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Soccer Positions – Easiest/Best/Popular: Where to Play?

There are 4 basic positions in soccer and some are easier, better, and more popular than others.

To know what position is best for you, I’ll show you the skills and demands needed.

Let’s look at the 4 basic positions and answer these questions. You’ll know where to play in no time.

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What are the 4 basic positions in soccer?

The 4 basic positions in soccer are goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, and forward.

Soccer Positions - Defense Midfield Forward. Field Diagram. SoccerBlade.com
Soccer Positions – Defense Midfield Forward. Field Diagram. SoccerBlade.com

Here’s a breakdown of the roles and responsibilities of each position.

Goalkeeper

Goalkeepers (or goalies) protect the frame. It’s their job to stop the ball from crossing the goal line for a goal. Goalies are the only players in soccer allowed to use their hands.

Defender

Defenders protect the goalie. Their job is to prevent the other team from scoring goals. They form a line in front of the goalie and stop attacks from the opposition team.

Midfielder

Midfielders are the link between defenders and forwards. They have to help defenders stop opposing attacks and help forwards score goals.

Positioned in the middle of the field, midfielders are the ‘engine’ of a soccer team.

Forward

Forwards attack the opposing goal line. It’s their job to score goals. They are positioned close to the opposing team’s goalie, ready to score goals when the chance comes.

Let’s look at the 4 basic positions, outline challenges and demands, and identify easier parts.

Goalkeeper: Challenges and demands

Goalkeepers often have to dive or jump to stop goals. This takes athleticism and is demanding on the body. Also, they need great concentration.

Goalies might not be called to action for a long time, but they must be ready when a shot comes.

Goalkeeper: Easier parts

Goalkeepers have to run the least out of any soccer player. This means they get more time to rest and recover.

Defender: Challenges and demands

Defenders have to stop forwards, who are often very fast players. This takes good positioning and communication with other defenders.

As a protection for the goalie, defenders are under pressure to stop the ball from passing them.

Defender: Easier parts

Defenders don’t have to run too much. They don’t have to hold the ball much either, which is difficult. Clearing it away from goal is their main job.

Midfielder: Challenges and demands

Midfielders run the most out of any soccer player. That’s why they’re the ‘engine’ of the team.

They also have to hold the ball, pass well, defend, and attack, creating chances for forwards or scoring goals themselves.

Midfielder: Easier parts

There isn’t as much pressure on midfielders to defend or attack. For instance, if the team concedes goals, they won’t get blamed like goalies or defenders.

Forward: Challenges and demands

forwards must score goals. There’s a lot of pressure on forwards to do that.

Also, they go up against defenders who’re often bigger and stronger than them. Being a forward is physically demanding.

Forward: Easier parts

Forwards don’t have to run as much as midfielders. They have minimal defensive duties as well, so they can stay near the opposition goal.

Easy soccer positions

An easy position for you as a soccer player is in a place where you have the most attributes.

If you’re bad at shooting and you’re a striker, it will be a difficult position for you.

Find a position that fits well for you and your team.

There’s no outright easy position in soccer. Each position has its own unique challenges and demands, as well as some easier parts.

SPAIN, MADRID - SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 UEFA Champions League Matchday 1, Real Madrid CF - Manchester City FC, 32, on September 18, 2012 in Madrid, Spain —
SPAIN, MADRID – SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 UEFA Champions League Matchday 1, Real Madrid CF – Manchester City FC, 32, on September 18, 2012 in Madrid, Spain —

What is the easiest position in soccer?

The central positions are the most difficult. That leaves us to choose between the wingers and the fullbacks for the easiest positions in soccer.

Let’s go into a little more detail within 3 of the 4 basic positions. The goalkeeper won’t feature here, because it’s one of the hardest positions, if not the hardest.

  • Defender – this includes central defenders and right/left fullbacks.

Central defenders are positioned in front of the goalie, while fullbacks stay at the sides of the field.

Often, because they’re positioned in front of the goalie, central defenders see more of the action when the opposing team attacks than fullbacks do.

  • Midfielder – this includes defensive midfielder, central midfielder, attacking midfielder, and right/left-wingers.

Defensive midfielders play directly in front of the central defenders, while central midfielders are positioned either side of the center circle.

Attacking midfielders play in the center close to the forwards, and wingers stay at the sides, further up the field than fullbacks.

  • Forward – this includes center-forward and second striker.

Center-forwards play directly in front of the opposition goal, while second strikers play slightly behind the center-forwards.

Now that we’ve got a better idea of the various roles within these 3 basic positions, let’s choose the easiest position.

Because soccer frames are centered on the field, a lot of the play happens in central areas.

This means the players in central positions see more action. And the more active players are involved, the harder it’s for them.

  • Wingers see more of the ball than fullbacks and have a lot of responsibility to create chances for forwards to score goals.

Also, as well as running down the touchlines, wingers have to cut inside to central areas more than fullbacks do.

  • Fullbacks don’t have to run as much as wingers, and a fullback doesn’t have as much responsibility in defending as central defenders do.

For fullbacks, there isn’t as much pressure to stop the opposing team.

So, the fullback can be seen as the easiest soccer position, because they don’t have to run as much as other positions.

They see less of the ball at the sides (unless you play for Liverpool), and there’s less pressure to defend compared to central defenders.

Most fun position in soccer?

The most fun and popular position is a striker/forward, who scores goals, wins matches, and gets the glory. But this is not the same for all players.

Depending on the player, any position can be fun in soccer.

For players who like using their hands and jumping and diving and stopping goals, the goalkeeper can be super fun.

Being a defender can be fun for players who like to communicate, organize teammates, and block the opposition team from scoring goals.

Like running a lot and being involved in defense and attack? Midfield will be heaps of fun.

For players who love seeing the ball crossing the goal line, get forward and have lots of fun.

So, there isn’t one most fun position in soccer. All of the positions can be fun. It’s down to the player, and all types of players can have fun in soccer.

What is the best position in soccer?

The best position depends on the player’s strengths and weaknesses. Below we look at how to find your position based on your likes, dislikes, strengths, and weakness.

Again, this one is down to individual players. What the best position is for one player might not be the best for another.

For instance, if a player can’t catch the ball when it’s going towards the goal, then the goalkeeper isn’t the best position for them.

When a player doesn’t like blocking the ball or tackling opposition players, then the defender isn’t the best position for them. Or midfielder, either.

Players who don’t have the endurance to run a lot, won’t be best positioned as midfielders.

If a player can’t shoot on frame, then forward isn’t the best position for them.

There’s no one best position in soccer, because it comes down to the individual players and what they’re good at, or not so good at.

A forward – who doesn’t love scoring goals? Who doesn’t feel great scoring the winning goal for their team? Seeing the ball cross the goal line is an amazing sight.

It’s important to note there’s more to soccer than simply scoring goals, but scoring feels great. That’s why a lot of players want to play as forwards.

Getting close to the opposition goal increases the chance of scoring goals and being the hero.

That’d make forward the most popular position in soccer.

How do I find my best position in soccer?

To answer this question, we can look at a players’ likes and dislikes, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s create general player profiles for each position as a guide, and you can see what position suits you best.

Goalkeeper

  • Likes – jumping, diving, catching, blocking, kicking/throwing long.
  • Dislikes – running, shooting, tackling.
  • Strengths – concentration, tall, strong, agile, kicking, throwing, jumping.
  • Weaknesses – running, shooting, passing, ball control.

Central Defender

  • Likes – blocking, tackling, organizing, communicating.
  • Dislikes – running long distances, shooting.
  • Strengths – positioning, tall, strong, blocking, and tackling.
  • Weaknesses – running, shooting, ball control.

Fullback

  • Likes – sprinting, blocking, tackling, crossing.
  • Dislikes – running long distances, shooting.
  • Strengths – positioning, fast, strong, blocking, and tackling.
  • Weaknesses – shooting, passing.

Defensive Midfielder

  • Likes – running long distances, blocking, tackling, passing.
  • Dislikes – sprinting, shooting.
  • Strengths – endurance, strength, blocking and tackling, passing, ball control.
  • Weaknesses – shooting, speed.

Central Midfielder

  • Likes – running long distances, blocking, tackling, passing, shooting.
  • Dislikes – sprinting.
  • Strengths – endurance, strength, blocking and tackling, shooting, passing, ball control.
  • Weaknesses – speed.

Attacking Midfielder

  • Likes – running long distances, passing, shooting, sprinting.
  • Dislikes – blocking and tackling.
  • Strengths – endurance, speed, shooting, passing, ball control.
  • Weaknesses – blocking and tackling.

Winger

  • Likes – sprinting, passing, shooting, crossing.
  • Dislikes – running long distances, blocking, and tackling.
  • Strengths – speed, shooting, passing, crossing, ball control.
  • Weaknesses – endurance, blocking, and tackling.

Second Striker

  • Likes – shooting, sprinting, passing.
  • Dislikes – running long distances, blocking, and tackling.
  • Strengths – speed, shooting, passing, ball control.
  • Weaknesses – endurance, blocking, and tackling.

Center-forward

  • Likes – shooting, sprinting.
  • Dislikes – running long distances, blocking and tackling, passing.
  • Strengths – speed, shooting, ball control.
  • Weaknesses – endurance, blocking and tackling, ball control.

This is only a guide to give you an idea of your best position. It’s a good idea to play in the positions that interest you to get an even better idea of your best position in soccer.

Sometimes a player might start out in one position and move to another.

For example, Lionel Messi played in a few different positions as a youngster moving through the levels at Barcelona.

Messi finding his best position

Even when Messi began his career with the first team, he played as a winger. And then Pep Guardiola started using him as a false 9 – an unconventional striker who moves deep into midfield to draw central defenders out of position.

So, try out some positions based on your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses, and find the best position for you.

What soccer position should I play?

This depends on what you want to achieve. If you’re playing for fun with your friends, then have fun trying out different positions.

But if you want to play in your best position for a team and win games, then more thought is needed.

Think about what you like and dislike and think about your strengths and weaknesses, as shown in the previous section. This will give you a good idea of what position you should play.

For instance, if you don’t have good running speed, then fullback or winger probably isn’t the best position for you. But maybe your ball control, passing, blocking, and tackling are really good.

That would likely mean central midfield or defensive midfield would be a good position for you.

Weigh up what you like/dislike to do in soccer against your strengths/weaknesses to find the soccer position in which you should play.

What does your soccer position say about you?

Your soccer position can say a lot about you. This might be physical, like speed for a winger and endurance for a central midfielder, or it might be mental, like concentration for a goalkeeper.

  • Or maybe you’re a center-forward. That could say you’re obsessed with scoring goals. You dream about scoring.
  • For those central defenders out there, it says you’re a good organizer and good communicator. You’re also strong and put your body on the line for your team.

Whatever your soccer position says about you, remember that every player has their strengths, and no matter what position you play, you bring value to the team.

What’s the most valuable position?

Soccer is a team sport. That means no one position is more valuable than another. All soccer positions are equally valuable.

Without the goalkeeper and defenders, the team would leak too many goals and it’d be hard to win games.

The midfielders link defense and attack, and without them it’d be hard to move the ball from one end of the field to the other. They also help defend against goals and help create/score goals.

The forwards score the most goals in soccer. If a team doesn’t score goals, they can’t win games. The best the team could do would be a 0-0 tie. So, forwards are valuable.

But scoring goals is no good if the other team scores an equal amount or more. That’s why all positions in soccer are equally valuable. 

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