What Are The Main Positions In Soccer?

By Peter C August 15, 2022

Soccer, as you know, is a team sport, which makes the concept of positions crucial. Basically, the central positions in soccer are goalkeeper, midfielder, defender, and forward.

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Often regarded as the most boring position in soccer, the goalkeeper is a designated player whose role is to prevent the ball from finding the back of the net. The goalkeeper is the only player permitted to touch the ball with any part of their body. This freedom is guaranteed only when inside the 18-yard box.


There are usually four defenders in a team setup, with each player occupying a specific position. The number of players in this position could be three or five if the manager uses a unique formation. Whether as a center-back, sweeper, full-back, or wing-back, the primary role of any player in this position is to prevent the opposing team from scoring.


Midfielders are players between the defenders and the forwards in a typical team setup. There are four types of midfielders: offensive midfielder, defensive midfielder, wild midfielder, and center midfielder.

 A defensive midfielder is expected to act as a shield for the team’s defense and must also be able to attack when the need arises.

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Offensive midfielders are expected to create goal-scoring opportunities for strikers. Since they are usually behind the central forward, they have better chances to score, but their primary role is to open ways for the striker and supply him with intelligent passes.  

A central midfielder is placed at the center of the field, so any player in this position must be able to attack and defend within the midfield.

Wild/side midfielders are often called wingers because they create passes and crosses from wider areas. They play defensive roles on the flanks and contribute massively by taking the ball to the opposition’s defense.


Forwards are also known as strikers; their primary role is to score as many goals as possible. A good striker must be able to disturb the opposition’s defense and position himself for goal-scoring opportunities. Depending on the formation, a striker can play as a central forward, support striker, or winger.