A Soccer Summary (All You Need to Know!)

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Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. There are an estimated 3.5 to 4 billion fans worldwide. Soccer has origins dating back 2,000 years!

The game we know today began to grow in prominence when the official Cambridge Rules were established in 1848. Since then, the game has exploded into a worldwide obsession. 

Large soccer stadium full of fans - (A summary of soccer)
Packed out stadiums are commonplace anytime a game is played | Image courtesy of Creative Commons.

Throughout this article, we’ll be going into more detail on the game of soccer and the above topics. 

Summary of Soccer Rules

A brief explanation of  the rules of soccer;

  1. It’s a game between two teams, each of which begins with 11 players. 
  2. The game is split into two halves of 45 minutes.
  3. It’s played on a rectangular field with goalposts on either end. If the ball is kicked between the goalposts, a goal is awarded to the attacking team.
  4. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposition. 
  5. The game is officiated by a referee.
  6. Only the goalkeeper of each team is permitted to handle the ball. They can only do so inside their own penalty box. 
  7. Excessive physicality, pushing, pulling, kicking, tripping and handballs are all against the rules. If a foul is committed, the team who carried it out is penalized. 
  8. A free-kick is given if a foul occurs outside of the penalty box.
  9. If a player is fouled in the opposition penalty box, a penalty kick is awarded. This is a kick on goal, 12 yards out. Only the striker and the goalie are allowed inside the box until after the kick has been taken. 
  10. Players deemed to commit a bad foul can be given a yellow card (warning). A second yellow card, or a particularly bad foul results in a red card. The player who receives a red card is ejected from the field, and their team will play the rest of the game one player short.
  11. A game can end in a tie, but in some circumstances there are tie-breakers. The most common being extra-time, golden goal, and a penalty shootout.
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Handball in Soccer - Area of the arm
Handball in Soccer – Area of the arm

Soccer Positions Summary

There are 3 main positions in soccer: defenders, midfielders, and forwards. Although new roles and positions are introduced to the game as tactics change, here are the most common positions in soccer.

Soccer field positions
A typical 4-4-2 formation.

Soccer Summary: Defenders Position

#1 Goalkeeper

A GK is the only player permitted to touch the ball with their hands when the game is live. They may do so within their penalty box.

Their main functions as the last line of defense are to stop shots and prevent goals. 

#2/3 Full Backs

The left and right backs are in charge of defending the wide areas of the field. They’re quick, tenacious and very fit. They often back up their midfielders in attacking situations. 

Another variation of this position is a wing-back.

#4/5 Center-Backs

They usually play as a pair but we often see formations setting out with 3 center-backs. Their main role is to stop any central attacks that come their way. These players are usually tall and strong.

They must be aerially dominant and skilled in defense (tackling, blocking, intercepting, and marking). 


#6/8 Center-Midfield

These are the all-rounders. CMs are important for creating attacks, but also have defensive duties. On average, CMs cover more ground than any other player.

In the modern game, there are many variations to this position, some far more attacking/defensive than others. 

Some other CM roles are attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, box-to-box midfielder, and deep-lying playmaker.

#7/11 Wingers

 Wingers are usually very attacking. They’re skilled, fast, and can beat a defender 1 v 1. For many teams, wingers are responsible for creating goalscoring chances. Many great wingers also chip in with their fair share of goals. 


#9/10 Strikers

Strikers come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. There are target men, center-forwards, inside forwards, false 9s, and second strikers to name a few. Although these roles differ, the main job of most strikers is to score and assist. 

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating a goal
Forwards like Cristiano Ronaldo get lots of praise for goal scoring | Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Physical and Skill Characteristics of Players

Physically, soccer players aren’t required to be a certain size. The average height of a player falls within that of an average person. 

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Players are lean, extremely fit, and tend to have large leg muscles. This is due to the game’s requirements (sprinting, jogging, jumping, and kicking).

What are The 8 Skills in Soccer?

Soccer players are highly skilled. They must be technical and physically gifted. Here are the main aspects of a soccer player’s skillset:

  1. Ball control: when receiving or moving with the ball.
  2. Kicking technique: passing, shooting, crossing.
  3. Speed: over short and long distances.
  4. Quick feet.
  5. Low center of gravity.
  6. Endurance/physical fitness.
  7. Agility.
  8. Vision.

The modern game has a global following. People from all over the world follow the club and international tournaments. 

Professional Soccer Leagues Summary

There are hundreds of professional leagues worldwide but some are far more popular than others. The most popular leagues contain the biggest franchises and are contested by the best players in the world.

Best Soccer Leagues in the World

  • English Premier League (England)
  • Bundesliga (Germany)
  • La Liga (Spain)
  • Serie A (Italy)
  • Ligue 1 (France)
  • Major League Soccer (USA)
  • Eredivisie (Netherlands)
  • Argentine Primera (Argentina)
  • Brasileirao (Brazil)

International Soccer Summary

France celebrating the world cup win
France won the most recent World Cup in 2018 | Image courtesy of Kremlin.

The best players from a country come together to play international soccer. There are friendly international games, continental tournaments, as well as worldwide tournaments. 

The single largest soccer tournament in the world is the World Cup. It takes place every four years. 32 teams are eligible for each tournament via qualifying rounds. The qualifiers take place amongst teams from a specific region.  

Summary Table of World Cup Wins

CountryNumber of World Cup Wins
Messi and Ronaldo on a soccer field
Many people believe that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the greatest players ever | Image courtesy of Too V-i.

Best Soccer Players Summary

There have been countless legends in the game of soccer. Some are global superstars, and some are cult heroes, specific to a franchise or country.

It’s impossible to name them all, but some of the greats are below. 

Famous Soccer Players in history:

  • Pele
  • Diego Maradona
  • Franz Beckenbauer
  • Johan Cruyff
  • Garrincha
  • Zico
  • Romario
  • Ronaldo 
  • George Best
  • David Beckham
  • Zinedine Zidane
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Great Current Soccer Players

  • Lionel Messi
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Neymar
  • Luis Suarez
  • Sergio Ramos
  • Kaka
  • Ronaldinho
  • Andreas Iniesta
  • Xavi
  • Thierry Henry

For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

Who makes the official rules in soccer?

The IFAB (International Football Association Board) rule and govern The Laws of the Game. They have done so since 1886.

Do the soccer rules differ from country to country?

No. FIFA works to ensure that the rules of soccer are consistent in each country. However, finances can vary a lot, leading to some countries having better technology and resources (e.g. VAR and goal-line technology).

Who invented soccer?

Soccer existed in various forms for around 2,000 years. The earliest form dates back to China. However, such versions from so long ago do not truly represent today’s sport. Soccer in it’s more organized form was established in 1848 when the Cambridge rules (UK) were established. Therefore, the answer to this question is up to interpretation. 

8e83cfb63d54c9260fa694b185c6bca8?s=150&d=mp&r=g ○ Soccer Blade
Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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Soccer Lifestyle FAQ

How Much Do Soccer Referees Get Paid?

The salary for a referee ranges from $27 to $50 per youth game. The MLS pays $900 per game and the highest-paid referees are in Spain, they get $6,354 per game!

How much does a stadium cost?

Professional soccer stadiums can cost from 250$ upwards to 1.5 billion dollars. With capacities from 25,000 to 60,000 as an average.

How To Avoid Stomach Cramps While Playing Soccer

Avoiding nasty stomach cramps while playing soccer can be achieved by proper hydration methods, ensuring that your body has all the correct minerals, and properly stretching before the game.

How much do players get paid in the MLS?

The highest-paid player is Carlos Vela, who earns $6.3 million per year playing for Los Angeles FC.
However, the average base salary for a senior roster, a non-designated player in the league is $398,725. While this is a lot of money, it is significantly less than Vela’s whopper wage.

What are the most common scores in the English Premier League?

The most common score in the Premier League is a 1-0 home win, followed by a 2-0 home win, and finally a 2-1 home win. The away victories follow, with 2-1 victories being more prevalent than 1-0 victories.

Thanks for reading our articles - we hope you've enjoyed them - have fun playing, coaching, and or watching soccer.

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