from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Libero ( Italian free man ; female also Libera ) denotes a defensive player position in football and volleyball .


In football, the libero is a defensive player with no direct opponent. He plays behind a pre-stopper (in the 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 system of the 1970s) or two central man deckers (in the 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 of the 1990s) as well as two Full-backs. Due to the lack of a direct opponent, he can also join the attacking game. Franz Beckenbauer , who reinterpreted the position through his offensive style of play , is particularly associated with the term libero . Historically, the position has evolved from that of the middle runner . This is clearly visible through the numbers on the back: Traditionally, until the 1990s, a Libero wore number 5, which was assigned to the middle runner in the numbering of the players in the World Cup system . It was first used in Karl Rappan's Swiss bar .

The English equivalent of the Libero is the Sweeper , in German roughly "Ausputzer", a term that was also used in Germany in the 1960s for the initially purely defensive Libero.

In today's game systems, the libero position is dispensed with and instead mostly played with a four-man defensive chain , which has also increased the demands on the goalkeeper , for example in terms of technical skills and positional play. Goalkeepers such as Edwin van der Sar , Jens Lehmann or Manuel Neuer take over the duties of the Libero together with the defensive midfielders .

The position of Libero came back to the center of international attention when Greece won the European Championship in 2004. The coach of the Greeks, the German Otto Rehhagel , trained his team in the old system of the 1970s and early 1980s and consequently led the position of Liberos behind a back four in defense. Traianos Dellas took over this position and played on it in all games of the European Championship. The use of this tactical style of play, considered by many experts to be "antiquated", is seen as an essential component of the success of the Greeks, as many players from other nations had never played against a defensive line with Libero in their careers.

In youth football , and in the lowest leagues this tactic still appeal place, mainly because they compared to a back four is much easier to practice and brings a certain protection with them.


In volleyball , the Libero is a specialized defensive player. Each team may field two Liberos, provided that twelve players including the Liberos are set up. According to the new regulation, both Liberos can be used in the game, but not at the same time. For a swap of the Liberos with each other, or for a renewed change to the field, after swapping by rotating your own team, a completed play must lie. Special rules still apply to the Libero:

  • The Liberos' playing clothes must be different (at least in color) from the other players.
  • The Libero may not be a team captain
  • Substitutions and substitutions of the Libero are not counted as a player change (there must be at least one play between two exchanges of the Libero).
  • The change takes place in the Libero exchange zone to the side of the field, behind the extended line of attack
  • The Libero may only be used in the rear positions and may not make a serve, block or attempt to block.
  • The Libero may only attack if the action does not take place above the edge of the net.
  • An upper pass from the Libero from the front zone (“ball put”) may not be used by teammates to attack above the edge of the net.

For team tactical reasons, the Libero is often exchanged for the middle blocker on the backfield positions to give him a break, but can also be exchanged for any other player if he is in a backfield position.

The libero position was only introduced in volleyball in 1999. The name is borrowed from football.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Libero  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Duden Podcast 95 ( Memento of the original from July 3, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Catenaccio - the dark side of football
  3. The term Libero can be found in Brockhaus for the first time in 1966 on p. 650: Middle runner ... The middle runner has now been partially replaced by the → Libero. ( FA Brockhaus Wiesbaden: Brockhaus Enzyklopädie . Brockhaus, 1966, ISBN 978-3-7653-0000-4 . ).
  4. When the goalkeepers become goal scorers ...
  5. From Libero to Titan?
  6. The goalkeeper libero
  7. "Rehakles" duped the experts ,, June 7th of 2008.
  8. ^ "The Last Libero" , online presence of the Berliner Zeitung , July 2, 2004.