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What are the various positions in a football team? What's the best team formation based on your tactics?
Playing football is great fun. Even better is to be able to play in the position where you can best express your particular abilities! A lot of players start playing in one position and transition into others over the years. Do you know which position is best for you?
As you know, a football team consists of 11 players. Each player wears a number on their back to identify them. But did you know that each of these numbers corresponds to a particular position on the pitch? Here they are:
Number 1: the goalkeeper
Numbers 2 and 3: full-backs
Numbers 4 and 5: The "centre-back" and "sweeper"
Numbers 6 and 7: defensive midfielders
Numbers 8 and 10: attacking midfielders
Number 11: the second striker
Number 9: the centre-forward
Numbers 12, 13 and 14: the substitutes
How about you? Which position do you or would you like to play? Which do you think is the hardest position to play?
If I were to start talking about 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or even 4-2-3-1 or 5-3-2, would it all sound like jibberish? These are just some of the many different possible team formations, which are decided by the manager based on the tactics for a particular match.
In fact, every football position is important and a key element in a football team. I'd say there's no one position that's harder than the others because it's only through practice, perseverance, hard physical graft and tactical awareness that you become a good player. Ultimately, every individual action in each position contributes to the team's win! It's the strength of teamwork!
But who can honestly say they've never dreamed of wearing the number 10 like Zinédine Zidane? Because, of course, this playmaking position is crucial for a well-functioning team. It's often the number 10's strike that scores the winning goal. Do you play this position and want some tips to help you improve? It's on the house…
As you no doubt know, football is a team sport that's generally played with 11 players on a turf pitch. While the choice of positioning on the pitch is the responsibility of the coach or manager, the positions themselves don't really change.
Whether you play in a 4-4-2, 4-3-3, or 3-5-2 formation, the basics are still essentially the same for the goalkeeper, the defenders, the midfielders and the forwards. There are several team formations depending on your manager's chosen tactics.
Back in the 70s and 80s, players had their own precise position and a strictly defined role, such as Michel Platini, who played on the French team from 1973 to 1987.
The defender only worried about defending, while the attackers only worried about scoring goals. Nowadays, defenders tend to be more offensively minded and, similarly, the forwards are also thinking about defence.
In this article, we're going to analyse the different positions on a football team and see which qualities are required for each of them.
You think that football is all about scoring goals? You also need to have a wide range of technical skills, be nimble-footed in front of the goal (have that "killer instinct" in front of the net), be able to keep possession of the ball, know how to create space for your team-mates when you don't have the ball, and keep a cool head at all times.
It's worth remembering that, while it's often the strikers who take all the glory for a good performance, an ineffective striker is exposed to just as much criticism as any other player. Your team will be dominated during certain matches and won't score many goals, or even get many chances. In this type of match, all you can do is play fair and make the most of every chance you get with the ball.
Think this sounds like you? Then you're a natural number 9!
Do you have good technical skills, like to see the game in front of you and pass the ball to your team-mates? Then maybe you're made to be a midfielder like Diego Maradona!
A midfielder must be able to see the whole game play out, whether they're on the left, right or centre of the pitch. Their roles can include both moving the ball up the pitch and getting involved in defensive play. They also have to be able to set up the offensive players and switch back and forth between defence and offence. We've all experienced a match where our midfielder was out of their depth and the team was cut in half.
In this type of situation, you quickly realise that it's so much harder to set up your game without a strong midfielder. A good midfielder needs to be equally good at retaining and regaining possession, which can be a vital part of building an attack. Sometimes, keeping the ball a few extra seconds can give the team the time to get back on track. Finally, this position requires an excellent fitness level because midfielders must stay fully engaged at all times.
You may well be strong and fit. But in today's football, that alone is not enough. You also need to be a tactical thinker, be able to read the game and have a good feel for positioning and seeing where things are going.
Being able to set the game's pace is also important, but depending on your team's style of play, this skill may not be as crucial (if your club has a slower game strategy, quickly resetting isn't as key).
Finally, you can't be afraid to go head-to-head! You need to be able to impart some intensity right from the opening minutes of the match and keep on top of the opposition's offence from the very first tackle to provide the best possible defensive cover. Communication with your goalkeeper and other defensive players is also essential.
Does this sound like you? Then centre-back is a great choice for you!
A good full-back needs to be a good defender above all! Too often, we focus on the offence full-backs offer rather than their defence. But in modern football, full-backs need to be versatile and step in to handle whatever comes their way. They have to have the same skills as a centre-back.
Full-backs that can play in the centre are an important weapon in any team's arsenal. This position also requires incredible endurance, sweeping back and forth across the pitch for a whole 90 minutes. And not everyone has the skills to anticipate where the attack will come from for different set plays!
Do you have these skills? You could shine as a full-back!
Goalkeeper is a unique position in football. Unlike the forwards, goalies rarely get any accolades, but that doesn't make them any less crucial! Certain saves at important moments of a match are just as valuable as a goal - and even more so when they help keep a lead or tie.
To be a good goalkeeper, you need to have several skills. First, you have to be tough enough to handle the impacts and be able to defend the penalty area. You also need to have good reflexes. Being able to anticipate other players' moves is also critical as the goalkeeper often has to make split-second decisions to gain an advantage. Goalkeepers mustn't be afraid of taking on the opposing strikers.
The ability to do clean kicks - whether on long or short passes - is another must for the modern goalkeeper.
Ready to take on the challenge of being in goal?
A football manager, often called the head coach, is the person responsible for leading a football club or a national team.
But what makes a good football manager? What is their job? How do you become a good football manager?
In this piece, we'll give you some tips and other handy info that we've co-written with our partner Vestiaires Dirigeant.
There are a lot of technical skills to master when you play football and we're going to show them to you in a series of videos. They include scoring a goal, heading the ball, passing to a team-mate, dribbling, controlling the ball, taking a throw-in, defending, and playing the ball out from goal. They'll come in handy if you're a seasoned player and they'll be absolutely vital if you're just starting to play the game.