Footnotes of Football: Football Positions and Roles

There are lots of football positions and roles in the world, and they can be included in the many football formations. To be a good football player, you need to know about the basics first, and I am here to tell you about the basics of footballing.Footnotes of Football: Football Positions and Roles

The first thing that one should consider before one can begin playing football is the positions and the roles that many football players fill. There is this thing called formation in football, and with formations come positions and roles divisions. There are lots of formations, as well, but we are not going to talk about it at the moment. What we are going to talk about at the moment is the positions and the roles that come with the positions. I am going to list the things you will need in order to excel in such position, and I do hope that after you read this, you will know what positions you might want and should be playing at.

Without further ado, let us begin with the position that is often hailed as the number one position:

The annoying goalkeeper

Football and American handegg (because the ball they got looks like an egg and not round ball), have goals as their endgame. These two goals are what each players of the opposing team should try to tear. In handegg, the goals are not guarded by anyone, so it is a wonder how one side could not even score a goal. In football, the goals are guarded by this person called a goalkeeper, so it is understandable that scoring a goal in football is hard. agen sbobet

What is a goalkeeper’s job? There are reasons why I put the ‘annoying’ before the goalkeeper because that is what goalkeepers are supposed to do. They are supposed to be annoying to the attacking team for their steadfastness in front of the goal. They are the second to the last line of defence for any football teams (with the first last line of defence being the woodwork), and it is their job to keep the ball away from that goal line behind them. They are allowed to use all parts of their body to keep any would be goal away, hands included.

They will often stand in front of their own goal, not taking part in any attack movement whatsoever, but if they wanted to be a bit niggly, they can come out of their box and sweep any loose ball provided they think they can do so. Most notable goalkeeper figures are Victor Valdes, Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, and Rene Higuita (Valdes is there for the humour because he is not that good in case you didn’t notice).

Although clubs tend to not spend too much money on keepers, I do think they are even more important than the defenders, but that does not mean defenders are not important by any means. That is why I am going to discuss defenders next.


I once said that football comes with many different formations, and with that many formations, there will be many varied numbers of defenders that a team fields. I am going to talk about the general context, though. (Read also: The Best Male Soccer Defender of the US)


In the defender’s side, we have positions such as centre backs, side backs, and sweepers. The details for those positions are:

  • Centre backs: Defenders who stood in the middle (they are not restricted in movements, but they usually stick in the centre) and they will try to stop any forwards from getting any time on the ball. Their job is to mark attacking players and to stop any play near their side of the goal. Because they need to be imposing to other players, they are often the tallest of the bunch and they have amazing physicality. Their headers are often top notch and they are often the ones who score goals from indirect set pieces. To be a good centre backs, you need (most often than not) to be tall and to have a strong body that can withstand an attack. Speed matters not unless your coach decides to put you and your defensive partner higher than the standard defensive line. Speed, however, will be thing you need if you want to be one of the best defender’s position.
  • Side backs: Side backs are not that important before managers started to see the importance of having backs on both sides of the flanks. Side backs basically guard the two flanks and are expected to stop wingers from having a good time with the ball. In modern football, side backs will also surge to the middle of the pitch or the final third to do some crossing, so they need to be able to attack as well (people will often call them full backs because of their tendency to attack and to defend). Names such as John Arne Riise, Jordi Alba, and formerly Gareth Bale can be included in here. Good full backs require careful stamina management and stamina reservoir. Because I see them as discount wingers, they also need to be able to dribble and to cross in case the needs to do so ever arise. They do not have to be THAT technical, but a bit of technique behind them is always good.
  • Sweepers: When we play football as children, we often put the fattest kid as the goalkeeper and the scrawny-kid-that-cannot-play- football as someone whose duty is to kick the football as far as possible. Sweepers’ duty falls to the latter category. Their job is to chase loose ball and to sweep it away, so they need to have a hint of speed with them and an instinct to intercept.


The midfield is the place where the magic happens, and in this place we have several roles which includes central midfielder, attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, and side midfielders.

  • Central midfielder: the central figure of any formation. Their job is to pass the ball and to link the ball from the defenders to the attackers. There are many ways of playing a central midfielder position, and it can range from someone who carries the ball from the centre of the field into the goal or someone who just stands there and pass the ball to a more dribble capable player. You need to be able to pass and you need to have a wonderful vision. Steven Gerrard, Ryan Giggs, and Xavi are notable central midfielders that need to be mentioned.
  • The attacking midfielder: is the midfielder that stands behind the forwards and in front of the central midfielders. They will be the one to link the attack from the midfielders to the forward and they will need to have a sufficient enough technique and vision to do so. Wayne Rooney fills this role very much before he got shifted into a more attacking position.
  • The defensive midfielder: is someone who initiate attacks from deep with his or her passing. They do not stand near the attackers, and instead stand near the defenders. Their primary role is to make passes from deep, but their secondary role is to help defenders defend the goal.
  • The side midfielder: this might be a bit paradoxical because how you can you be on the side when you are on the mid, but it is more because this particular position stands on the flanks. It is basically a full back that is positioned a bit higher and with less defensive responsibilities. You will need the same skill as a full back to be able to excel in this position, but you will have to attack more if you are in this position.


Forwards can be divided into several roles, but generally, you get two. Those are centre forwards and wingers.

  • Centre forwards: are the forwards that should be the tip of the spear. They are required to score goals and to be the end of any plays. A more technical forward can go deep and support any other attacking players. They need to have a keen eye for goal and they need to be proficient with their finishing. Fernando Torres, Ian Rush, and Francesco Totti are all strikers that are famous and talented.
  • Wingers: are forwards that will attack the goal from the flanks. They can do so by cutting inside or they can cross in order to supply balls to the centre forwards. Finishing is not their main purpose, but they need to be able to kick the ball into the back of the net (especially if they are cutting inside).

I hope this article in football positions and roles can help you make up your minds regarding the position of your choice.

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