What does CAM Mean in Soccer? Playmaking Secrets Revealed

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CAM? BAM? Thank you…Ma’am? What does CAM mean in soccer?!

Every sport has its own unique jargon, and soccer is no exception.

For a soccer noob, some of the terms used by those in the know can be quite puzzling, and the term “CAM” is one of them.

If you’ve been wondering what it means and how you become an amazing CAM you’re in luck – we have got all the answers for you right here.

Let’s kick off! 

What does CAM mean in soccer?

CAM stands for Central Attacking Midfielder.

The CAM position typically sits behind the strikers in a formation and acts as the creative hub of the team.

What position does a Central Attacking Midfielder play in a soccer team?

The Central Attacking Midfielder, or CAM for short, is basically the soccer version of the quarterback in American football.

Positioned right in the middle of the field, this player is responsible for leading the attack and creating scoring opportunities for the team. 

What does CAM mean in soccer? Infographic showing CAM position on the pitch relative to other positions in team.

How do you play a Central Attacking Midfielder position in soccer?

As a Central Attacking Midfielder, you are the creative epicenter of your soccer team.

You are the player who has the vision and skill to see opportunities before they present themselves, and to take advantage of them in a split-second decision.

You are the one who provides the perfect through ball for your forwards to score, or who can dribble past opponents to open up space.

Not only do you need excellent technical ability, but you also need to be a leader on the pitch, rallying your teammates and directing the play.

Essentially, you are the conductor of an orchestra, bringing together all the different elements of your team to create harmony, rhythm, and goals.

If you’re looking to make an impact in soccer, the Central Attacking Midfielder position is an awesome one to play.

Watch and learn: How To Play As An Attacking Midfielder and Playmaker In Football.

Here’s a great video guide that shows you some top tips to playing a central playmaking role that will really up your game.

What skills should a CAM have?

What makes a great central attacking midfielder?

It’s not just about having great technical ability, agility, and pace. It’s also about having the tactical and mental skills to read the game, make quick decisions, and communicate with the rest of the team.

Here are the top 5 skills you’ll need to be a match-winning CAM.

#1. Vision and Creativity

A top central attacking midfielder needs to have excellent vision and creativity.

They are the ones who unlock defences with a well-timed through ball or a perfectly weighted pass.

They can also create chances out of nothing by using their imagination and inventiveness to come up with a delightful piece of skill or a surprising pass.

Good vision and creativity allow them to be the playmaker, the one who sets up goals and makes the team play flow!

#2. Tactical Awareness

The best CAMs have an excellent understanding of the game’s tactical know-how.

They know when to drop deep to receive the ball, when to press high up the pitch and even when to drop out of a game or not.

They read the game well, constantly scanning the pitch and assessing the opposition to find the gaps and space.

#3. Dribbling Ability

Being able to move the ball swiftly and elegantly through the opposition’s players is a top skill of a central attacking midfielder.

It means they’re just as happy taking on defenders on the edge of the box or weaving their way through midfield to create space or a scoring chance.

#4. Work-rate and Stamina

A top central attacking midfielder is expected to work hard tirelessly throughout the game, linking up play with the forwards and the rest of the midfielders.

So it goes without saying they have to be fit and energetic with the stamina to be constantly covering ground and moving up and down the field.

Their hard work enables the team to keep possession of the ball and create chances too.

#5. Leadership and Communication

I’m here! Pass! To me! Square! The CAM needs always to be vocal on the pitch, directing the play and communicating with teammates.

They have to be the go-to person for creativity, directing the game, as well as shouting to instruct and lead their teammates on the pitch.

Leadership qualities are a must if you want to crush it as a CAM.

Is a CAM a midfielder or forward?

When it comes to the question of whether a CAM is a midfielder or forward, the answer is actually a bit of both.

This player is typically positioned in the center of the field and focused on moving the ball towards the opponent’s goal.

They need to be skilled in passing the ball, making assists, and occasionally defending.

So while a CAM may be more attacking in nature, they also play a really important role in the midfield.

Does a CAM have to defend?

In the modern world of soccer, the role of a central attacking midfielder (CAM) has evolved to become more specialized.

Their main job is to create opportunities for their team by distributing the ball to forwards and wingers in the attacking third.

But this doesn’t mean that they can ignore their defensive duties!

CAMs must also put in a shift in the middle of the pitch and contribute defensively when needed.

A good CAM with solid defensive skills can intercept the opponent’s pass and launch quick counter-attacks, which can lead to scoring opportunities.

So, to answer the question, yes, a CAM does have to defend, but their defensive responsibilities are not be as big as their attacking ones.

The final score

Without CAM, the game of soccer would look a lot different.

As an attacking midfielder or box-to-box player, you’re ready to move up and down the field helping your team out both offensively and defensively.

Now you have all the knowledge you need to become an incredible CAM.

You’ll be AMAZING in no time!

So sharpen up those passing and dribbling skills, and get out there to start showing off your talent – success awaits!

Believe in yourself—you’ve got this.

This article was written by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's soccer. I've been crazy about soccer for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about soccer with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool soccer trivia, I'm all about making soccer ac...