What Is A CAM In Soccer? (CAM Position Fully Explained)

In soccer, many abbreviations and terms are used, sometimes making it difficult to understand what is being talked about. All positions on the field also have their own abbreviations, such as the CAM position. But what is a CAM in soccer?

CAM stands for central attacking midfielder. This central midfielder is the most offensive of all the midfielders. He is positioned between the midfielders and the forwards. The CAM is often the most creative player on the team. He has to set up the attack and get the forwards into scoring position.

The cam position is one of the most interesting in soccer. Therefore, there is a lot to tell about this position. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the cam position in soccer!

What Does Cam Mean in Soccer?

In a classic soccer game, each team fields 11 players at a time. One player is the goalkeeper, while the other ten are known as outfield players.

These players and the positions in which they play are then split into three groups. These are attackers, midfielders, and defenders.

The term “cam” stands for central attacking midfielder, and they are a type of advanced midfielder. They tend to play ahead of the defensive midfielders but just behind the strikers and the wingers.

They are often the ‘creative spark’ in a team as they are responsible for creating chances for the attackers.

However, they do not tend to help much with the defensive work. 

A good cam is essential in an attacking and creative team, as they can crack through defenses and provide assists for the attackers or even take shots at goal on their own.

They have excellent vision and can execute impressive moves that take the ball towards the goalmouth.

Therefore, they are known as the ‘playmaker’ as they execute innovative plays for their team.

As a central attacking midfielder, they stay central in a formation. This means that they often deal with the opposing team’s center backs.

Therefore, they are most effective in a team that plays through the middle, as they will get lots of touches and distribute the ball forwards, to continue moves or fast-paced counterattacks.

Historically, cams are given the shirt number 10, and they are sometimes known as “number 10s.”

They are also some of the most skillful players on the field, as they need far more than just strength and pace to outwit and beat defenders.

However, these attributes do help, as cams need to be very good in ‘1vs1’ situations, where they face an opposition player to either go past them with the ball, pass the ball past them or win the ball off them.

They play alongside the rest of the midfielders, including central midfielders or defensive midfielders, and work to move the ball from the defensive unit to more dangerous positions.

How do You Play Cam in Soccer?

Cams have the most freedom in terms of their position. However, they should aim to remain central, using the widest points of the center circle as reference points.

To play cam, you must master various aspects of the game, such as awareness, vision, and passing, among others that we will cover later.

You also need to have good technique to create attacking opportunities and need to be able to fall back when the opponent attacks.

A cam must be positioned between the striker and the midfielders on the field.

For reference, if we take one half of a soccer field, the striker is on the center circle exactly in the middle, which means the cam must stand just outside the circle and leave the midfield to his back.

Therefore, another name for a cam is “number 10,” a number usually given to players who have played this position in the past.

While the game is played, a cam will need to move across the field from side to side to create a passing option and help wingers to get forward.

If there isn’t an option forwards, the ball should be passed to the closest player that isn’t marked. The cam should then move to receive the ball again.

On the attack, a cam needs to use its vision to find the best passing option available to score a goal or try to shoot long-range, using its long-shot ability.

They need to remain wary of the offside rule, as they do not want to pass to a player who would have a goal ruled out or be caught offside themselves.

Most importantly, they should stay on the edge of the box when a cross comes in, so if there’s a clearance, they can try to score or stop any possible counterattack.

They must be creative to find a teammate or take a shot themselves in and around the box.

Cams may also have to take set pieces, including free kicks and corners, as the defenders and forwards are often taller and can be utilized better in the wall or the box.

When the cam’s team doesn’t have the ball, they must press and close down opposing players in an attempt to win the ball.

This is easier if you are either very fast or strong, but perseverance and good positioning can pay off.

Cams also want to win the ball as high up the pitch as possible, as it leaves less room for the ball to move before it reaches the goal.

On the defense, a cam’s role is to drop back, helping central midfielders clear the ball and defending corners and free-kicks if needed.

Once the ball is cleared, they must return to their position and do the things explained before.

9 Important Traits a Cam Should Have

As you have already been able to read, a cam needs to have certain traits. These traits make a cam a unique player and are the reason a cam is best suited for this position.

Below are the various traits that a cam should have.

1. Precise passing:

One of the most important traits for a central attacking midfielder is to pass the ball in the right way to reach the desired target.

A cam must be able to make an excellent short and long pass to create chances out of nowhere.

A good first touch is also essential when receiving passes.

2. Dynamic dribbling:

Dribbling helps players to win 1vs1 situations. It will allow cams to breeze past opponents and get to some open space where they have more time to make and execute a decision.

Pace and skill are both important to go alongside dribbling.

3. Excellent vision:

Vision in soccer is the ability to pick out the best pass in a situation.

A lousy cam would always make the easiest pass, often to a player near them. A good cam with good vision would find the optimal pass to challenge the opposition.

4. Precise long shots:

Passing is not always an option, especially during counterattacks. Therefore, cams should be able to shoot from outside the box and hit the target.

Shooting for cams may also be required if the opponents’ park the bus’, defending heavily and limiting the striker’s involvement.

5. Superb skill:

Skill moves add flair to a player, but they also greatly enhance their unpredictability to opposition players.

This allows them to win duels or drag defenders out of their positions. It can also buy them some more time if they are in a tough situation.

6. Team chemistry:

As the main creator of chances, it is essential to be on the same wavelength as the defenders and attackers as you transfer the ball between the two.

If communication is poor, the chances might not always materialize or result in goals.

But if communication on the pitch is good, the team will operate as a unit, and the cam will find it easier to create great chances.

7. Have a good game sense:

The cam position must be able to adapt to the game situation at all times.

For example, keeping the game simple and taking less risk when leading is important. This reduces the risk of an opposing goal.

A cam must be able to sense exactly what each game situation requires of him and the team.

8. Good positioning:

Positioning for a cam is like food and water for humans; extremely important.

A cam must know exactly where he is on the field and where his teammates need him. This is extremely important because a cam is essential for setting up an attack.

9. Good technique:

Being able to handle your feet well is just as important as good positioning.

If you are agile with the ball, can dribble, shoot and pass well, it is relatively easy to become a cam because, as we said earlier, technique is more important than strength.

The 6 Best Attacking Midfielders (CAMs) of All Time

Now that we are experts on the position, it’s time to learn about the best cams in soccer history.

Johan Cruyff

The Dutchman is considered by many as the most complete central attacking midfielder in history and is a role model for many players past and present.

Thanks to his fascinating soccer abilities and intelligent and quick-witted brain, Johan Cruyff could accomplish anything he was asked to do with ease, making the illusion that his position was not complicated.

Zinedine Zidane

Zidane, a more recent player, was full of talent and was one of the most naturally gifted players in the world between the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The Frenchman was a phenomenon on the field, especially thanks to his incredible ball handling and aerial ability, thanks to his height and game insight.

This made him one of the best players on the field every game, not to mention his incredible technique with both feet.

Zidane won the 1998 World Cup in France with the French national team.

The coach of the Italian national team at the 1998 World Cup was quoted as saying:

“I would give up five players to have Zidane in my squad.”

Diego Maradona

The Argentine, considered by many to be the best soccer player in history, is an excellent example of a central attacking midfielder.

“El Pelusa” played for teams such as Napoli, Boca Juniors, and FC Barcelona, places where he left everyone shook with his talent and playing abilities.

Incredible passing, excellent dribbling, great shooting, insane technique, and brilliant game awareness made him one of the best cams in history.

Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho is a former Brazilian player who mostly played as a cam. He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice and the Ballon d’Or.

Ronaldinho was regarded as one of the most skillful players of all time and an amazing playmaker. He was also known for his passing and vision.

He won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil.

Zlatan Ibrahimović was quoted as saying:

“Prime Ronaldinho was phenomenal. He made his opponents look like children.”

Ronaldinho had many crafty moves and tricks that were unbelievable to watch.

Michel Platini

Michel Platini is a three-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, but several allegations of corruption have marred his career.

He is one of the world’s most gifted players and one of Juventus’ most important players in history.

He was known for his incredible offensive awareness scoring nine goals in 5 games in the 1984 European Championship to win France the championship.

Roberto Baggio

Baggio was a pure central attacking midfielder having problems with managers who didn’t want to play him in that position.

He is one of Italy’s greatest number 10s, known to many as a creative genius thanks to his vision and game insight.

The man did what he wanted throughout the field, being one of the most impressive players to watch.

All of this was because of his ease in creating opportunities and finding strikers or pass balls where no one would have imagined.

Conclusion

Cams are thrilling players with exciting responsibilities in a team.

They have ‘creative freedom’ to add their style and flair to chances and attacks and provide goals and assists regularly.

Every dominant attacking team has an exceptional cam that communicates well with the rest of the team and uses its skill to ensure that the attackers get a regular flow of goalscoring opportunities.

Some of the most legendary players ever and the most exciting young talents are cams.

The position stands out as the players leave a mark on the team they play for and the defenders they face.

James Miller

Soccer has been my passion since I was a kid. After my own career, I became a coach, something I have been doing for 15 years now. Sharing my knowledge about soccer is what I love most. So I hope you can appreciate my articles.

Published: 
March 29, 2022

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Published: March 29, 2022