Football Manager 2024: Every player role in FM24 explained (2024)

Football Manager 2024 is here – so it's time to get thinking about your team for your latest managerial mission.

With so many different player roles in the game (45 in all!), setting up your side can be a daunting task. What's the difference between these Italian terms and should you invert?

Fear not! FourFourTwo is here to guide you through every single one of them...

Goalkeeper roles in FM24

Football Manager 2024: Every player role in FM24 explained (1)


If there's a player role in Football Manager that does what it says on the tin, it's this: the 'traditional', stop-the-ball-from-going-into-the-net goalkeeper who doesn't tend to stray incredibly far from their line (although they can still be good with their feet).


For the modern manager, though, there's also the sweeper-keeper – who, of course, is tasked with the same responsibilities as the 'standard' goalkeeper but will come out of their box to deal with loose balls (i.e. sweep) and try to start counter-attacks.

Centre-back roles in FM24

Football Manager 2024: Every player role in FM24 explained (2)

Wide centre-back

The most recently introduced player role in Football Manager, it's most helpful to think of the wide centre-back as the player on either side of a back three. They can also be deployed in a central defensive pair but with instruction to support the midfield more like a full-back.

Central defender

The central defender's main job is to clear the ball from the danger – and they may operate in various more passive or active defensive capacities, depending on the tactical approach you employ.


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Operating behind the rest of the back line, the libero's chief responsibility is to cover the space behind and sweep up. They're not quite like a sweeper, though: they will also be expected to bring the ball out from the back and contribute to build-up play.

Ball-playing defender

This is what the modern centre-half is expected to be, really: strong in the fundamentals of defending but also excellent in possession. Often, the ball-playing defender will be the start of your team's attacks.

No-nonsense centre-back

These guys don't mess about: above all else, they're there to clear the ball from danger – even if that means booting it into Row Z rather than looking to keep possession with a pass.

Full-back and wing-back roles in FM24

Football Manager 2024: Every player role in FM24 explained (3)


Generally deployed on either side of a back four (although they can also line up as part of a back five), the full-back's priority is to defend the wide areas – while still contributing to attacking play.


The wing-back, by contrast, will prioritise offensive contributions over defending. We're used to seeing them used with a back three in the real world, but they can fit into a back four in the land of Football Manager.

No-nonsense full-back

Much like the no-nonsense centre-back, the no-nonsense full-back is primarily there to get the ball away from danger – often functioning in the rather old-school 'flat back four'.

Complete wing-back

Essentially an attacking full-back, the complete wing-back is defensively adept but always looking to be on the front foot and push up to play a key part in their team's attacks.

Inverted wing-back

A wide defender with a difference, the inverted wing-back comes infield when their team is in possession – rather than staying out wide – acting like an auxiliary midfielder.

Inverted full-back NEW FOR FM24!

The inverted full-back is one of the more modern roles in football, in which a full-back will act like a centre-back in build-up and play with a more conservative playing style. Inspired by Pep Guardiola, this role enables you to use a libero in a back four.

Midfield roles in FM24

Football Manager 2024: Every player role in FM24 explained (4)

Defensive midfielder

The defensive midfielder's main responsibility is to protect the back line, sitting in front of them. They will also support the players in front of them when their team has possession, though, and set the tempo.

Deep-lying playmaker

In essence, the deep-lying playmaker is a more creative version of the defensive midfielder. They generally occupy a similar area of the pitch but are more focused on starting attacks.

Ball-winning midfielder

A real scrapper and terrier in the middle of the park, the ball-winning midfielder is all about getting in the opposition's faces and regaining possession for their own team.

Anchor man

Perhaps the least dynamic of the deeper-lying midfield players, the anchor man's role is very defensively-focused: they're largely there to win possession then pass the ball to a more creative teammate.


Performing a hybrid role, the half-back is part extra centre-back, part defensive midfielder. Their attacking responsibility is minimal, and they are generally expected to stay deep.


Like a more aggressive version of the deep-lying playmaker with greater freedom, the regista is given licence to roam and offer a creative outlet all over the pitch.

Roaming playmaker

This is effectively a more restricted version of the regista in terms of how much they are allowed to roam (making their name somewhat misleading).

Segundo volante

'Segundo volante' is Spanish for 'second steering wheel' – but what does that mean for your team? Well, this player tends to operate in a double pivot and, while primarily defensively-minded, they will arrive late to support attacks.

Central midfielder

Something of a Swiss Army Knife in the middle of the park, the central midfielder will adapt their role to the needs of the team in any given situation.

Box-to-box midfielder

A real workhorse in the midfield engine room, the box-to-box midfielder is expected to contribute, well, between the boxes... They need to be defensively strong, technically adept and provide a reasonable goal threat from range.

Advanced playmaker

As the name suggests, the advanced playmaker operates further up the pitch. Always on the lookout for space when not on the ball, they aim to turn defence into attack quickly.


Existing somewhere between a central midfielder and a winger ('mezzala' means 'wing half' in Italian), the player in this role will drift wide and doesn't have a massive amount of defensive responsbility.


Literally translated from Spanish as 'railway man', a carrilero is a 'shuttler' tasked with linking the lines of their team's midfield, and midfield with defence.

Flank roles in FM24

Football Manager 2024: Every player role in FM24 explained (5)

Wide midfielder

Most at home in a 4-4-2 formation, the wide midfielder has responsibilities across defence, midfield and attack on the flank (as the name suggests...).


For the role of winger, see 'wide midfielder' but take out the defensive responsibility and some of the midfield responsibility. There's not much more to say, really!

Defensive winger

A less glamorous wide role, playing as a defensive winger entails pressing your opposite number and helping to hold up play in more advanced areas.

Wide playmaker

Primarily an attacking role, the wide playmaker will drift between the flank and the centre of the pitch to find space – but they can also be required to provide defensive cover as an extra body.

Inverted winger

Ideally a right-footed player operating from the left flank or a left-footed player operating from the right flank, the inverted winger drifts inside to help open up space for their full-back to get forward. Naturally, they will cut inside with the ball.

Inside forward

Like an inverted winger but extremely offensively-minded, the inside forward will dart in towards the middle of the opposition's box, offering a creative outlet and serving as a goal threat in their own right.

Wide target man

The wide target man performs much the same role as the typical, central target man, only out wide – where they can be a useful aerial outlet and use their presence to get the better of less physical wide players on the opposition.


'Raumdeuter' means 'space interpreter' in German, and it's a role that didn't exist until Thomas Muller came along and cointed the term himself. While not particularly strong in one-on-one situations, the raumdeuter expertly finds pockets of space across the final third.

Attacking roles in FM24

Football Manager 2024: Every player role in FM24 explained (6)

Attacking midfielder

Deployed higher up the pitch than their midfield teammates, the attacking midfielder is a major creative outlet for their side and a bonus goal threat in the opposition box.

Advanced playmaker

Similar to the attacking midfielder but not quite as offensively-oriented, the advanced playmaker must make themselves available for teammates and be able to spark attacks quickly with a killer pass.


Another hybrid role, the trequartista lines up between the midfield line and their team's most advanced attacking player. They are constantly making themselves available to receive the ball in dangerous positions and have little to no defensive responsbility.


Similar to a trequartista but more 'fixed' – they serve as a focal point, a pivot to link play in the final third – 'enganche' is Spanish for 'hitch' or, more logically in this context, 'hook'.

Shadow striker

The shadow striker works best in tandem with a strike partner and will seek out goalscoring positions separately from them – as well as closing down opponents.

Deep-lying forward

Another role which overlaps with the trequartista and enganche, a deep-lying forward is there to link the play between midfield and attack – although, unlike those other two roles, they tend to function best in an attacking pair.

Advanced forward

The focal point up front, the advanced forward provides both a goal threat and a creative outlet – and they are not generally expected to drop back to support or help out defensively.

Target man

The traditional 'big man' up front, the target man aims to make defenders' lives a nightmare with their physical presence. They will look to bring teammates into play by holding the ball up, as well as providing a significant goal threat of their own.


An instinctive finisher, the poacher is primarily about being in the right place at the right time to score. They will also get involved creatively in and around the box, though.

Complete forward

A jack of all attacking trades, the ultimate complete forward combines the best attributes of the deep-lying forward, advanced forward, target man and poacher. You could deploy them in a front two, but they're the ideal lone striker.

Pressing forward

The most defensive of all the forward roles, this requires the player to constantly harry opponents in possession in order to try and win the ball back – prioritising that over any goalscoring responsibility.

False nine

Perhaps the biggest positional innovation in the modern game, the false nine drops back into midfield with the intention of dragging opposition defenders with them – thus creating space for their attacking teammates.

More Football Manager 2024 stories

The Football Manager 2024 beta is out now – and we have the beginner's guide for the game.

New features have beeen teased ahead of the game's drop. Netflix is set to carry the game, while FFT's list of the wonderkids to watch out for is also out already.

Miles Jacobson of Sports Interactive, the team behind FM, has spoken to FFT about the introduction of the Japanese J-League, how realistic the Saudi Pro League is in the new game and how set pieces have improved – he's also revealed that the FM team are constantly playing catchup to the great Pep Guardiola.

We also have a list of the best teams to play as in FM24 and a surefire way to pick the perfect underdog, along with a list of cheats.

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Football Manager 2024: Player Roles and Concepts

In Football Manager 2024, there are various player roles that managers can assign to their team members. These roles encompass different positions on the field and come with specific responsibilities. Let's delve into the different player roles and concepts used in Football Manager 2024:

Goalkeeper Roles:

  • Goalkeeper: The traditional goalkeeper's primary role is to stop the ball from going into the net and is generally good at preventing goals.
  • Sweeper-keeper: This modern goalkeeper role involves coming out of the box to deal with loose balls and initiating counter-attacks.

Centre-back Roles:

  • Wide Centre-back: Positioned on either side of a back three, they can also support the midfield like a full-back.
  • Central Defender: Their main job is to clear the ball from danger and can operate in various defensive capacities based on the tactical approach.

Midfield Roles:

  • Defensive Midfielder: Protects the back line and supports the players in front when their team has possession.
  • Deep-lying Playmaker: A more creative version of the defensive midfielder, focused on starting attacks.

Full-back and Wing-back Roles:

  • Full-back: Primarily deployed to defend the wide areas while contributing to attacking play.
  • Wing-back: Prioritizes offensive contributions over defending and can fit into a back four.

Attacking Roles:

  • Attacking Midfielder: Positioned higher up the pitch, serving as a major creative outlet and a goal threat in the opposition box.
  • Advanced Forward: Provides both a goal threat and a creative outlet, not expected to drop back to support or help out defensively.

These are just a few examples of the player roles and concepts used in Football Manager 2024. Each role comes with specific responsibilities and impacts the team's overall performance on the virtual pitch.

Football Manager 2024: Every player role in FM24 explained (2024)
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