As a soccer player do you need to be strong? What are the physical attributes that are needed to compete with your best ability? Let’s take a look at what makes the best soccer players.
Are soccer players strong? Soccer players are strong in all aspects of the physique. You need to be strong in the lower and upper body to compete at the highest level. Both tall and small players can compete. The key aspects for a soccer player are strength, stamina, speed, skills and, agility.
There are many ways that one can determine strength. Commonly how much can you bench press? There are a number of factors that go towards strength.
Strong players usually play in positions where they can be effective. Center back are generally tall and strong to be able to deal with strong attackers.
The height of center backs at their shortest is 6 feet tall, whereas attackers can be short or tall depending on their attributes.
Center backs are required to deal with crosses coming in from the wing and cannot be beaten easily in the air. If a player is too bulky with muscles, they won’t have the flexibility that is required to turn quickly.
A combination of muscles throughout the body is required to compete at the highest level.
One of the strongest soccer players is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, let’s take a look at his stats;
- Height in Feet: 6′ 5”
- Weight in Pounds: 209 pounds
- Chest Size: 39 inches
- Black-belt in taekwondo
Zlatan is one tough cookie! He has the physical attributes and more importantly to be strong you need to be aggressive.
Take a look at the video to see some of the strongest players in the world of soccer.
Of course, the covering image is Photoshopped. The video shows that there are some very strong players in the world of soccer. But does strength work for all types of players?
One of my favorite players was Roy Keane, who played for Manchester United. He is only 5′ 10″ tall, but he makes up for it in his aggression and determination. The rules have changed a bit since he played, now he would not stay on the field for long! Take a look at how tough he was (and naughty!).
It does not take for a football player to be tall, to be strong. There are many aspects to the game. Roy Keane was strong mentally to be able to stand up against other players that were 6′ 5″ tall.
The Tallest Soccer Players
Strong people are associated with their body build and height. Here in this chart, there are the tallest players from the World Cup in Russia 2018;
The average height of a man in the United States is 175 cm tall. The figures above are of the top ten and now let’s look at the shortest teams on average;
The bottom five teams in the graph are above the height of the average American. These figures suggest that soccer players are most likely to be above average height.
One of the greatest players that are playing today and that has ever played is Linoel Messi. He stands at 170 cm tall. He is strong enough to able to battle against the tallest players. So strong players can be small.
Soccer players cover a lot of ground over 90 minutes. The average distance a player covers is 10km 6.2 miles. To cover this distance, it is easier to do it on a long-distance. Soccer players have to do a lot an intense sprinting. Stopping and starting, which take the energy out of the legs.
For any of the heavier players, their distance covered will be a lot shorter than most. The surface that the player runs on also has an effect. In the MLS the field is mostly artificial turf, which is easier to run on than grass which is used in Europe. When the soil is soaked from the rain, it takes more toil on the legs.
Upper Body Strength
Soccer players are often in 50-50 dual with another player. If a player does not have the upper body strength they will lose possession. All professional players go to the gym to work-out their upper body.
The core muscles of a person can be the most effective. Those players that have a strong back will often win duals and be flexible when needed to turn,
Lower Body Strength
The legs are key parts of player physic. There is a lot of running to be done on the field and then there is the strength needed to be able to hit the ball with power.
Short sprints are often required for a player. These sprints build up the quad muscles in the legs.
Take a look at the workouts of the professional players in the gym.
Combination of Strength and Agility
Overall a soccer player needs to be strong to be able to compete. The variety of demands needed on the soccer field varies a great deal. Soccer players need to be strong in all aspects of strength.
If a boxer were to take to the field, they would be outdone by the players. Likewise, if a soccer player were to take to the ring, they would see the canvas.
Soccer players are not the strongest in terms of ‘pound per pound’. But it depends on how it is measured. A soccer player needs to be fit and strong in all aspects of the game.
The beauty of soccer is that you don’t need to be 200 pounds and 6′ 5″ tall to compete. Some of the greatest players have been below the average height. It’s a game that is suited to all physique.
Normally a professional soccer player will lift weights 3 times per week. Recovery is needed for the day in between so they don’t suffer burnout in the long season.
Soccer players take part in aerobic exercises which help with their abs along with weight training. The main training is cardiovascular, which will build the core abs.
Some soccer players can lift up to 400 pounds in a deadlift weight. But muscle bulk is difficult to carry on the field.
I’ve played soccer across the U.S.A, Europe and I’ve coached many teams. Soccer is life for me, and with my experience in the game, I want to share my insights into the beautiful game with you.
Joel Powel – Soccer Blade