The basics of soccer

The basic principles of soccer are important to understand, regardless of whether you are an experienced player or just starting out. There are four main positions in soccer: forward, midfielder and defender.

Each position covers a particular area of the field. This covers how far they can reach from the left or right, as well as how far they can reach backwards or forwards. Based on how they cover the right, left, and center sides of the field, forwards, midfielders, defenders, and defenders can be divided into specific positions. We will discuss the specific position that determines how far each position covers.

Positions in Soccer

  • Goalkeeper
  • Defender (Centre-back, Sweeper, Full-back, Wing-back)
  • Midfielder (Centre midfield, Defensive midfield, Attacking midfield, Wide midfield)
  • Forward (Centre forward. Second striker. Winger.

How many soccer players are there on a team?

Each team has eleven players. The outfielders are 10 and the goalkeeper is 11. The 4-4-2 is the most popular. The 4-4-2 configuration has four defenders and four midfielders. There are also two forwards.



The primary goal of forwards (also known as strikers) is to score goals. Because they are in a scoring role, they often get the most attention.

The midfield line is the line that divides half of the field into two. These players usually move as far forward as their opponent’s goal line (the field’s end) during the game. They rarely get closer to their goal than the midfield line. Forwards should not move too close to their goal if the ball is in play. This allows the defensive players to do their jobs. They must be available to score if the ball is returned to them.

Forwards are the ones who take penalty kicks or corner kicks when the opposition team kicks the ball out-of-bounds. They are often the ones responsible for kick-off at the start of the game or at halftime.

Centre forward

These forwards are also called the main striker. They have the primary goal of scoring goals. They are often the primary focus of offensive plays. A team may choose to have a defensive team. This could lead to a centre forward being unable or unwilling to attack a goal, or even holding on to a ball as their team plays.

Second Striker

This position is also known as support striker. It falls somewhere between a traditional forward or a midfielder. They are responsible for creating shots for centre forwards and scoring goals.


These forwards can be found on the left or right side of the field, near the touchlines. They aim to pass the ball quickly to a striker and get past opposing full backs. A team may use wingers if they have a narrower formation in the midfield.


The role of a midfielder is to play many different roles during a game. Because they are often required to be both good at offense and defense, this is an important position.

Their main duties include

  • Assist the defense in ensuring that the opposing team doesn’t reach their goal.
  • Passing the ball up to the forwards to allow them to score a goal.
  • They will make their way to the goal of the opposing team and score if they have the chance.

It is possible to have a wide range of territory depending on who you ask. You will find a midfielder in nearly any part of the field. They should, however, stick to the central zone. They are usually positioned behind the forwards at the start of the game. They often cover the half-way point between their goal line and the line at the midfield. They can also cover the area between their goal line and that of their opponent.

Sometimes, midfielders will take penalty kicks and kick-offs. It all depends on who is the best at these.

Centre midfield

This position provides support for both offensive and defensive plays. They are located in the middle of the field and have the best view of both the action at each end of the field.

Midfield defense

For extra protection, these midfielders are often placed in front of defenders. These midfielders usually lie back when their team is attacking. They are there to take on opposing players and drive them away from the sidelines. If they are supporting the offense, they can cover other defenders or midfielders.

Midfield attack

This role is primarily offensive and is located between the central midfielder and the forwards. This role can be divided into either the right, left, or central midfield. They are responsible for creating opportunities for strikers through passing passes that can penetrate the defense of opposition.

Wide midfield

This position can be found in either the right or left midfield. They look very much like wingers. They are similar to wingers in that they provide protection on the flanks and support offensive plays.


Defenders do all they can to prevent the ball from getting past them. The defender is the last position an opposing team will see on their way to scoring a goal.

They usually start the game near their goal box. They can be found in the team’s half of field during the game. They are located between the goal line and midfield line.

Defenders are frequently expected to perform corner kicks, goal kicks, throw-ins and goal kicks on their side of the field.


This position is also called a central defender. Its job is to prevent players like the opposing striker from shooting at the goal. Two centre-backs are common on the pitch. They can cover a particular area of the pitch or a player.


Sometimes, sweepers aren’t used. Sometimes, a coach may choose to use four defenders rather than a sweeper. They can still be a valuable player for the goalkeeper if they are on the field. The last defense measure before the ball reaches the goalkeeper is the sweeper.

This position is usually located behind the defenders and in the front of the goalie. They rarely go beyond the goalie’s line, but can reach as far as their own goal line. They can often cover the entire field, from left to right, if they are needed.

A sweeper can often be expected to take corner kicks and goal kicks. You can expect them to throw-in the ball if the opposing team kicks it out of bounds. This is the only way a player can touch the ball other than the goalie.


You can divide this position into a right-back or left-back. They can be found on either side the centre-back. They protect against any wingers on the flanks trying to pass the ball to them or drive the ball past them. They are not known to support attacking plays.


These defenders are more involved in offensive plays. These defenders cover more ground, especially if there are no traditional wingers. When on the attack, they support the midfield. When on defense, they usually cover the opposing wingbacks.



The goalie is the only person allowed to touch the ball while they are on the field. Their only purpose is to prevent the ball from reaching the net.

To prevent their opponent from scoring, they stay within the goal box. They won’t usually leave the area of their goal box (the lines closest to their goal). They may not touch the ball outside their goal box.

The goalkeeper is responsible for blocking penalty kicks and moving the ball to the next player. To get the ball away from their goal, they often use a dropkick.

The importance of Positions

It is important to understand what each position does and for what purpose. The team won’t function properly if players don’t follow the rules of their positions. The team will perform better if each player plays their role correctly and covers all areas of the field. This will allow each player to utilize their skills when they are needed. The skills of a player will often determine the position. It is important that each player focuses on their particular position.