"You watch the game, you don't see 
Busquets. You watch Busquets, you see the whole game."

It's a famous quote by the Spanish Coach Vicente del Bosque on Sergio Busquets of Barcelona. Busquets has played 338 games so far for the Catalan Giants in the defensive midfield position. I am sure that you haven't seen him on news headlines following Barca's victory except for some rare occasions.

Defensive midfielders are those who act as a link between defence and attack. Their position is slightly above the centre back at the heart of the midfield. Their job is to block the counter attacks and keep the ball possession more.

The main reason for the lack of praise is because defensive midfielders don't have a primary objective. They are not 100% on attack or 100% on defence.

Life of a defensive midfielder is also tough especially if you are in an attacking-minded team. Fans just want to keep on attacking and scoring goals.

Just take the example of Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona. We can see a lot of fans blaming him too much on social media. For them, he is just an average "backpass merchant" with zero creativity.

The same thing happened in the World Cup too. Everyone praised the heroics of Luka Modric for Croatia. But the lubricant which unleashed Modric was Rakitic. The presence of Rakitic at the back helped Modric to go forward and attack.

There will be times when your team is behind. Usually, centre backs are forced to play up front to score goals in the last minutes. Then those voids are filled by defensive midfielders. They are true silent warriors.

Football coaches are aware of the importance of defensive midfielder in the team. Having a trustworthy player for the job, they will take risks on substitution. They can bring an attacking player for a centre back as the last chance for goals.

France won the World Cup 2018. Griezmann was the star man on almost all headlines. Following their victory, a video song became viral on social media. It was a chant about N'Golo Kanté:

  N’Golo Kante,
“Pala Lalala,
“He’s short, he’s nice,
"He stopped Leo Messi,
“But we all know he’s a cheater,
“N’Golo Kante”
Kante was instrumental for the French squad on their successful World Cup run. That short-shy guy was always there at the back with a smile. Every time they lose the ball, we can see Kante accelerating towards the opponents. He may not be your hero; But on every title his team wins, there will be his name- written on tackles and hard work.

An ideal defensive midfielder must be mentally and physically strong. From initiating the attack to blocking the counters, their role in football is irreplaceable. They act as a screen in front of the defence and often assigned to mark the opponent's number 10.

I am not exaggerating anyone. Just place your eyes on any of the defensive midfielders for some minutes during a match. You can see the amount of work that they are taking in a match by yourself. At least give credits where it is due and don't appreciate those who insult players on social media. #TheBeautifulGame


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