Monday, 03.06.2024

False Number Nine

The false number nine is an unconventional lone striker, who drops deep into midfield at times. The purpose of this is that it creates a problem for opposing centre-backs who can either follow him, leaving space behind them or leaving him to have time and space to dribble or pick out a pass. A false number nine should have the dribbling ability to take advantage of space between the lines and the vision as well as the passing skills to create goal-scoring opportunities, assisting his team-mates. Nowadays, Lionel Messi in his role as centre-forward at Barcelona has been the most famous version of a false nine. The first footballer, who played this role, was arguably the Austrian striker Matthias Sindelar in the 1930s. Later the Hungarian Golden Team of the 1950s featured Nándor Hidegkuti acting in a similar role.