Football positions | 11 Football Positions Explained (Roles and Responsibilities)

Understanding the roles and responsibilities of soccer positions can be difficult, especially for younger players.

It is important to know how each position differs and how each position relates to the game. Football players often have specific attributes and skills that qualify them to play in these positions and score goals for their team.

1. Goalkeeper

Goalkeepers are the last line of defense in football. Their unique and crucial role requires special skills that players on the field do not need. A goalkeeper’s primary role is to stop the opposition from scoring.

The basic skills of goalkeepers are catching, stopping, organizing, footwork, shooting, agility and reflexes. Many goalkeepers practice their skills at home using their backyard soccer goals, as the extra practice helps them prepare for the game. To read more,

2. Center-Back

Center back

Center backs are central defenders and play the position closest to the opponent’s goal. To be a central defender you need to be a good leader, confident, a great scorer and aggressive between defenders.

Some soccer teams have three central defenders to cover more of the defensive zone, allowing more chances to keep possession and score. The core skills of a centre-back are tackling, positional discipline, aerial ability, passing and leading.

3. Fullet-back

Football quarterback describes two types of positions in football: right back and left back. Full-backs must be aggressive, have good awareness and controlled dribbling as they serve as outside defenders and attackers.

Full-backs are wider defenders on either side of the central defender. Their key skills include speed, positional awareness, stamina and one-on-one defense.

4. Central midfielder

Central midfielder

The central midfielder protects the back line and stops the attacks of the opposing team. The central midfielder has excellent dribbling skills, is always aware, has a high level of football knowledge and a high level of endurance. Basically, your central midfielder is your lifeline in football.

Players in this position have free reign and can be moved anywhere by the opponent. Their key skills include dribbling, passing ability, ball handling, defending, shooting, interception and energy.

5. Wide Midfielder

The role of a wide midfielder is similar to that of an attacking midfielder, but focuses on creating good attacking opportunities and getting into wider forward areas. They are placed close to the tangent line.

Their critical skills include good technical ability, dribbling skills, speed and shooting ability. Players who are wide midfielders are usually not afraid to attack, are excellent in space and have good awareness. Wide midfielders can also be left or right midfielders or wing midfielders.

6. Forward


The main goal of a striker is to score and assist other strikers who are trying to score. A striker usually enjoys being the center of attention as they are aggressive and quick with the ball.

Their key skills include composure, shooting ability, technical skill, smart movement and hold-up play. They start the game from the midfield line and advance to the opponent’s goal line at the end of the field.

7. Cleanser

The sweeper is only used occasionally as coaches sometimes use four defenders instead of the sweeper. A sweeper is a defensive player who sits behind the defensive line. They sweep and deal with any ball that enters that zone.

Cleaners need high speed and stamina; you must be athletic and agile to play this position effectively. Critical skills of a cleaner include speed, agility, patience, confidence and communication.

8. Defensive midfielder

Defensive midfielder

Defensive midfielders are midfield players who defend their team’s goal. Players in this position must defend their team’s goal at all costs.

A defensive midfielder is also known as a midfielder because they run in the middle of the pitch between the forwards and defenders to connect their team from back to front. Defensive midfielder skills include passing accuracy, reading the game well and anticipating attacks.

9. Right or left striker

The right or left forward is the team player who is in the closest position to the opponent’s goal.

Their main goal is to score goals for the team. Usually, the most advanced players on the pitch play as a striker. Critical skills of a striker include speed, good shooting, ball control, strength and knowledge of the game.

10. Central defensive midfielder

Defensive midfielder

The central defensive midfielder is considered your disruptor as their role is to obstruct and cause disruption before they can get to your defenders.

A central defensive midfielder sits between the midfielders and defenders. Players in this position are disciplined, aggressive and have excellent passing skills.

11. Behind the wings

Fullbacks are defenders who are involved in attacking plays. Winger players usually cover most of the width of the field. The fullback supports the midfield in attack and they cover the opposing fullbacks in defense.

This is one of the most difficult positions on the field and also physically demanding. Key skills for a full-back include ball control, passing, awareness and leadership.

Final thoughts

Now that you have a better understanding of the many different soccer positions and what skills a player has to play these positions. While it may seem overwhelming at first to learn the different soccer positions, they all go hand in hand in helping your team win the game.

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