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Vorstopper describes a player position that has become unusual in football . In the classic 4-3-3 system, the pre-stopper is the player who shields the center forward of the opposing team in man coverage. The role of the pre-stopper evolved from the role of the middle runner in the World Cup system . For the pre-stopper there was still a safeguard by the Libero , on the other hand, the pre-stopper secured the Libero when it intervened in the attack game.

In today's usual 4-4-2 system (all defenders offset on one line), the game is not played with pre-stoppers, but with central defenders who do not act in rigid man coverage, but instead take over the front ends of the opponent depending on the game situation.

The term pre-stopper came up in the 1960s, when the classic middle position, also called "stopper", became the libero position and now a defender played in front of the stopper. The Libero played in the room, the Vorstopper in man coverage against the center forward. At the football World Cup in England in 1966 , Willi Schulz was still working as a stopper with a purely defensive role behind the man-covering stopper Wolfgang Weber . The transition to Libero was made by national coach Helmut Schön at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, when he appointed Karl-Heinz Schnellinger as head of the defensive - but the defensive was still in the foreground in the 1970 Libero in the DFB-Elf - and before that with Klaus Fichtel played as a stopper. With the football European championship in 1972 and the football world championship in 1974, Franz Beckenbauer finally made the transition to the game-determining defense organizer in the DFB area, who in conjunction with the defensive specialist in the pre-stopper position - now Georg Schwarzenbeck - was the center of the defense game, and beyond but also made significant impulses for the development game. At the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, the German team reached the final with a clearly defensive orientation with Ditmar Jakobs as stopper and Karlheinz Förster as pre-stopper and won the World Cup in Italy in 1990 with Libero Klaus Augenthaler and Jürgen Kohler, who played as pre-stopper . The position designation disappeared with the introduction of the chain of four in the 1990s from the usage.


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