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Tactics Explained is a new addition to the blog where we shall be analyzing some of soccer’s most revered tactical theories. This week, we shall be discussing the Regista.

Remember when there was nothing more hipster than Pep Guardiola’s False-9? Well, there is another term that that is equally as edgy as the False-9 and that is the Regista. I have been contacted by many readers who have asked me to explain the position and we will dive into the history of the role.

The Regista is a deep-lying playmaker that controls the tempo of the offense by playing long-passes to the attackers who are in advanced positions. There have been various iterations of the Regista throughout the history of soccer and we shall analyze the evolution of the deep-lying playmaker.


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Vittorio Pozzo, who managed the Italian national side from 1929 to 1958, created the Regista. Pozzo owes much of his playing philosophy to English soccer and he particularly admired Manchester United’s, Charlie Roberts. Roberts won the league with Manchester United, in 1908 and 1911, and his playing style inspired Pozzo to create the Regista. Roberts was famed for having an impact upon the offense of the team, as he would play long passes which would split the opposition’s defense, whilst being in a defensive position.

Whilst managing the Italian national team, Pozzo utilized midfielder Luisito Monti as a deep-lying playmaker. Monti’s role was to initiate the offense by playing long passes, to his team’s strikers, from deep positions. Pozzo’s system, which utilized Monti in such a manner, inspired the next generations of Italian coaches to implement the Regista within their own sides.

The creation of the Regista is one of the most important tactical developments within soccer. The Regista shows that offensive and defensive tactics do not have to be a contradictory dichotomy. The Italians showed how the relationship between the offense and defense of the team can be re-conceptualized in a holistic manner. Traditional tactics within soccer saw the offense and defense of the side as two separate entities. However, the Regista shows how the defense can enable the offense. The Regista can have an offensive impact from a defensive position and this had a radical effect upon tactics within soccer.

The offense and defense of the team were no longer seen as two distinct blocks, but are now seen as interacting parts of an overall system. The reason why I say that this is one of the most important tactical developments with soccer is because most modern playing philosophies view the game in this holistic manner.

The creation of the Regista started the trend of managers creating systems where the defense and offense of the side enabled one another. Ranging from Pep Guardiola to Marcelo Bielsa, the Regista has enabled the creation of these new playing philosophies. From launching the offense from defensive areas to starting the sides defensive pressing from offensive positions; the creation of the Regista was the catalyst that rejuvenated tactics within soccer.


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Any discussion about the Regista cannot take place without mentioning Andrea Pirlo. The Italian midfielder was one of the greatest players of his generation. He had superior technical abilities and had the best passing range of any player that I can remember. Pirlo played the Regista role throughout his career.  Due to his superior capabilities, many managers built their side around the Italian and the different sides in which he played all shared similar characteristics. The managers who utilized Pirlo as the Regista placed two narrow, screening, centre-midfielders in front of him.

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These midfielders gave Pirlo more time on the ball, to be able to pick out passes, which allowed him to orchestrate the offense and dictate the tempo of the game. From the position highlighted above, Pirlo would play long-range passes up-field to his full-backs which were in advanced areas. Therefore, the Regista is often compared to a quarterback. As a quarterback would pass downfield whilst in the pocket, the Regista would do the same.

The most common mistake that people make is that they confuse a central-defensive-midfielder with a Regista. Remember, a Regista is a creative force that makes a mockery of the player’s deep-lying position. They control the tempo of the game whilst being an offensive force.

This was one of my favorite requests to research as I got to watch lots of highlights of Andrea Pirlo. If anybody wants to request an analysis of the False-9, so I have an excuse to watch Messi highlights, that would be great!


Any suggestions, questions or comments then do not hesitate to get in touch! Remember, if you have any requests for future articles then you all you have to do is ask! Whether it’s about a manager’s tactical philosophy or an in-depth analysis about a specific player, if it is soccer related; I will look into it!

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