(HD Video) Fulltime Report: Leipzig 3-2 Real Madrid
In bygone days this often resulted in the idea that the left-sided centre-back in a back four tended to be the more cultured and comfortable on the ball in a defensive pair, whereas the right-footed partner was often seen as the pure defender, tasked merely with defensive duties like sniffing out looming danger and taking care of the first duels.
As the art of defending has moved on this theory has not stood the test of time, but the value of fielding centre-backs with differing natural feet still persists. There are some obvious reasons why it works: when entering a one-vs.-one situation,
a defender is understandably more comfortable in dealing with the opponent whose strong foot is closest to the byline, so any attempted cross into the box can be blocked with the defender’s stronger foot and the positioning of their body movement feels more natural. Admittedly, today this is of less relevance with wide forwards,
or inverted wingers, being two-footed or of the mind to cut inside and shoot rather than look for a cross like Arjen Robben used to.
Equally, as a general rule — though there are endless exceptions — defenders, who tend to be less agile than forwards, prefer to turn and position their bodies, often in a fraction of second, with the weight on their stronger foot. In a high-pace game broken down into an infinite number of fragmented moments, coming out of on top from such situations are likely to be crucial.