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Soccer is a team sport, so it’s important to know the different positions to be able to play with your teammates and have the best chance of winning. Soccer players are usually classified by their playing position, which determines their role on the team.
If you’re wondering, “what soccer position should I play?” learning about the different soccer positions available and what they do can help you choose which soccer position is best for you.
- What Soccer Position Should I Play?
- Personal Positional Characteristics
- Left Footed vs. Right Footed
- Related Questions
- Choosing the Best Position
What Soccer Position Should I Play?
Soccer is a diverse game, with pretty much every position requiring athleticism, agility, and strength. Outside of the goalie, all positions on the field run a lot, with the average professional soccer player running 7 miles per game.
Even though everyone needs to be able to run a lot, each position does have some unique characteristics. Choosing which soccer position is best for you starts by learning the different types of traits to look for in every position.
The Goalkeeper (Keeper/Goalie)
If you have a history of playing sports with your hands, like basketball or volleyball, then probably playing goalie is for you.
Goalies need to be good at different skills such as good hand-eye coordination, communication, and courage. Because this position can be risky, it’s best to come prepared with high-quality goalkeeper gloves.
Outside Defense (Fullback, Wingback)
If you are strong at defending and taking the ball away from your opponent, you might be a great defender. Playing outside defense doesn’t just limit you to playing at the back. In this position, you’re encouraged to win the ball back and then move quickly into the attack.
However, if you’re assigned this position, your main objective should be defending the goal.
Some characteristics that make a good outside defense are speed, concentration, aggressiveness, decisiveness, and the ability to deliver a good cross.
Center Defense (Center Back/Fullback)
If you enjoy sweeping around in the back and handling the opposing forwards, you’ll want to take a shot at center defense. You need to have the confidence to be the last opportunity to stop your opponent’s attack—aside from the goalie.
Some characteristics that make a good center-back are awareness, decisiveness, confidence, and defensive skills.
- , you’ll need good leadership and communication skills to pass down information to the rest of your team and organize them better.
- Defensive Skills: Attributes such as aggressiveness and tackling are crucial in this position to have the ability to take the ball away from your opponent before they reach the goal
If you are comfortable being in the middle of all the action and have a good balance between playing defensively and offensively, the center midfield role can suit you. This position also requires good shape and fitness conditions because there is a lot of running involved.
Most importantly, you’ll need to be a confident player who is willing to allow others to take the glory. Some characteristics that make a good center midfielder are a fitness, pass accuracy, unselfishness, and balanced skills.
- difference in a game. You’ll need to think before you get the ball and anticipate where you have to move to receive the ball.
- Unselfishness: To play in the midfield, you will not always be the one that scores. You won’t have a lot of running space either.
- Balanced Skills: In the midfield, it is important that you are good in offense and
Outside Midfielder (Winger)
To play this position, you should be able to play both offensively and defensively. As an essential player in both roles, you’ll also need to be fast. You’ll have a lot of room to run with the ball, so it’s beneficial to have good ball control.
Some characteristics of a good winger are ball control, speed, and the ability to transition easily.
If you are a natural-minded goal scorer that can handle the pressure of scoring goals for your team, you can be a forward. Even though, as a forward you would want to score a hat trick in every game, you cannot be too selfish. A forward should feed balls to others to score too.
Some characteristics that make a good forward are speed, hunger for scoring, and high-quality finishing abilities.
Personal Positional Characteristics
Depending on your unique qualities and skill sets, you might have a perfect position already waiting for you. Look through this list of characteristics and the corresponding soccer positions that work well for them:
Best Combined Characteristics
|Fast/Good Ball Control
Left Footed vs. Right Footed
What foot you prefer to kick with can and should play a large role in where you play on the field.
Generally speaking, whether you are left footed or right footed shouldn’t change what position you play. However, it usually does dictate what side of the pitch you play on.
For example, a left-footed player would prefer to play on the left side of the field, and a right-footed player on the right side.
For those players whose positions are in the center of the field, it is important that you are strong with both your left and right foot.
Your goal as a soccer player should be to practice and work your drills with both feet so that you are equally as strong with each. However, that is rarely the case. Even if you get really good with both feet, you’ll probably always have a preferential foot.
Here are some frequently asked questions about soccer positions.
What Is the Easiest Position to Play in Soccer?
Although all positions in soccer are important, fullbacks are thought to be the easiest. This is rooted in the fact that they don’t have to run as much as the other players (excluding the goalkeeper).
What Is the Hardest Position to Play in Soccer?
The CDM (Center Defensive Midfielder) is considered to be one of the most difficult positions in soccer. This role has to constantly run and try to recover possession of the ball at all times.
On top of that, they have to deliver good passes to their teammates and distribute the ball efficiently. Because of this, it can be a very exhausting position to play.
What Is the Most Popular Position in Soccer?
The most popular position among soccer players is winger or striker. These roles are in charge of scoring goals, which is why they become highly acclaimed players, and mostly the players who have earned the most caps.
They are the players who often get most of the credit after winning a match.
Choosing the Best Position
Picking out a soccer position can make or break your personal experience with the sport. However, it might not be as easy as just taking a quiz. You’ll need to be aware of the traits in each position and then make a decision. However, if you haven’t picked one yet, don’t worry. You can always simply be a versatile player and be aware of every position’s role.