How to Play Soccer : Player Positions in Soccer

How to Play Soccer : Player Positions in Soccer

The game of Soccer is played with 11 players,
one Goal Keeper and 10 what we call field players. Besides the Goal Keeper which we
have talked about there are three positions in Soccer. I want to talk about each position
and a little bit about the responsibilities of each. First of all you have the Defenders;
usually there are 3 or 4 to a side. Defenders are responsible for marking the Forwards,
making sure they don’t score and passing the ball up to the mid-field and forward players
to start the attack. Then the mid-field players who arguably have the most responsibility
of anyone on the team. There job is to run the length of the field covering both defense
and contributing offensively. They are responsible for marking mid-field players running through
trying to score on them. They are also responsible for distributing the ball to the Forwards
on their team and scoring for themselves. Finally, there are Forwards, usually two Forwards,
sometimes one, sometimes three. Their primary job is to score goals. They help out on defense
a little bit but again, their job is to score goals and help their other forwards and mid-field
players by scoring goals. I’ll talk to you about some basic formations you play. Most
basic is called 4-4-2, 4 Defenders, 4 mid-field players and 2 attacking players or Forwards.
Another common formation is 3-5-2, 3 Defenders, 5 mid-field players and 2 Forwards. These
are the two most common formations in Soccer.

Antonio Breitenberg

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100 thoughts on “How to Play Soccer : Player Positions in Soccer

  1. kokok says:

    @panesyboy ok some other countrys call it soccer but how about this
    soccer as you call it was played in the 14th century as for rugby it was invented in the early 1840's

  2. Aleigha Melissa says:

    In America it's called soccer… Stupid people… You seem to know so much… Why don't you know what your favorite sport is called in different countries?

  3. LethalSystem says:

    you guys want to play soccer? please…i was like Puyol in 20 years lol. but now am way better, i just got this dvd how to play soccer really well, now am Ronaldinho…in 5 years ; )

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  4. pkrjunkie says:

    Get a job you hack!!! you know nothing

  5. incarnateTheGreat says:

    @Ngooo not necessarily. i think he's trying to describe the diamond D where you have a DMF.

  6. RacyBee says:

    Why does it honestly matter if America calls it soccer? I really don't get why it bothers people so much…

  7. LemonGecko says:

    @d3Iiver I'm american and I understand what your saying. I don't understand why we call it soccer instead of football. I'll Google it and come up with a answer later.

  8. LemonGecko says:

    @RacyBee Because the whole world who plays soccer calls it Football, but we americans don't call it that. I guess in a way for most people outside of the U.S. find it degrading.

  9. LemonGecko says:

    Why we Americans use the term soccer instead of football: The British invented Football in 1863, full name Association football, the term football is the formal name while soccer is its nickname that was created by the English inorder to distinguish it from rugby football. Soccer became a shortened reference to the word assocation football. Therefore, Football's nickname soccer is often used to refer to football in countries where another form of football exist. US Was a colony of Britian.

  10. darlingangel4ever200 says:

    @d3Iiver In Australia the national team is known as the "Socceroos", while one of the world's best known soccer magazines "World Soccer" is published in ENGLAND. Consequently soccer is not a term unique to the United States as many people seem to think.

  11. insertnamehereKJK says:

    It's not so much as why Americans call it soccer but why they call their own sport football…you almost always use your hands.

  12. bridgfordbill says:


  13. loxeas says:

    1st. It's a football. F-O-O-T-B-A-L-L.
    2nd. nobody listen to you because it's FOOTBALL.
    3th. Fuck you.

  14. JD797 says:

    @d3Iiver i think japan uses soccer too

  15. SG says:

    @JD797 Actually, no, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Ireland use soccer. 🙂

  16. SG says:

    Can an American please explain to me why the word Football is used for the sport of Rugby? American Football mainly needs using your hands …

  17. JD797 says:

    @uijja you sure? I've been learning japanese and some world cup terminology included サーカ (sa-ka), so I assumed they call it soccer basically

  18. Katamari Oneohone says:

    @bridgfordbill Not in America.

  19. Katamari Oneohone says:

    @loxeas Oh, so you're saying that the guy sucks just because he's American and you're not? That makes no fucking sense whatsoever. By the way, are you not American?

  20. Ricardo Diaz Vega says:

    @GuardadoFanatica27 actually when football and rugby wher bearly starting they were both called football. with time some confusion started to occur so football(soccer) was later called mainly by americans soccer due to the governing body called the FA football association some used the term soccer beacause of therm football aSSOCiation "ssoc" it was used to to differ the two sports football and rugby the Americans called footbal football assoc. so they started using the word soccer.

  21. David Kirk says:

    @TheSaxismylife my team uses the 4-2-3-1 in the recent display of world cup football and it is the new way to play free flowing football!

  22. whoops20 says:


    In holland the are, the first defender will take the center forward player. The other defender will help on the left, right or center. so in allot situations you have 2 defenders on 1 attacker

  23. AMVM says:

    The most used were 4-4-2 and 4-3-3, not it's the time of the 4-2-3-1 (Spain, Nederlands, Germany, Brazil).
    Also these are rigid formations, nowadays (1 or 2) players move and change a formation into another, for example from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-2-2-2 or even 4-2-1-3 for offense and 4-5-1 for defense.

  24. Ngooo says:

    @Armand0008 No like it is showed here. Nobody plays with 1 sweeper and 1 center back. That is ridiculous. Sweepers are always behind 2 center backs. That's the only way that position makes sense.

  25. Ngooo says:

    @whoops20 The fact center defenders go on attack sometimes on corner kicks doesn't mean that I should put them on the opposite goal when trying to explain positions. Of course players move all the time depending the situation on the game , but nobody overlaps two center defenders as a standard position. The amount of space to cover for the each defender would be ridiculously huge.

  26. Khanh Do says:

    hahaha.. dude.. nice history from wiki there.. but football (soccer) was not invented by the fucking british.. stop making the dumb claim. no one knows who invented it.
    the oldest socccer ball was made by the human head

  27. LemonGecko says:

    @whatatwist25 I'm not making a dumb claim, you can find it in almost any soccer book that talks about it's history. The concept of soccer may not have been invented originally by the british. But how the game is played is. Also the british recorded these games into their culture and taught it into their society. Thus their people traveled to other parts of the world and taught others how to play this game. If you got any substantial reference to your claim let me know. Otherwise Chillax!

  28. Borat Sagdiev says:


  29. bostonsports517 says:

    @Ngooo i no nothin bout soccer but im guessin its cuz expertvillage is full of bull shit videos that are completely wrong about sports. baseball especially

  30. Ngooo says:

    @bostonsports517 Because soccer is not that big in the US yet, there are a lot of people that have no idea about the sport and/ or never played it, teaching it to kids. I don't really know if that's the case on this video, but those graphics explaining the positions, are just bizarre to say the least.

  31. Ngooo says:

    @daking594 That depends on what's your strategy. A very standard and balanced positioning is a LINE of 4, with 2 center defenders and 2 side backs. Some people prefer to favor drastically their defensive game against strong attacking teams, so they use 5 defenders: 2 centerbacks, 1 sweeper behind them and basically covering any mistake, and 2 side backs. Some offensive and agressive teams that have reliable defenders use only 3 defenders: 2 centerbacks and 1 sweeper. Those 3 are the most common.

  32. bostonsports517 says:

    @Ngooo its not about soccer, its about expertvillage having absolute bull shit videos. period

  33. Ngooo says:

    @Total90Football4 Maybe u play in a very small field. What kind of defenders are the 3 on the front? Are those 3 centerbacks ? Or 2 sidebacks and 1 centerback? Either way that's not common or practical on an actual soccer field. The first case would be a ridiculously defensive formation cause u would force whatever side midfielders u have to defend a lot. And on the second case, as I explained, it doesn't make any sense to have a sweeper if there's only 1 cb ahead of him.

  34. Ngooo says:

    @Total90Football4 There's no professional team in the world using such extremely defensive system. That was exactly my point, if u have 3 CBs ur forcing ur side midfielders to come back and end up with 6 defenders. That's horrible for the game. I've seen youth leagues playing with 1, 2 ,7 defenders, cause there are coaches at that level that don't even know the basic rules. The fact that is done doesn't mean it is effective, or that facilitates good playmaking.

  35. Ngooo says:

    @Total90Football4 It is not used by pro teams because it isn't effective. Why use it with younger teams? Pro teams play against teams of their level, and so do youth leagues. It's the same thing. OF course u conceded only one goal, u have too many defenders, so that's to be expected. The problem with that is that ur playmaking and scoring ability it is seriously affected and the game becomes dull and boring. I'd rather concede 3 goals but losing trying to play the beautiful game.

  36. Ngooo says:

    @Total90Football4 It is not used by pro teams because it isn't effective. Why use it with younger teams? Pro teams play against teams of their level, and so do youth leagues. It's the same thing. OF course u conceded only one goal, u have too many defenders, so that's to be expected. The problem with that is that ur playmaking and scoring ability it is seriously affected and the game becomes dull and boring. I'd rather concede 3 goals but losing while trying to play the beautiful game.

  37. Ngooo says:

    @Total90Football4 Fair enough. It's just a matter of style in the end.

  38. Jose Portillo says:

    @Ngooo its because there is a sweeper and a stopper in the middle

  39. juzwannawatch67 says:

    if u ain't no punk holla we won't pre-nup! we want pre-nup yeah!


  40. jibabib says:

    when did 4-4-2 ever become like this?

  41. AMVM says:

    @chritkalk Nowadays the 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3/ 4-1-2-3 are the most common.

  42. AMVM says:

    @chritkalk I said the 4-3-3/ 4-1-2-3, as opposed to the flat 4-3-3.

    When playing the triangular 4-3-3 (or modern 4-3-3) 1 of of the midfielders is a destroyer and stays lower then the other 2.

    Barcelona tends to play that way, Chelsea under Mourinho , and Porto.
    At Barcelona Busquets is the deepest midfielder, then comes Xavi and on the same line or a bit higher is Iniesta.

  43. AMVM says:

    @chritkalk Porto, Lyon, Blackpool and Chelsea as well, and Manchester, Arsenal and AC Milan occasionally.

    Roma at half time (against Bayern) changed to a triunghiular 4-3-3 with De Rossi deep then Brighi and Simplicio higher.

    Portugal and Russia also play formation.

  44. Jeanne Mariz says:

    The milo team is gonna visit our school this monday…and i really have to prepare for it….there are three events…that i should choose from…'s soccer,basketball & baseball!!!so excited bout it!

  45. qsuad says:

    3-5-2 is not one of the most common formations.

  46. anthony martinez says:


  47. Pepsimaximo1 says:

    @qsuad you can't really tell what is the most common because every team has a different strategy, but its most common for a formation to have more midfield and defense, than attacking players

  48. CY says:

    @Thereisalwaysmore Association Football and Association Soccer are both universally accepted terms. Some countries actually don't call it either. Don't see what the big deal is. Football, Soccer, same thing.

  49. LemonGecko says:

    @colddistrictype actually i got no problem calling it either name, but most or all Europeans, N. Americans & Latin America tends to disagree. For "we" americans, Football is "American" football that's closely associated with Rugby football using your arms to hold the ball with the exception of wearing protective gear. Soccer is playing the ball with your feet and not so much by the hand with the exception of the goalies. My only guess America didn't get the memo in the history lesson! LOL

  50. LemonGecko says:

    Respond to this video…
    but thanks for the opinion anyway.

  51. qsuad says:

    @Pepsimaximo1 You said "but its most common for a formation to have more midfield and defense, than attacking players" isn't this obvious? you only have a few formations with 3 forwards the rest are either two or one forwards.

  52. Pepsimaximo1 says:

    @qsuad Yes it's obvious, but I only said it so some dickhead didn't come and comment back at me saying "Oh but there's always going to be not many attackers" or something.

  53. qsuad says:

    @Pepsimaximo1 Oh ok.

  54. LemonGecko says:

    @14ax2 because most of the world (the countries that do play this sport and because it's the dominate sport in that country), calls it by the name football. Also because most people don't know that Soccer is still the proper name. Although the name Soccer is not popular. read my earlier comments and you'll see what i mean. Exp. Paintball is an airsoft sport. So If I go around saying hey I love playing paint airsoft then I get looked downed upon because I'm not calling it paintball.

  55. LemonGecko says:

    @14ax2 Umm clearly you didn't read my any of my earlier arguments. Because that's exactly what i stated. but whatever dude, if you feel that you done good. So be it. That's what I have been stating time and again that soccer is another name for football, actually its a variant of football.

  56. LemonGecko says:

    @14ax2 who said I was complaining? your twisting my words around. I'm just clarifying the confusion people are having with the The US calling soccer soccer.

  57. LemonGecko says:

    @zctaylor75 Dude relax! calm down. Idk what your talking about. If you have a complaint complain to the author of "The Soccer Book" by David Goldblatt. I got my history lesson on Soccer from that book.

  58. LemonGecko says:

    @14ax2 Hey look who just complained to me a British person. He/she goes by the User name zctaylor75

  59. Chris McAteer says:

    uhm one of the most common formations in football is deffinetly NOT 352.

  60. Tyraniix says:

    Middlefield forward 🙂

  61. xWhocaresxX says:

    @zctaylor75 can there plz not be at least 1 guy to bitch about wheather its called football or soccer
    and guess what league that fc dallas plays for mls major league SOCCER

  62. Brain245able says:

    4-4-2 FTW

  63. Jared Bohan says:

    Americans have to call it soccer because of how big American football is if we would say my favorite sport is football people would get mixed up

  64. ballabate says:

    press 9 for jizz in my pants

  65. jackiechanmonro says:

    1:29 Who will use a libero in our days? These days we have 2 central defenders.

  66. unknown user says:

    press 4 for handy

  67. WavyNibba says:

    @SWeeX3103 ur an idiot

  68. Toasted says:

    @SWeeX3103 wow…noobs these days….knowing nothing about football

  69. eh2015 says:

    give me some thumbs up so SWeeX1303 gets off the top comments

  70. Deathnoteilove says:

    This really helped! Thanks! Before I would basically play with out knowing the names or proper soccer terms, so now I kind of have a better understanding of the game, compared to before. 🙂

  71. djgogoman11 says:

    What is the difference between a forward and a striker?

  72. Kiara Gamez says:

    HaHa. They said that the most important player is midfield. I play midfield on my youth soccer team ThunderBolts!!

  73. marioni bruno says:

    For all beginners or decent soccer players out there who want to be a good soccer player. LISTEN to THESE TIPS and you will be a good soccer player.

    1. know how to control a soccer ball
    2. "DON'T let the ball bounce" (you know what i mean)
    3.lift your head up when you have the soccer ball ( Vision)
    4. Pass the ball
    5. know atleast how to shoot with accuracy and decent power
    6. Use your BRAINS (know what to do)

    p.s its not rocket science……

  74. Rommel Sharma says:

    Excellent and thanks!

  75. Jonathan says:

    3Y4UProductions explains it way better than this bull

  76. iamthereaImaster says:


  77. jake bird says:

    its football not soccer

  78. BrasileiroTimmo says:

    In the 80s I had a buddy from Colombia who tried to "infect" me with soccer by taking me to our Pittsburgh Spirit indoor soccer matches. I enjoyed his company, the beer and the noise, but as a rabid fan of our Super Bowl Pittsburgh Steelers (American football) I just couldn't get the same thrill from soccer. That changed with last year's women's match between Japan and the USA and two visits to Rio. Brazil is in perpetual "futebol fever" and it is CONTAGIOUS! Time to actually LEARN the game:)

  79. Andres Torres P. says:

    Yeah, I tried to search By Football But all I could find was a bunch of idiots with helmets

  80. Maid Mujan says:

    1:30 Who the fuck drew those center backs?

  81. Mike Diligent says:

    not soccer football as you need to use your foot unlike rugby

  82. Cian says:

    It all depends on what type of team you have, you need an a pretty amazing midfield to play 3-5-2 and then again at the end of the day everybody has their own opinion, I like 4-4-2.

  83. Joe Barner says:


  84. Andres Torres P. says:

    only in Us Because the rest of the continent call it Football (in english) Fútbol (in spanish) Futebol (portuguese)

  85. BoringCourtJester says:

    Soccer is a nickname for Association Football no? Why is the rest of the offended by a simple nickname? You know what we're talking about when we say soccer, and we know what you're talking about when you say football. Get over it.

  86. Steve Worrell says:

    owned! aadd to that italy at euro 2012

  87. Abshir Abdi says:

    thumbs up if you love soccer

  88. Abshir Abdi says:

    thumps up if you think this vid was awesome

  89. Abshir Abdi says:

    if you want to learn to play soccer go 2

  90. Abshir Abdi says:

    this is a great vid go to foe vids like this one thumbs up if you visited and liked it

  91. Abshir Abdi says:

    Top comment!

  92. Abshir Abdi says:

    Your a noob not Argentina

  93. Abshir Abdi says:

    Great vid. guys go to

  94. MartinAv_ Official says:

    4-3-3 is the most common formation and the most useful

  95. Zatan says:

    Soccer? It's name is football.

  96. Leah Christine says:

    I'm gonna try out for the soccer team at my school and I don't know how to really play lol. I mean I do sort of but.. I don't know all the positions and stuff :/ I'm nervous I'm gonna mess up and look stupid -___-

  97. JJtheGoat 18 says:

    thank you man

  98. MrPazGaming says:

    Futbol in spanish, and maybe some other languages. In English from UK, its football, and a lot of other places say soccer or a word that derives from soccer

  99. Guido García says:

    What should I play?
    I am 5'8''/1,73m
    5-6/10 dribbling
    8/10 pace (13,56sec in 100m)
    7/10 stamina (but working at it)
    5/10 defense (would've put 4 but i like playing aggressive)
    7-8/10 shooting (both accuracy and shot power)
    8/10 passing
    good vision and positioning in the field
    I'm not that strong but like playing aggressive anyway

  100. Christian boy says:

    """""" SOCCER """"""

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