The role of Trequartista (Enganche) in football

In the series of Italian terms that can make you seem like a football expert to your friends, we find that of Trequartista. The Trequartista (or Enganche in Spanish) designates an attacking midfielder, located close to the opposing defense, and a real playmaker for his team.

This very particular position is highly appreciated in Italy, but players capable of occupying it are very rare. Because the Trequartista must have very particular qualities. He is both an attacker (and sometimes even a false number 9) and at the same time the first defender of his team. He must indeed replace the scorers by distributing good balls to them, while being able to press the defenders and regain possession of the ball very high in the opposing camp.

As you will have understood, being a Trequartista requires numerous technical qualities and above-average vision of the game. Among the legends in this position, it is therefore not surprising to find names such as Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka, and even Juan Roman Riquelme. These players compensated for their weak defensive contribution with quality placement, management of possession of the ball, and a very high rate of successful passes.

Indeed, the position of Trequartista can be occupied by players with very different profiles. It was precisely the source of a real headache for Massimiliano Allegri during the 2014/2015 season for Juventus Turin.

The Italian team then had in its ranks 3 players capable of filling the position: Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio, and Paul Pogba. If the first two did not have as many technical qualities as the Frenchman, they were however much more present in defensive tasks. Ciro Ferrara, former coach of the bianconeri, had precisely given his opinion on this situation by indicating that he would choose Marchisio for this role, Vidal and Pogba being better in mezzala.

In summary, here are the main characteristics of the Trequartista:

  • High Technical Qualities : A Trequartista must have impeccable technique to handle the ball, create chances and distribute assists.
  • Game Vision : A deep understanding of the game is necessary to anticipate the opposing team's movements and exploit spaces.
  • Pressing Ability : Although offensively oriented, a Trequartista must also contribute defensively, notably by recovering the ball high up the pitch.
  • Creativity : Imagination to surprise the opposing defense with unexpected moves or unpredictable passes is crucial.

Curious to find out more about football-specific roles? Browse through our articles for a deep dive into each position:

  • Libero - The tactical goalkeeper behind the defensive line, orchestrating the play.
  • Box-to-Box environment - The embodiment of endurance and versatility.
  • Regista - The conductor from midfield.
  • Carrilero - The lateral midfielder ensuring the balance between defense and attack.
  • Mezzala - The artist of half-spaces.
  • Trequartista / Enganche - The creative intermediary between the midfield and the attack.
  • Inverted winger - Uses his strong foot to penetrate and threaten the goal.
  • Fake New - The attacker who deceives the defense with his movement.