It’s not usual to a Center Defensive Midfielder playing in Central Defender position.
However this scene became normal since 2008-2009 season with Fc. Barcelona when Pep Guardiola played Yaya Toure as CB against Man United in the UEFA CL Final.
Then after recruiting Javier Mascherano from Liverpool. the Argentinian veteran became known as a Center Back at barcelona especially with Abidal’s case and of course the continuous injury prone of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique which forced the Spanish young coach to play a CDM as a CB.
With time, Marcelona Bielsa started to use the same tactic, noticeably it appeared twice, the first time when he played Medel in CB int he FIFA Worldcup in 2010 and then in the last season when he played Javi Martinez from Atletic Bilbao in CB against Manchester United in the Europa League Quarter Finals.
But the latest surprise was this Sunday when Italy’s coach Prandelly played Daniele De Rossi as a CB against Spain the Group Stage of the EURO 2012.

To wrap it up, a CDM and CB usually have same physical abilities and mentality as the CDM is known for being the first defensive line for the team.
However not every CDM can fill in as CB.
This is why those 5 examples are unforgotten in the history of football and who knows we might see another player starring as a CB while it’s not his original position.

Sparky in Rotterdam '91

Daniele De Rossi Italy vs Spain Euro 2012

The very nature of playing out of position usually comes about out of necessity. Whether it’s to cover an injury crisis or an untimely suspension. While in most circumstances it often back-fires, there are those rare performances where the managers who made the decision to take a player out of his comfort zone can be the difference between walking off the pitch with three points, and cowering away in the office lamenting your ambitious tactics.

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