Football is a dynamic, fast-moving sport. Throughout a game, pockets of space open and close all over the pitch. A player who has an awareness of where space exists or where it will shortly open up is a great asset to a team.
Equally valuable is the ability to move into the space to receive a pass. The more space a player is in, the more time he or she usually has to receive the ball, control it and attack with it.
Spotting and creating space
The ball can zip around a pitch far more quickly than even the fastest of players. Good footballers make the ball do the work, moving it around with quick, accurate passes.
Vision is the priceless ability to spot a pass, space or goal-scoring opportunity which other players do not see, or before they do.
Players with good vision look to move into space, timing their run and give a team-mate who has the ball the chance of making a pass which cannot be intercepted by an opponent.
Once the ball has left the passer's control, he or she often moves into a position to receive a return pass.
All players, not just midfielders and attackers, must be capable of passing well and moving into space to receive passes in return.
Players can create space for themselves or for team-mates through quick, agile movement and the use of feints or dummies with which they attempt to fool a nearby opponent into thinking they are moving one way, before sprinting off in another direction.
World-class players such as Zinedine Zidane, Michael Ballack, Pavel Nedved and Arjen Robben are particularly skilled at outwitting opponents in this way to find space.