern era of soccer, the way numbers room used has changed.

Instead of the number rigidly staying in one area the the field, the numbers space now an ext commonly linked with an separation, personal, instance player fairly than a position.

At the beginning of a brand-new soccer season, most soccer clubs will certainly allocate a number to each player.

That player will then undertake a jersey v that number printed on it every time castle play because that the duration of the season.

No matter what position they are playing in on the football field, they will wear the exact same number each time.

This adjust has bring about a wide selection of numbers being used during a game. Native still making use of the number 1 to numbers all the means up in the thousands!

For example, in July 2015, Atlético Mineiro’s goalie Victor wore a jersey with the number 2019 top top the back.

The reason behind this was to memory a brand-new contract the he had just signed that maintained him at the club till 2019.

The reality is that the usage of 4, or also 3, digit numbers space still uncommon.

Single or 2 number numbers space what you are far more likely to see. And in international games, it’s still commonplace to only use the number 1-11 because that the players starting a game.

This change in the usage of number is why you don’t always see the number 6 on display screen in every football game.

It might be that the player allocated the number 6 for that season is not playing in the video game you’re watching, or it may be that no one in the formation is using the number 6 for the season.

If you do want to get hold that your very own soccer jersey with your name and also number printed on the back, my reference is that inspect out the huge range of jerseys ~ above soccer.com by clicking on this link. Castle make picking your jersey easy and also affordable.

Position of the Number 6 top top the football Field

The number 6 sits in between the defense and midfield

As I described above, the numbers used in football were originally used to display everyone what place a certain player was play in ~ above the soccer field.

So, what is the place of a number 6 in soccer?

In a game of soccer, a number 6 plays in the position in between the defense and also midfield. They room positioned in the space at the ago of the midfield and also just in front of the defenders. Playing in this position permits them to do the duty they are forced to fulfill: protecting the defense while also linking up with the midfield.

If you look at a photo of a football formation, such as in the image above, girlfriend will view a natural gap between the defense and also midfield. This is wherein the number 6 spends most of their time.

But simply being in a details position isn’t enough on that is own. The player needs to recognize what duties are expected of them.

The 5 roles of a Number 6


It’s crucial to remember is the just since the number 6 may not be shown on the back of a player’s jersey doesn’t median that a player isn’t playing the traditional function of a number 6!

The player in the role of a number 6 in soccer is additionally known as the defensive midfielder. If who is playing in the duty of a protective midfielder that way there is a player playing as a number 6.

At this point, ns can practically hear you asking “so, what is the function of a number 6 on a football team?”

The number 6 in soccer performs 5 main roles for the team.

Protect the defense Intercept the ballTackle the the contrary playersLink the defense and also attack

Let’s look at every of this in turn.

1. Safeguard the defense

Probably the many important role the number 6 in football performs is to safeguard their team’s defense.

In any kind of game of soccer, the additional a team deserve to keep the sphere away from their goal, the better. If the sphere doesn’t come close to their goal, their adversaries have much less chance that scoring, and the fewer purposes the the opposite score, the smaller sized the possibility is the they will win the game.

The number 6 has actually a critical role to play in this.

Playing in prior of the defenders, the number 6 presents an extra great of defense that the opposition demands to gain past. due to the fact that of this, the number 6 needs to be solid and qualified of obtaining in the way of the ball and the opposition players.

The number 6 must likewise have a high degree of positional awareness that allows them to be in ~ the right place at the ideal time to assistance their defenders and also position themselves together an extra obstacle for the the contrary to acquire past.

2. Intercept the ball

A high level that positional awareness is also vital to this next function that a number 6 need to perform – intercepting the ball.

As the opposition look at to pass the sphere from your midfield to your forwards, the number 6 must be looking to stop that pass in the tracks. To do this, the number 6 needs to be highly aware of where the happen is most likely to go and get in a position to prevent it.

Being maybe to do this regularly and also effectively bring away experience and also practice. Hrs spent top top the maintain ground and playing in gamings gives the player an acute awareness and capacity to predict wherein a happen is most likely to go.

This capability to that s right anticipate wherein the sphere is around to go counts on the number 6 being aware and focused on whatever that is walk on around them, from the motion of the players to the trip of the ball. They can’t permit anything to go unnoticed.

3. Tackle the the opposite players

A good number 6 also needs to be superb tackler. The capacity to handle well deserve to be the difference between conceding a score or avoiding the chance from also taking place.

When the number 6 watch an the contrary player coming in the direction of them they should be prepared to do everything they can to tackle the other player and also regain possession for your team.

The number 6 will have spent hrs working on this skill in training as timing is everything when it comes to tackling.

Go in as well late, and also you could commit a foul and enable the the opposite a chance to attack your goal. Go in also late, and the other team player could be long gone, and you will be left chasing them down.

4. Link the defense and attack

Another far-reaching role the every number 6 need to play is come effectively attach the defense v the offense.

The number 6 is strategically positioned in between the two and must be efficient at receiving the ball from the defense and swiftly distributing it to the attacking players. Playing in the place they do, they space perfectly positioned to execute this.

A an excellent number 6 should constantly be searching for an opportunity to move the sphere forward and enable the attacking players to perform what they do best.

5. Manage the circulation of the game

The last function that a number 6 performs for their team is regulating the circulation of the game.

What I mean by this is that:

they space able come dictate the speed of the video game They happen the ball around the field in an incisive mannerThey deserve to stop an oppositions strike when necessary

The place a number 6 plays in is perfect for regulating the flow of the game and also one the the reasons I think about defensive midfield to it is in the finest position in soccer.

They are far enough earlier in the team that they deserve to see a full photo of what is happening in the offensive end of the field, yet not too far earlier that they room unable to have any type of influence.

Sitting at the earlier of the midfield offers them access to the attacking players, and also the number 6 have the right to use your passing skills to play the ball precisely where the forward players desire it.

Because that this possibility to affect the game, the player in the function of the number 6 must have an exceptional capability to select the best pass every time.

So many assaults in football originate from the number 6 as they collect the ball and distribute it up the ar straight to the feet of one attacking-minded player producing multiple attacking chances throughout a game.

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Knowing the place and role of a number 6 is important, yet knowing just how to in reality play as a number 6 is a different question. When you’re out on the ar you should know exactly how to take the understanding you have around the duty and put it right into practice.

Here room 4 methods to aid you execute this effectively and show anyone you have what the takes to it is in a good number 6.

To effectively play number 6 in soccer you require to:

Always be looking for room to obtain the ballChoose your passes wiselyMaintain strictly positional disciplineBe assertive

Let’s look at every of these.

1. Always be looking for room to obtain the ball

To be able to effectively link up the defense and attack a good number 6 should always be spring for room around castle on the football field. Finding that room and moving into it permits the players about you to happen to you without the risk of the sphere being intercepted by the various other team.

Receiving the round in an are also gives you the extra moment to look up, watch the finest option because that a pass, and also then pass the round before any opponent gets close to you.

The best way to perform this is to store your eye open and also be alert come the movement of the players around you.

When her team is in possession that the ball, the various other team is naturally going to want to remain close to you come prevent any kind of opportunity because that someone to happen to you. Shot to store noticing and moving right into the spaces roughly you and making yourself easily accessible to be passed to.

This is going to it is in much much easier if you deserve to maintain a high level of fitness. For a step-by-step overview to obtaining fit for soccer, check out my Soccer Fitness Guide and also see your fitness jump to the following level.

2. Choose your passes wisely

Once you have actually the round at her feet your following job is to choose the finest pass for your team. What form of happen you play have the right to be different in each situation.

Although your very first thought must be to look ahead and also see if there is a pass you have the right to play the puts her team in a much better attacking situation, in some situations it may be far better for the team to play the round sideways or even backward. This can often be the case when her team already has the lead in a game and also you desire to carry out all you can to protect that lead and also not take any unnecessary risks.

Part of play as a number 6 is being completely aware of how the game is going, knowledge what is happening approximately you, and then picking the pass the is the most benefit to your team.

Maybe consider investing in an online soccer coaching course such together this one to increase your own skills.

3. Maintain strict positional discipline

Knowing where you should be, and when to be there, is crucial to playing successfully as a number 6 in soccer.

All too frequently players have the right to be drawn out of place leaving a gap where castle should have been. They might be distracted by the ball, or start following an the contrary player without considering the fact that someone else might be coming in behind them prepared to make use of the space they’ve left behind.

Of course, there will be times where it is the right and appropriate an option to relocate out of place to cover one more player on her team, chase the ball, or even move increase to support the forwards. Yet anytime this is done, your an initial thought should be “am ns doing what is best for the team, and not leave my place to vulnerable to gift exploited?”

Knowing precisely where you must be ~ above the field and also what your function is for your team is hugely important, but as vital as discovering this is putting it into action.

Don’t let the players approximately you, or the movement of the sphere distract friend from continuing to be in the place you have to be in.

4. Be assertive

The last pointer you require to know in order come play together a number 6 in soccer is to be assertive in all you do.

Being assertive on the soccer ar can change a number 6 from being just an excellent to being great. When any type of player is assertive lock are an ext likely to success that handle they walk in for or intercept the pass that may have actually otherwise got past them.

As you play the video game trust your instincts. If you view the possibility to make a tackle, go for it. If you deserve to see whereby a player is around to try and pat the ball previous you, commit come the interception.

Sure, you will occasionally make mistakes and make the wrong decision however each time you do this girlfriend will discover something and collection yourself as much as be much better at the following opportunity.

It’s the players who doubt us or your actions that never ever quite do enough to protect the players behind castle or pat the ideal they deserve to in their role of the team.

Be assertive in each activity you take on the soccer field and notification the advantage it has to your game and also to the team.

Remember, gift assertive is different from being aggressive.

If you play aggressively you room going to end up committing too countless fouls and also could discover yourself cautioned or also sent off. Gift assertive is around being firm and also strong, but likewise being in finish control of what you’re doing.

Best Number 6’s in Soccer

I wanted to end this write-up by motivating you with several of the ideal number 6’s that have ever before played the game of soccer.

This list includes players who merely wore the number 6 and played in the timeless number 6 position.

Roberto Carlos

Undoubtedly one of the best players in the people to ever before wear the number 6 jersey to be Brazilian Roberto Carlos.

Carlos play professionally in between 1991 and 2012 having the ideal years of his career while playing for actual Madrid wherein he winner the UEFA Champions league 3 times and the Spanish La Liga title 4 times.

Although Carlos was a great defensive player because that his team he was additionally an professional at acquisition free-kicks and also scoring goals. Transparent his career, he scored some incredible goals including this one in the video below versus France in 1997.


Spanish soccer player Xavier Hernández Creus, likewise known as Xavi, is regularly regarded as one of the finest midfielders of every time.

Xavi had an outstanding understanding the a game. He could see every little thing that to be going on about him and also would seemingly know exactly how to constantly be in the right ar at the ideal time. This capacity gave him enabled him to be able to intercept the ball at will.

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Not only did he always seem to know where the round was going come be yet he to be a understand at executing a pass to perfection. Examine out his incredible selection of pass as shown in this video below.