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James Rodriguez claims the most iconic position in football is dying out

The Bayern Munich star believes his position - the number 10 - is struggling due to tactical changes

Diego Maradona. Juan Roman Riquelme. Pablo Aimar. Kaka.

They’re all regarded as some of the most stylish players to ever grace the game.


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Juan Roman Riquelme made the number 10 shirt his own

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Juan Roman Riquelme made the number 10 shirt his own

And what do they have in common? They’re all beautifully traditional number 10s.

But according to one of the modern game’s finest exponents of the role, the position might not be around for much longer.

James Rodriguez’s exhilarating performances at the 2014 World Cup captured the hearts and imaginations of purists and hipsters alike.

Rodriguez was sensational at the World Cup

AP:Associated Press
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Rodriguez was sensational at the World Cup

But the Bayern Munich star – on loan from Real Madrid – believes the number 10 position is now suffering because of the changing tactical shape of the game and the increased emphasis on physicality.

He told Bundesliga officials: “I think there are no more classic number 10s left in the world.

“Eight or ten years ago it was different, because the number 10 was a regular position.

Rodriguez is now at Bayern

Reuters
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Rodriguez is now at Bayern

“Today those who use the number 10 are wingers or box to box midfielders.

“Football today is tactical and very physical, with no place for a number 10.”

Does Rodriguez have a point?

Certainly in recent years the number of out and out wingers – when you think the likes of Gareth Bale tend to play more centrally now – appears to have declined too.

Or will the number 10 have a renaissance?


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