Whenever the sweeper is mentioned nowadays, it's generally in a historical context or perhaps by someone with a penchant for elegant defenders, dreaming of the halcyon days of Gaetano Scirea, Franz Beckenbauer and Franco Baresi.
But with the three-man defence enjoying a renaissance across the globe, it's time more attention was paid to how that system works, and consider the benefits of a modern incarnation of the libero.
If used correctly, the benefits are obvious. The sweeper is a free, creative influence at the back who can add extra strength while defending before then beginning the counter attack. The obvious problem is that finding a player with the required attributes—strength, speed, defensive prowess coupled with intelligence, good passing skills and ball-carrying abilities—isn't easy.
Despite their exclusivity, there are several players already plying their trade in Europe's top leagues who fit the bill and who could be used by an enterprising manager to revive the lost art of the libero. Read on to find out who.