January 03, 2024

3 Footballers Who Excelled After Changing Positions

The adage, “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you change its environment, not the flower”, could not be any more true for several footballers who have seen their skills and fortunes take a turn for the better after simply switching their position on the pitch.

Read up on these three football players who went from mediocre mundanity to meteoric rise:

Gareth Bale – Left-back to Winger

When Gareth Bale first started playing as a left-back for Southampton in 2006, he demonstrated that free kicks were something he knew how to do well. Then, Tottenham Hotspur offered him a contract in mid-2007.

The change of club, and switching to winger, opened up a whole new world for the Welshman. He was soon zooming around the opposition, scoring goals and winning awards, most notably as Wales’ most capped player and top goalscorer of all time.

Phillip Lahm – Right-back to Midfielder

He’s widely regarded as one of the finest full-backs in the history of the beautiful game, but Phillip Lahm is best known for providing Bayern Munich with a formidable midfield defence. He also led from the middle as the team captain during the German side’s various campaigns from 2011 to 2017.

His on-pitch manoeuvring and incredible stamina contributed greatly to his top standard style of play, which assisted Germany to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup, after which Lahm hung up his boots from international football.

Gianluigi Buffon – Midfielder to Goalkeeper

Who would have thought that a boy from a small town in Tuscany, Italy could go on to emblazon the footballing history books with his name? Gianluigi Buffon first started out playing as a young midfielder in 1993. He eventually put on the keeper’s gloves and the rest is history.

His nearly two-metre-tall frame and keen eye saw him play in 1 175 official record-setting matches across his three decades of professional football, netting him multiple awards and joining the pantheon of greats.