Brahim Díaz is emerging as the leader of AC Milan in this final part of the season. The Malagueño has taken the reins of Stefano Pioli’s side in the midfield, being the differential element on the pitch.
Thanks to his brilliant individual performance, the Rossoneri have reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. A historic milestone after more than 10 years without doing so. They are also just one step away from reaching the semi-finals of the competition.
In addition, his name is being mentioned as a possible addition for Real Madrid for next season, as his loan spell with the Lombardy side is coming to an end.
Having contextualised the analysis, at the MBP School of Coaches we are going to highlight what kind of player Brahim Díaz is, and how his tactical behaviour impacts the Milan team.
What player profile does Brahim Díaz have?
The Malagueño is an attacking midfielder. The player is used to playing in the final 3rd of the attack, with a high tendency both to get into finishing spaces, and to help in the development of the play in moments of dynamic build-up and progression.
Going further into the player’s structures, the first one that stands out is the cognitive one – Brahim has excellent decision-making. Thanks to this, the Rossoneri is able to choose the best option, regardless of the situation in the play.
This aspect is particularly important because, in a sport like football where the same situation never occurs, the ability to understand the play and know the best response to make is vital.
Another of Brahim’s great strengths is his coordination structure. The No.10 possesses great ability with the ball at his feet. The playmaker has a superb passing ability, whether long or short, a fantastic dribbling ability with both feet, and a brilliant shot from short and medium range.
Finally, another of the former Real Madrid player’s skills is his socio-affective structure. Thanks to his collective behaviour on the pitch, the player increases the number of participations of his teammates, often managing to make the players around him better and enhancing the playing style that his coach wants to implement.
What game fundamentals does Brahim Díaz master?
The first fundamental to highlight refers to the player’s ability to ‘offer support between the opposition defensive line and the midfield defence’. Through his positioning in the intervals, whether these are intralineal or interlineal, the Rossoneri manages to condition the defensive positions of the opponent, or to receive in ‘free’ spaces with enough time/space to be able to execute the subsequent action with a greater chance of success.
Likewise, through the execution of the fundamentals, the player allows his team to have more passing lines in a very complex area of the pitch.
Another of the main tactical behaviours most frequently used by the player is to look for vertical progression in attack in the final 3rd, as well as taking into account the risk/benefit of the action.
Once he manages to receive unmarked in the find 3rd, Brahim Díaz aims to verticalise his team’s attacks, prioritising the following sequence: forward pass to a teammate with the possibility of finishing, driving the ball to fix and free up a teammate, and finally, playing into the wide channel to maintain possession of the ball.
Likewise, when he prioritises passing to his teammate, the midfielder knows how to perfectly adjust the timing between the dismarking and the pass. Thanks to this, the passer, i.e. Brahim, does not hinder his teammate’s run by not passing to him once he is in an offside position or in a disadvantageous situation.
Finally, at the MBP School of coaches, we also want to highlight the footballer’s ability to ‘attack the defender in 1vs1 situations with spatial advantage’. Despite not being a particularly fast player, the young attacker has spectacular power in his lower body. For this reason, it is really difficult to stop him in the first few metres.
In addition, this aspect, together with his previously mentioned coordination skills on the ball, makes Brahim very dangerous in situations where he has a spatial advantage against his direct opponent. Especially during the transition phase, when the opponent is disorganised, and advantage can be taken to create dangerous situations.
Brahim Díaz seems to have reached maturity as a professional footballer. After two seasons on loan at AC Milan from Real Madrid, the Spanish international has become the Rossoneri’s leader thanks to his brilliant performances.