What is a Regista? The Regista is a Deep lying playmaker, it is one of the two creative roles originating from Italian football, the other being the Trequartista. Both are given equal importance in Italian football, the Trequartista sits in the hole behind the strikers whilst the Regista screens in front of the defence. Regista translates to the director and they act as the teams general dictating the game from deep. Don't be fooled into thinking because the Regista operates from the DM position that it is a defensive role instead, he is the deepest offensive player in the team a mirror to the Trequartista.
What differentiates the DLP and the Regista is he likes to move forward close to the opponent’s box from where he can launch pinpoint passes. Remaining patient, utilizing his excellent anticipation and vision, to spot that perfect pass. Only passing once he is certain that the pass will find a teammate in a good scoring position. Whereas the DLP tends to remain deeper holding his position rarely deviating from his assigned position, dictating the game from deeper passing the ball to more advanced players. In a nutshell, the Regista is a more aggressive and dynamic version of the DLP who looks to roam around the pitch to collect the ball, whilst being screened by two central midfielders allowing them time and space to pick passes.
Modern Registas include Cesc Fabregas, Jorginho, Xabi Alonso, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes towards the back end of his career and of course the most recognisable Andrea Pirlo. Throughout his career for both club and country, Pirlo could be seen operating as the general planning the attack from the deep. He would often come from a deep position to in and around the final third. Like the quarterback in American football, he would get as close to his targets before playing the killer ball. Pirlo would also masterfully switch the ball to the other side of the field with pinpoint accuracy, once space had opened up.
The shape is a very fluid 4-3-3 with an attacking mentality. This is to encourage the team to attack and defend as one unit similar to a total football system. The BBM's act as the shield for the Regista, whilst also making forward runs to break lines and support the advanced forward.
With the ball, the team will play out from the back the team will spread horizontally across the pitch to create more space for the Regista. Two BPD's have the option of passing the ball out wide with a high tempo and more direct manner, however, the primary option is to look for the Regista at all times.
In the transition, the team will look to be aggressive so counter-press and counter are selected. The goalkeeper is instructed to give the ball to any of the defensive players however, he also has the option to go more direct if a player is in space such as a winger or forward, to promote those quick transitions and counters.
Without the ball, the team needs to be close together to help with the pressing play. The pitch is made shorter by using the offside trap along with the highest line however this can be lowered if you find your defensive line is being broken more than you'd like. The forward players are tasked with pressing as high as possible to put the opposition under pressure forcing turnovers or making them kick the ball long.
He is the heartbeat of the team, he will look to get on the ball at every opportunity, driving the team forward with his vision and creativity. Don't worry if you don't have an Ideal DM for the Regista role as you can look for more advanced players and retrain into the role, this is what happened with arguable the best Regista in the modern era Pirlo.
Following in the footsteps I decided my Regista would be Olmo, looking at his attributes you can see he is a perfect fit for the role of Regista Key attributes for the Regista are representative of all great playmakers, what separates most playmakers from the Regista is specific traits like “tries killer balls often”, “tries long passes”, “dictates tempo”, and “likes to switch the ball to the other flank”. Not to worry as these can be developed as well, I'd recommend learning the dictates tempo trait first.
Check out the video below for a greater in-depth look at the tactic.