In football formation, there are different variations and techniques. In these variations and techniques, we have specific roles that only fit individual profiles.
Italian football has contributed their fair share of these roles to football, with roles like the Catenaccio, Regista, and others.
One of the best roles they have given football is the Mezzala.
This role shows how Italians are great tactical thinkers that read the game so well. The Mezzala role has been present in Italian football for a long time before the world recognized it and started applying for this formations role.
Mezzala was coined from two words – Mezza and Ala, which means Half Winger in translation.
It was a term used for midfielders who participated more in the game’s attacking phase than deep-lying playmakers.
However, in modern football, it has been translated to central midfielders that operate from the sides. In a midfield three, they sit on either side of the central midfielder.
The Mezzala can operate in a more attacking role or take up more defensive work depending on the type of central midfielder they play with.
Suppose the central midfielder is a defensive one. In that case, the two Mezzalas take up a more attacking role by combining with the wingers and fullbacks. If the central midfielder is a deep-lying playmaker (DLP), they help defensive duties to free the DLP more.
In the modern game, the Mezzala operates more in the half-spaces as a sort of half-winger. They have become more prominent as the new game drifts further away from using the number 10.
Their combination of technical skills and defensive capability is seen as best suited for the modern game than the number 10.
They are not one-dimensional and can adapt to different situations.
This versatility is seen as an essential skill in the modern game.