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Encyclopedia > Football (soccer) positions
All the positions. Note: Centre Forward can be interchanged with a Striker. Common abbreviations used.
All the positions. Note: Centre Forward can be interchanged with a Striker. Common abbreviations used.

In the sport of Football (soccer), each of the eleven players on a team is assigned to a particular position on the field of play. A team is made up of one goalkeeper and ten outfield players who fill various defensive, midfield and attacking positions depending on the formation deployed. These positions describe both the player's main role and their area of operation on the pitch. As the game has evolved, tactics and team formations have changed, and the names of the positions and the duties involved have evolved as well. Image File history File links Gnome_globe_current_event. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A football goalkeeper leaves the ground to parry a shot on goal In many team sports, a goalkeeper (termed goaltender, netminder, goalie, or keeper in some sports) is a designated player that is charged with directly preventing the opposite team from scoring by defending the goal. ... The outfield is a sporting term used in cricket and baseball to refer to the area of the field of play further from the batsman or batter than the infield. ... In Association football, the formation describes how the players in a team are positioned on the pitch. ...


The fluid nature of the modern game means that positions in football are not as formally defined as in sports such as rugby or American football. Even so, most players will play in a limited range of positions throughout their career, as each position requires a particular set of skills. Footballers who are able to play comfortably in numerous positions are referred to as "utility players". For other uses, see Rugby (disambiguation). ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ...


However, the players are only loosely defined into a position under Total Football tactics. This tactic required players who were extremely versatile, such as Johan Cruijff, who could play every position on the pitch apart from goalkeeper. In football (soccer), Total Football is a system where a player who moves out of his position is replaced by another from his team, thus retaining their intended organizational structure. ... Hendrik Johannes Cruijff ( ) - often spelled Cruyff outside the Netherlands; see IJ (digraph)); born April 25, 1947 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football manager/coach and former player. ...

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Goalkeeper (GK)

Main article: Goalkeeper (football)
A football goalkeeper leaves the ground to parry a shot on goal
A football goalkeeper leaves the ground to parry a shot on goal

The goalkeeper is the most specialised position in football. A goalkeeper's job is mainly defensive: to guard the team's goal from being breached (to not let the other team score). Goalkeepers are the only players allowed to handle the ball, however they are restricted to doing so only within their penalty area; for this reason, they wear jerseys that distinguish them from other outfield players and the referee. If a goalkeeper is sent off or injured, and there is no substitute goalkeeper available, an outfield player has to take the goalkeeper's place. A goalkeeper. ... Image File history File links Soccer_goalkeeper. ... Image File history File links Soccer_goalkeeper. ... A goalkeeper. ... The penalty area (colloquiallly also known as the 18-yard box, penalty box or simply the box), is an area of an association football field. ... A substitute is a player in football who is brought on to the pitch during a match in exchange for an existing player. ...


The discipline of goalkeeping is so specialized that it is virtually unheard of in the professional game for a goalkeeper to play in any other position. One notable exception is Jorge Campos of Mexico, who played effectively as a striker when called upon. A goalkeeper with good technical skill may opt to take his team's penalties and free kicks, though this is rare as the goalkeeper would be caught out of position if possession is conceded immediately after the kick. José Luis Chilavert (now retired) of Vélez Sársfield and Paraguay, and Rogério Ceni of São Paulo FC and Brazil are well-known free-kick and penalty specialists with over 60 goals to their names. This article is about people called professionals. ... Jorge Campos Navarrete (nicknamed El Brody or Chiqui-Campos) (born October 15, 1966) is a Mexican football coach and former goalkeeper, one of the most notable Mexican players of the 1990s. ... Bonaventure Kalou of the Ivory Coast takes a penalty against Dragoslav Jevrić of S&M during the 2006 World Cup. ... A free-kick in football describes the situation where a player on the opposing team has committed a foul, and you are given the ball to play from the position where the offence took place. ... José Luis Félix Chilavert (born July 27, 1965 in Luque, Paraguay) is a former football goalkeeper. ... For the barrio in Buenos Aires, see Vélez Sársfield (barrio) For the football club from Bosnia-Herzegovina, see Velež Mostar For the writer, see Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield is an Argentine sports club best known for its football team, based... Rogério Mücke Ceni (born January 22, 1973 in Pato Branco, Paraná, Brazil) is a Brazilian goalkeeper. ... São Paulo Futebol Clube, usually called São Paulo FC or just São Paulo, is a traditional Brazilian football team from São Paulo, founded on January 25, 1930, and re-founded on December 16, 1935. ...


Physical strength, height, jumping ability and judgement are valued qualities for goalkeepers to have in order to deal with aerial balls and agility, quick reactions and a good positional sense are all needed for shot stopping. The standard football skills of ball control, tackling, passing and dribbling are not usually required in a goalkeeper, although the introduction of the back-pass rule in the early 1990s has necessitated improvement on such skills. For other uses, see Tackle. ... In sports such as football (soccer), basketball, bandy and water polo, dribbling refers to the maneuvering of a ball around a defender through short skillful taps or kicks with either the legs (football/soccer), hands (basketball), stick (bandy) or swimming strokes (water polo). ... Even inside the penalty area, a goalkeeper cannot use his hand to catch the ball if his teammates pass back the ball to him by feet. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ...


Examples of current goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Petr Čech, Dida, Grégory Coupet, Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann, Edwin van der Sar and Jose Manuel Reina. This article is about the Italian goalkeeper. ... Iker Casillas Fernández (born May 20, 1981 in Móstoles, Madrid) is a Spanish football goalkeeper. ... Petr ÄŒech ( ) (born 20 May 1982 in Plzeň, Czechoslovakia) is a Czech international footballer who is currently a goalkeeper for Chelsea F.C. He is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world. ... Nelson de Jesus Silva (born October 7, 1973 in Irará, Bahia), best known as Dida, is a Brazilian goalkeeper. ... Grégory Coupet, (born December 31, 1972 in Le Puy-en-Velay) is a football (soccer) player from France. ... Oliver Kahn (born 15 June 1969 in Karlsruhe) is a German football goalkeeper. ... For other persons named Jens Lehmann, see Jens Lehmann (disambiguation). ... Edwin van der Sar (born October 29, 1970 in Voorhout, Netherlands) is a professional Dutch footballer who plays as a goalkeeper. ... José Manuel Reina Páez (born 31 August 1982 in Madrid, Spain), commonly known as Pepe Reina (his preferred nickname), or José Reina is a professional goalkeeper, son of famed Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Miguel Reina Santos, and currently plays club football for Liverpool. ...


Defenders

Main article: Defender (football)
A defender (in the foreground, wearing a white shirt) challenging for possession
A defender (in the foreground, wearing a white shirt) challenging for possession

Defenders or backs play behind the midfielders and their primary responsibility is to provide support to the goalkeeper, and to prevent the opposition from scoring a goal. They usually remain in the half of the field that contains the goal they are defending. Taller defenders will move forward to the opposing team's penalty box when their team takes corner kicks or free kicks, where scoring with one's head is a possibility. The term defender is now commonly used to describe any player on the team that does not currently have possession of the ball - so backs, midfielders and forwards can all be classed as defenders when trying to regain possession of the ball. The Bolton players in white are defending - the nearest player is trying to prevent the Fulham forward in cyan from crossing the ball. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Fulham_on_the_attack. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Fulham_on_the_attack. ... The Bolton players in white are defending - the nearest player is trying to prevent the Fulham forward in cyan from crossing the ball. ... The Midfield in relation to the football positions In association football, a midfielder is a player whose position of play is midway between the attacking strikers and the defenders (highlighted in blue on the diagram). ... A football goalkeeper leaves the ground to parry a shot on goal In many team sports, a goalkeeper (termed goaltender, netminder, goalie, or keeper in some sports) is a designated player that is charged with directly preventing the opposite team from scoring by defending the goal. ... In association football a corner kick is awarded if the defensive team is the last to touch the ball before it crosses its own goal line (goal line of the end of the field it is defending) outside of the goal itself (whether by kicking or off the hands of... A free-kick in football describes the situation where a player on the opposing team has committed a foul, and you are given the ball to play from the position where the offence took place. ...


Centre-back (CB)

The job of the centre-back — also called centre-halves or central defenders — is to stop opposing players, particularly the strikers, from scoring, and to bring the ball out from their penalty area. As their name suggests, they play in a central position. Most teams employ two centre backs, stationed in front of the goalkeeper. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre backs: the zonal defence, where each centre back covers a specific area of the pitch, and man-to-man marking, where each centre back has the job of covering a particular opposition player. The penalty area (colloquiallly also known as the 18-yard box, penalty box or simply the box), is an area of an association football field. ...


Centre-backs are often tall, very strong and have a good heading and tackling ability. An ability to read the game well is also a distinct advantage. Sometimes, particularly in lower leagues, centre-backs concentrate less on ball control and passing, preferring simply to clear the ball in a "safety-first" fashion. However, there is a long tradition of centre-backs having more than just rudimentary footballing skill, enabling a more possession-oriented playing style.


The position was formerly referred to as "centre-half". In the early part of the 20th century, when most teams employed the 2-3-5 formation, the row of three players were called halfbacks. As formations evolved, the central player in this trio (the centre-half), moved into a more defensive position on the field, taking the name of the position with them. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... In Association football, the formation describes how the players in a team are positioned on the pitch. ...


Good examples of centre-backs in the modern game include Paolo Maldini, Roberto Ayala, Fabio Cannavaro, Kolo Toure, Ricardo Carvalho, Rio Ferdinand, Lúcio, Alessandro Nesta, Carles Puyol, John Terry, Jamie Carragher and Lilian Thuram. Paolo Maldini (born June 26, 1968 in Milan) is an Italian footballer who plays for A.C. Milan. ... Roberto Fabián El Raton Ayala (born 14 April 1973 in Paraná) is an Argentinian football player, who currently plays for the Spanish team Real Zaragoza. ... Fabio Cannavaro, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI[1][2], (born September 13, 1973, Naples, Italy, is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer and captain of Italy who currently plays for Real Madrid. ... Kolo Abib Touré (born March 19, 1981), is an Ivorian footballer. ... Ricardo Alberto Silveira Carvalho, OIH (born May 18, 1978 in Amarante, near Porto), pron. ... Rio Gavin Ferdinand (born November 7, 1978 in Peckham, London) is an English footballer of mixed St Lucian and Anglo-Irish descent. ... Lúcio, full name Lucimar Ferreira da Silva, (born May 8, 1978 in Brasília) is a Brazilian football (soccer) defender, a 2002 FIFA World Cup winner with the Brazilian national team. ... Alessandro Nesta, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI[2][3], (born March 19, 1976 in Rome) is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer. ... Carles Puyol i Saforcada (born April 13, 1978 in La Pobla de Segur, Catalonia, Spain) is a Spanish footballer who is the current team captain of FC Barcelona. ... John George Terry (born December 7, 1980 in Barking, London) is an English professional football player. ... James Carragher (born January 28, 1978 in Bootle, Merseyside) is an English international footballer playing his club football at Liverpool where he is at present vice-captain, behind teammate and fellow Liverpudlian Steven Gerrard. ... Lilian Thuram (born Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien, January 1, 1972 in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, France) is a French professional football defender, the most capped player in the history of the France national team. ...


Sweeper/Libero (SW)

The Sweeper is a more versatile type of centre back that, as the name suggests, "sweeps up" the ball if the opponent manages to breach the defensive line. Their position is rather more fluid than other defenders who mark their designated opponents. Because of this, the position is often referred to as libero (Italian: free). The Center Defender's ability to read the game is even more vital than for a centre-back. A Center Defender is sometimes expected to build counter-attacking moves, and as such requires better ball control and passing ability than a typical centre back. However, sweepers are often merely defensive players. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive Center Defender. Karl Rappans verrou Catenaccio describes a tactical system in football with an emphasis on defence and tactical fouls. ... Italy is one of the worlds leading football nations. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ...


Many centre-backs and Center Defenders have the ability to bring the ball out of defence and begin counter-attacks for their own teams, thanks to tactical (game reading, anticipation, positioning, tackling) and technical (passing, vision on the pitch) capabilities; former German captain Franz Beckenbauer is widely accepted as the inventor and one of the best players of the role, together with Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Matthias Sammer, Miodrag Belodedici, Lothar Matthäus and Gaetano Scirea. Yet, typical liberos are rare in modern game. Franz Anton Beckenbauer (born September 11, 1945) is a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed der Kaiser (the emperor) because of his elegant style, his leadership qualities, his first name Franz (reminiscent of the Austrian emperors), and his dominance on the football pitch. ... Franco Baresi (born May 8, 1960 in Travagliato, province of Brescia) is an Italian youth team coach and former football defender with A.C. Milan, acknowledged as one of the greatest defenders ever to play the game. ... Ronald Koeman (born March 21, 1963 in Zaandam) is a former Dutch football defender and current manager of PSV Eindhoven. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Miodrag Belodedici (born May 20, 1964 in Socol, Romania) is a former Romanian football (soccer) defender. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Gaetano Scirea (May 25, 1953 - September 3, 1989) was an Italian football player and one of the greatest defenders of all-time: Scirea is one of the very few players to have won all national and international trophies for football clubs. ...


Full-back (FB/RB/LB)

Full-backs take up the wide defensive positions, one on each side of the field. Their main task is to prevent opposition players crossing or cutting the ball back into the penalty area. In some defensive systems, full-backs mark opponents. Most full backs are also expected to provide an attacking dimension by getting upfield along the wings and providing crosses. The term 'overlap' is often applied to full-backs as they are often seen running ahead of the wingers/midfielders and breaking into opposition spaces. The penalty area (colloquiallly also known as the 18-yard box, penalty box or simply the box), is an area of an association football field. ...


Traditionally, full-backs played a role today occupied by the central defenders. As the game evolved, with the old centre half taking over the central defensive role, full-backs have migrated out to the flanks and the position now requires a slightly different set of skills. The modern full back is usually pacey, strong in the tackle and with good stamina to get up and down the field. Because of the experience gleaned from the use of their chosen foot, full backs often make good free kick or penalty takers, Denis Irwin and Stuart Pearce being among many examples. The role of the modern full-back was essentially created by Giacinto Facchetti under the guidance of Helenio Herrera. Originally an attacker, Facchetti had the skills and pace of a typical winger, but due to his build, Herrera switched him to a left-back. This move proved to a be masterstroke, as Facchetti quickly mastered the art of defending, but at the same time retained his attacking instincts. He was subsequently nicknamed 'the spider', due to his long legs and ability to cover the flank with lightning speed. Endurance, or stamina, is the act of sustaining prolonged stressful effort. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Stuart Pearce MBE (born April 24, 1962 in Hammersmith, London) is an English football coach, currently the manager of the England Under 21s. ... Giacinto Facchetti. ... Helenio Herrera, (born April 17, 1916 in Buenos Aires; died November 9, 1997 in Venice) was a football defender and after ending his playing carrer became one of the most influencial managers in the history of the game. ...


Today's modern full backs include Ashley Cole, Gary Neville, Javier Zanetti, Philipp Lahm, Maicon and Gianluca Zambrotta. Ashley Donovan Cole (born 20 December 1980, Whitechapel, London, England) is an English footballer of Barbadian descent. ... Gary Alexander Neville (born 18 February 1975 in Bury, Greater Manchester) an English footballer who is Englands most capped right full back, and Manchester Uniteds club captain. ... Javier Adelmar Zanetti (born August 10, 1973) is an Argentine football player. ... Philipp Lahm (born November 11, 1983 in Munich, Bavaria) is a German footballer who currently plays as a defender for Bayern Munich and Germany at Euro 2004 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. ... Maicon Douglas Sisenando, known as Maicon (born 26 July 1981 in Criciuma) is a Brazilian football player, currently playing for Internazionale in Italy. ... Gianluca Zambrotta, Cavaliere OMRI[1] (born February 19, 1977 in Como) is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer. ...


Wingback (WB/RWB/LWB)

The wingback is a modern variation on the fullback with heavier emphasis on attack. The name is a portmanteau of "winger" (see below) and "full-back". They are usually employed in a 3-5-2 formation, and could therefore be considered part of the midfield. As the role combines that of the winger and the fullback, wingbacks need to be blessed with good stamina. As they have the support of three centre-backs, they are expected to concentrate more on providing support for strikers and less on their defensive duties. This article is about blends. ...


Brazil has a long tradition of using wingbacks[1] and it is of no surprise that many of the best wingbacks in the world are Brazilians: Daniel Alves, Cicinho and Roberto Carlos. Of course, there are also many non-Brazilian wingbacks like Miguel, Gael Clichy, and Patrice Evra. Daniel Alves da Silva (born 6 May 1983 in Juazeiro), usually known as Daniel Alves, Dani Alves, is a Brazilian footballer who plays as an attacking right back or right winger for Sevilla in La Liga. ... Cícero João de Cézare, nicknamed Cicinho (born June 24, 1980 in Pradópolis, São Paulo, Brazil), is a Brazilian footballer who plays as a wingback or right-back. ... For the singer, see Roberto Carlos (singer) . Roberto Carlos, full name Roberto Carlos da Silva Rocha [2] (born April 10, 1973, Garça, São Paulo), is a Brazilian football wingback who currently plays for Turkish side Fenerbahçe. ... Miguel, full name Luís Miguel Pito Garcia Pintelho, (born 4 January 1980 in Lisbon), was a defender for the great Sport Lisboa e Benfica and the Portuguese national team. ... Gael Clichy (born 1985) is a French football player, who joined Arsenal F.C. in 2003. ... Patrice Evra (born 15 May 1981 in Dakar, Senegal) is a French-Senegalese international footballer, who plays for English Premiership side Manchester United. ...


Midfielders

Main article: Midfielder
A midfielder (such as Steven Gerrard from Liverpool FC, pictured here) plays between the defence and attack
A midfielder (such as Steven Gerrard from Liverpool FC, pictured here) plays between the defence and attack

Midfielders are players whose position of play is midway between the attacking strikers and the defenders. Their main duties are to maintain possession of the ball, taking the ball from defenders and feeding it to the strikers, as well as dispossessing opposing players. Most managers field at least one central midfielder with a marked task of breaking up opposition's attacks while the rest are more adept to creating goals or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders can be expected to cover many areas of a pitch, as at times they can be called back into defence or required to attack with the strikers. The Midfield in relation to the football positions In association football, a midfielder is a player whose position of play is midway between the attacking strikers and the defenders (highlighted in blue on the diagram). ... Image File history File links Gerrard. ... Image File history File links Gerrard. ... The Midfield in relation to the football positions In association football, a midfielder is a player whose position of play is midway between the attacking strikers and the defenders (highlighted in blue on the diagram). ... Steven George Gerrard MBE (IPA: []) (born 30 May 1980, Whiston, Merseyside) is an English football player. ... {{Football club infobox | clubname = Liverpool FC | image = fullname = Liverpool FC | nickname = The Reds | founded = 1892 | ground = Anfield | capacity = 45,000 | chairman = D.R.Moores | Chief Executive Officer = R.N.Parry | manager = Rafael Benitez | league = FA Premiership | season = 2005-06 | position = FA premiership, 5th | pattern_la1=|pattern_b1=|pattern_ra1=| leftarm1=FFFFFF|body1=FF0000... The striker (wearing the red shirt) has run past the defender (in the white shirt) and is about to take a shot at the goal, while the goalkeeper positions himself to attempt to stop the ball. ... The Bolton players in white are defending - the nearest player is trying to prevent the Fulham forward in cyan from crossing the ball. ...


Centre midfielder (CM)

Central midfielders play several roles on the field of play, depending on their particular strengths and the tactics of the team. They are the link between defence and attack, and must also defend when the opposition are in possession. Their central position enables them to have an all-round view of the match, and as most of the action takes place in and around their area of the pitch, midfielders often exert the greatest degree of control over how a match is played.


Deco, Patrick Vieira, Michael Essien, Michael Ballack, Cesc Fabregas, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are good examples of central midfielders. All are capable of playing from "box to box" and as the norm rather than the exception, use their strength, their passing ability, and their work rate to affect their team's game play. This section of the field is colloquially known as a team's "engine room". Anderson Luis de Souza, OIH (born August 27, 1977 in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil) is a professional Brazilian footballer widely known as Deco [Portuguese]. He is of Portuguese Brazilian descent. ... Patrick Donalé Vieira (born June 23, 1976 in Dakar, Senegal) is a French football midfielder, who currently plays for Internazionale Milano. ... Michael Essien (born December 3, 1982 in Accra) is a Ghanaian International footballer. ... Michael Ballack (born September 26, 1976 in Görlitz, Saxony) is a German football player. ... Francesc Fabregas Soler (born February 8, 1987 in Barcelona, Spain), is one of the hottest young stars in English football, playing for Arsenal. ... Steven George Gerrard MBE (IPA: []) (born 30 May 1980, Whiston, Merseyside) is an English football player. ... For Frank Lampard Jr. ...


Defensive midfielder (DM)

A defensive midfielder or holding midfielder is a central midfielder who is stationed in front of the back defenders for defensive reasons, thus "holding back" the freedom of the opponents to attack. This specialist midfielder's responsibilities are to tackle the ball away from the opposing team's attackers and midfielders and to safely distribute it to more attacking-minded players. Not only do the players protect their team's defence, they also give their fellow midfielders a license to play with more attacking flair without the worry of defensive work.


The defensive midfielder position is also referred to in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese as volante ("rudder"). Current examples of this player are: David Albelda, Esteban Cambiasso, Emerson, Gennaro Gattuso, Owen Hargreaves, Christian Poulsen and Gilberto Silva. Brazilian Portuguese is a form of the Portuguese language used mostly in Brazil. ... David Albelda Aliqués (born September 1, 1977, Alzira, Spain) is a Spanish football player. ... Esteban Matías Cambiasso (born 18 August 1980 in Buenos Aires) is a professional Argentine football midfielder. ... For the player known as Emerson currently playing for APOEL FC who had played for Middlesbrough, please see Emerson Moisés Costa. ... Gennaro Ivan Rino Gattuso (born January 9, 1978 in Corigliano Calabro) is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer. ... Owen Lee Hargreaves (born 20 January 1981 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada) is a professional football midfielder. ... Christian Bager Poulsen (born February 28, 1980) is a Danish professional football (soccer) player who currently plays for Sevilla FC. He has been a regular member of the Denmark national football team since his debut in 2001, and has currently played more than 40 matches, scoring 2 goals. ... Listen to this article ( info) in media player in browser This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2007-03-02, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...


Some defensive midfielders are called deep-lying playmakers, due to their ability to dictate tempo from a deep position with their passing. Most often, due to their lack of defensive abilities, they have to be supported by a more defensive holding midfielder. Notable deep-lying playmakers include Xabi Alonso, Michael Carrick, Andrea Pirlo and Xavi. Xabier Alonso Olano, commonly known as Xabi Alonso and often mispelt as Xavi Alonso (born 25 November 1981 in Tolosa, Basque Country Spain, is a Spanish footballer who plays for Liverpool F.C.. He wears the number 14 shirt at Liverpool and is a central midfielder, often playing as a... Michael Adrian Carrick (born 28 July 1981 in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear) is an English footballer who currently plays for Manchester United as a midfielder. ... Andrea Pirlo, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI[1][2], (born May 19, 1979), is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer. ... Xavier Hernández Creus (born January 5, 1980 in Terrassa, Spain) is an Spanish football player, who currently plays for FC Barcelona of the Spanish La Liga. ...


Claude Makélélé is perhaps one of the most notable defensive midfielders, with his deep-lying defensive style labelled the "Makélélé Role". The role requires incredible positional discipline, rarely attacking or making difficult passes, in fact, arguably more similar to the "Libero" or "Sweeper" position than a defensive midfielder. Claude Makélélé (born February 18, 1973 in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) is a French international football player, who currently plays defensive midfield for Chelsea in the English Premiership. ...


Attacking midfielder (AM)

An attacking midfielder is a central midfielder who is stationed in an advanced midfield position, usually behind the strikers. These players typically serve as the offensive pivot of the team, and are sometimes said to be "playing in the hole", although this term can also be used to describe the positioning of deep-lying centre-forwards. This specialist midfielder's main role is to create goal-scoring opportunities using superior vision and skill. The attacking midfielder is an important position and requires the player to possess superior technical abilities in terms of passing and most importantly the ability to read the opposing defence in order to deliver defence-splitting passes to the strikers. This article is about football players. ...


Attacking midfielders are playmakers, known for their deft touch, ability to shoot from range, and passing prowess. Oftentimes, a team is constructed as to allow their attacking midfielder to roam free and create as the situation demands. Some established current attacking midfielders include Pablo Aimar, Kaká, Juan Román Riquelme, Ronaldinho, Paul Scholes and Francesco Totti. Pablo César Aimar (born November 3, 1979 in Rio Cuarto) is an Argentine football player, who currently plays attacking midfielder for Real Zaragoza of the Spanish La Liga. ... This article is about the Brazilian footballer. ... Juan Román Riquelme (born June 24, 1978 in San Fernando, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an Argentine professional football attacking midfielder, under contract to Spanish side Atletico Madrid. ... For other persons named Ronaldinho, see Ronaldinho (disambiguation). ... Paul Aaron Scholes (born November 16, 1974) is an English football player who has spent his whole career at Manchester United. ... Francesco Totti, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI,[1][2] (born 27 September 1976 in Rome) is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer, and is widely recognized as one of the most talented players in the past two decades. ...


Side midfielder (LM/RM)

A side midfielder is placed at left or right of the midfield and expected to support the full back and assist. David Beckham is probably the most famous example of a side midfielder, recognised as an expert crosser. Side midfielders are often skillful dribblers, using the benefit of the byline to beat players. They also play with versatility, capable of playing as wing back or as wingers, supporting the attack.The side midfielders must work up and down the line and create attacking moves and help the full back. David Beckham David Robert Joseph Beckham OBE (born May 2, 1975) is an English footballer born in Leytonstone, London. ...


Other notable side midfielders game include Damien Duff, Luís Figo and Fredrik Ljungberg. Damien Anthony Duff (born March 2, 1979 in Ballyboden, Dublin) is an Irish footballer. ... Luís Filipe Madeira Caeiro Figo, born November 4, 1972 in Lisbon, Portugal) is a professional Portuguese football player. ... Karl Fredrik Ljungberg (IPA: ) (born 16 April 1977 in Vittsjö, Hässleholm) is a Swedish Footballer who currently plays for Arsenal. ...


Strikers/forwards

Main article: Striker
The striker (wearing the red shirt) is past the defence (in the white shirts) and is about to take a shot at the goal. The goalkeeper will attempt to stop the ball from entering the goal.
The striker (wearing the red shirt) is past the defence (in the white shirts) and is about to take a shot at the goal. The goalkeeper will attempt to stop the ball from entering the goal.

Strikers or forwards are the players on a team in the row nearest to the opposing team's goal (note: the term attacker is also sometimes used to describe strikers/forwards but is now more commonly used to describe any player on the team currently in possession of the ball). The primary responsibility of strikers/forwards is to score goals. Good examples of strikers are noted for their fantastic goal scoring ability. Other duties can include setting up goals for other players (usually another forward, but sometimes midfielders as well) and holding the ball up so that other players may join the attack. Modern player formations include between one and three strikers; two is most common, as in the 4-4-2 formation. Because they score more goals than other players, forwards are often among the best-known and most expensive players on their teams. The striker (wearing the red shirt) has run past the defender (in the white shirt) and is about to take a shot at the goal, while the goalkeeper positions himself to attempt to stop the ball. ... Football (soccer), Bloomington, Indiana, 1996, by Rick Dikeman File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Football (soccer), Bloomington, Indiana, 1996, by Rick Dikeman File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...


Centre forward (CF)

The centre forward, has one main task: to score goals. Coaches will often field one striker who plays over the shoulder of the last opposing defender and another attacking forward who plays somewhat deeper and assists in creating goals as well as scoring. The former is usually a large striker, typically known as a "target man", who is used either to distract opposing defenders to help team mates score, or to score himself; the latter is usually of quicker pace, and is required to have some abilities like finding holes in the opposing defence and, sometimes, dribbling. In other cases, strikers will operate on the wings of the field and work their way goalwards. Yet another variation is the replacement of the target man with a striker who can thread through-balls. The Bolton players in white are defending - the nearest player is trying to prevent the Fulham forward in cyan from crossing the ball. ...


Players who specialise in playing as a target are usually of above-average height - notably Peter Crouch (6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)), Jan Koller and Nikola Žigić (both 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)) - with good heading ability and an accurate shot. They tend to be the "outlet" player for both midfielders and defenders, able to hold the ball up and allow other players time to enter the game. They tend to score goals from crosses, often with the head, and can use their body strength to shield the ball while turning to score. Adriano, Didier Drogba, Alan Shearer, Luca Toni, David Trezeguet, Dimitar Berbatov, Hernán Crespo and Ruud van Nistelrooy are some examples. Peter James Crouch (born January 30, 1981 in Macclesfield, Cheshire) is an English international football player. ... Jan Koller (born March 30, 1973 in Smetanova Lhota, Czech Republic, then Czechoslovakia) is a Czech football player, who currently stars as a striker for the Czech Republic national team and the Ligue 1 club AS Monaco. ... Nikola Žigić (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Жигић; born September 25, 1980, in Bačka Topola, Vojvodina, Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia) is a Serbian football player who currently has been signed by Valencia CF. A striker, he has been voted Serbias Player of the Year three times (in 2003, 2005 and 2006). ... Adriano Leite Ribeiro (born February 17, 1982 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), known simply as Adriano, is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Internazionale in the Italian Serie A. // Adriano started off his career in Flamengos youth teams in 1999. ... Didier Yves Drogba Tébily (born March 11, 1978 in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast) is a footballer from the Ivory Coast who currently plays for Chelsea FC in the English Premier League. ... Alan Shearer OBE (born 13 August 1970 in Gosforth, Northumberland) is an English former professional footballer who played for the English national team and three English Premiership clubs: Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. ... Luca Toni, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI[1][2], (born May 26, 1977 in Pavullo nel Frignano, Modena) is an Italian football striker who plays for FC Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga. ... David Sergio Trezeguet (IPA: []) (born 15 October 1977 in Rouen, France) is a French-Argentine football striker who plays for Juventus and France. ... Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgarian: ) (born January 30, 1981 in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria) is a Bulgarian footballer who plays as a striker for English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. ... Hernán Jorge Crespo (born July 5, 1975 in Florida, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine international football player currently playing in the Italian Serie A for Internazionale, having signed from English Premier League champions Chelsea on a 2 year loan deal on 7 August 2006. ... Rutgerus Johannes Martinius van Nistelrooy (originally spelled Van Nistelrooij) (born 1 July 1976 in Oss, North Brabant) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a centre forward for Real Madrid and the Dutch national team. ...


Other forwards may rely on their pace to run onto long balls passed over or through the opposition defence, rather than collecting the ball with their back to goal like a target man. Some forwards can play both of these roles equally well, for example players such as Thierry Henry, Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Torres and Henrik Larsson or past players like Eusébio, Gerd Müller and Marco van Basten. Thierry Daniel Henry, born 17 August 1977 in Paris, France, is a French football player. ... Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko (Ukrainian: , born 29 September 1976, Dvirkivschyna, Kiev Oblast) is a Ukrainian football striker who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. ... Fernando José Torres Sanz (born March 20, 1984) is a Spanish football player. ... This article is about the Swedish footballer. ... Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, GCIH, GCM (pron. ... Gerd Müller (IPA—German: ) (born November 3, 1945 in Nördlingen) is a former West German football player. ... Marcel (Marco) van Basten (October 31, 1964 in Oog in Al, Utrecht) is a Dutch football manager, currently in charge of the Dutch national team. ...


Striker (S)

It should be noted that there is a difference between a centre forward and a striker and these two roles are easily confused, although they do share similarities. A striker is better known for making runs to beat defenders, trying to beat the offside trap and playing close to the goal area. They are typically recognised as quick, with good reaction speed and given few defensive responsibilities. Current examples of these are Ronaldo, Filippo Inzaghi, Romário, Samuel Eto'o, Michael Owen and David Villa. This contrasts with the centre forward's different style of holding up play and leading the front line. Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima (born September 22, 1976), is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Brazil and the Italian Serie A club AC Milan. ... Filippo Pippo Inzaghi, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI[1][2], (IPA: []; born August 9, 1973, in Piacenza) is an Italian footballer who plays as a striker for Italian Serie A giants AC Milan. ... Romário de Souza Faria (born January 29, 1966), better known simply as Romário, is a Brazilian legendary football center forward who helped the Brazil national team win the 1994 FIFA World Cup and has been one of the most prolific strikers in the world since the 1990s, having... Samuel Etoo (born March 10, 1981 in Nkon, Cameroon) is a professional footballer, who currently plays for FC Barcelona. ... For other persons named Michael Owen, see Michael Owen (disambiguation). ... David Villa (Pizza) Sánchez (born December 3, 1981 in Langreo, Asturias, Spain), is nicknamed El Guaje (The Kid in Asturian) he is a Spanish football player, who currently plays for Valencia CF and the Spanish national side. ...


Deep-lying forward (SS)

Deep-lying forwards have a long history in the game, but the terminology to describe them has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, or deep-lying centre forwards. More recently, the preferred terms have been "withdrawn striker", "second striker" or playing "in the hole" (i.e. the space between the midfield and defence of the opposing team). This article is about football players. ...


The position was initially developed by the famous Hungary national football team of the late 1940s and mid-1950s led by Ferenc Puskás. Later it was popularized in Italian football as the trequartista ("three-quarters"), the playmaker who plays neither in midfield nor as a forward, but effectively pulls the strings for his team's attack. Many players in this position can play as an attacking midfielder or sometimes on the wing. These players usually hang off the last man so they can beat him for pace. Ferenc Puskás (April 2, 1927–November 17, 2006) (Hungarian: Puskás Ferenc, nickname Puskás Öcsi, Spanish: Ferenc Puskas Biro), was a legendary Hungarian football forward and coach. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Whatever the terminology, the position itself is a loosely-defined one somewhere between the out-and-out striker and the midfield. Such a player is either a skilful, attack-minded midfielder or a striker who can both score and create opportunities for centre forwards. Widely-known former deep-lying forwards include Pelé, Diego Maradona, Zico, Johan Cruijff, Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio, Eric Cantona and Dennis Bergkamp. “Pele” redirects here. ... Diego Armando Maradona (born October 30, 1960) is an Argentine former footballer. ... Arthur Antunes Coimbra (born in March 3, 1953), better known as Zico , is a former Brazilian footballer, one of the best midfielders in the world and possibly the worlds best player in the early 80s[2] He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest... Hendrik Johannes Cruijff ( ) - often spelled Cruyff outside the Netherlands; see IJ (digraph)); born April 25, 1947 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football manager/coach and former player. ... «When I was a kid and played with my friends, I always chose to be Platini. ... Roberto Baggio (born 18 February 1967 in Caldogno, Veneto) is an Italian retired footballer, among the most technically gifted and popular players in the world throughout the 1990s. ... Eric Daniel Pierre Cantona (born 24 May 1966 in Paris raised in Marseille) is a French former footballer of the late 1980s and 1990s. ... Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp (born May 10, 1969 in Amsterdam) is a retired Dutch professional footballer. ...


Current skilled deep-lying forwards include Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tévez, Raúl González, Alessandro Del Piero and Robin van Persie. Many attacking midfielders have also been employed in this area by club and country, such as Zinedine Zidane, and Francesco Totti. For other persons named Ronaldinho, see Ronaldinho (disambiguation). ... Vítor Borba Ferreira (born April 19, 1972 in Paulista, Pernambuco), commonly known as Rivaldo, is regarded as one of the best Brazilian professional football players of all time, currently playing for AEK Athens in the Super League Greece. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Carlos Alberto Tévez (born February 5, 1984 in Ciudadela, Buenos Aires Province) is an Argentine footballer who made his name with Argentine giants Boca Juniors and later in Brazil with Corinthians. ... For other uses, see Raúl González (disambiguation). ... Alessandro Del Piero Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI[3][4], (born November 9, 1974 in Conegliano) is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer. ... Robin van Persie (born August 6, 1983 in Rotterdam) is a Dutch footballer currently playing at English Premier League team Arsenal as a striker. ... “Zidane” redirects here. ... Francesco Totti, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI,[1][2] (born 27 September 1976 in Rome) is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer, and is widely recognized as one of the most talented players in the past two decades. ...


Winger (RW/LW)

Similar to a side midfielder but with fewer defensive duties, a winger is an attacking midfielder who is stationed in a wide position effectively hugging the touchline. Wingers used to be classified as forwards in traditional W-shaped formations, but as tactics evolved over the last 30 years, wingers have dropped to deeper field positions. Modern wingers are now usually classified as part of the midfield, usually in 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 formations (although a more attacking version of the 4-5-1 formation - 4-3-3 - gives the wingers a more traditional 'wide striker' role). Wingers often aim beat opposing fullbacks by dribbling around them and to deliver cut-backs and crosses from wide positions. They are usually some of the most technically gifted players in the team and usually have very good dribbling skills as well as good pace.


Years ago, wingers were more highly prized, but their importance has dwindled throughout the years. In the 1966 World Cup for example, England manager Alf Ramsey led a team without natural wingers to the championship. This was unusual enough at the time for the team to be nicknamed "The Wingless Wonders". The FIFA World Cup Trophy, which has been awarded to the world champions since 1974. ... First international  Scotland 0 - 0 England (Partick, Scotland; 30 November 1872) Biggest win  Ireland 0 - 13 England (Belfast, Ireland; 18 February 1882) Biggest defeat  Hungary 7 - 1 England (Budapest, Hungary; 23 May 1954) World Cup Appearances 12 (First in 1950) Best result Winners, 1966 European Championship Appearances 7 (First in... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Examples of wingers are Ryan Giggs, Arjen Robben, Simão Sabrosa, Aaron Lennon, Joaquín, Cristiano Ronaldo, Vicente, Florent Malouda, Martin Petrov, Ricardo Quaresma, and Lionel Messi. Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE[1] (born Ryan Joseph Wilson on 29 November 1973 in Cardiff) is a Welsh footballer, currently playing for Manchester United in the English Premiership, and formerly for the Welsh national team prior to his retirement from international football on June 2, 2007. ... Arjen Robben (born January 23, 1984 in Bedum) is a Dutch footballer who currently plays as a winger for Real Madrid. ... Simão Pedro Fonseca Sabrosa, OIH, commonly known as Simão Sabrosa (pron. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Joaquín, full name Joaquín Sánchez Rodríguez, (born July 21, 1981 in El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz) is a Spanish footballer, currently playing for Valencia. ... Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OIH (pron. ... Vicente Rodríguez Guillén, more commonly known simply as Vicente, (born July 16, 1981 in Valencia) is a Spanish football (soccer) midfielder who currently plays for Valencia CF. He started his professional career at rival club Levante UD and made his debut for the club in the 1997/1998... Florent Malouda (born June 13, 1980 in Cayenne, French Guiana) is a French professional football player. ... Martin Ivaylov Petrov (Bulgarian: ) (born January 15, 1979 in Vratsa) is a Bulgarian football player currently playing for Manchester City F.C. in the Premier League. ... Ricardo Andrade Quaresma (born 26 September 1983, in Lisbon, Portugal) is a Portuguese football midfielder who currently plays for FC Porto in the Portuguese BWINLIGA and the Portugal national football team. ... Lionel Andrés Messi (born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an Argentine international football player who currently plays for FC Barcelona in the Primera División, and appears on Argentinas national team. ...


Tactical evolution

In the early days of Association Football, the game was very much focused on attack and, as such, many teams (e.g. Royal Engineers, 1872) played with a 1-2-7 formation (one defender, two mid-fielders and seven attackers). The single defender was known as the ¾-back, and he was supported in part by two half-backs from mid-field who would be in charge of orchestrating the game with short passing. Up front, the seven forwards were split into four wing forwards and three centre forwards. The wingers' main task was to use their pace to pick up on the long balls forward by the half- and ¾-backs, whereas the centre forwards would have been charged with taking the short passes from the half-backs. “Soccer” redirects here. ... The Royal Engineers AFC is a football team founded in 1863, under the leadership of Major Marindin of the Corps of Royal Engineers. ...


In order to combat the short-passing threat, the championship-winning Preston North End side of 1888 devised a more defensive 2-3-5 formation (two defenders, three mid-fielders and five attackers), which would become the standard formation for many teams for the best part of the next 40 years. One of the half-backs was brought back into defence, which sat deeper than before, making the two defenders full-backs as opposed to ¾-backs. Their main job was to mark the opposition's inside forwards and cut out the short passes in mid-field. Furthermore, two forwards were brought back into mid-field as half-backs to mark the opposition wingers and negate the pace threat. The remaining half-back became a centre-back, who would patrol the field, drifting from defence to attack as he saw fit. This left two wingers up front (outside-right and outside-left), along with two inside-forwards (inside-right and inside-left) and a centre-forward. From 1889 until 1992, this was the highest division overall of organized football in England. ... Preston North End Football Club are an English professional football club located in the Deepdale area of the city of Preston, Lancashire, currently playing in the second tier of English league football, The Championship. ...


Up until this point, for an attacking player to be onside, there had to be at least three opposing players closer to their goal-line than the attacker. In the 1920s, the offside rule was changed to mean that there only had to be two opposing players between the attacker and the goal-line for him to still be onside. This made it easier for attackers to score against the two-man defences of the day. To combat this, Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman devised a system that utilised three defenders as opposed to the usual two. This system was complemented by a strict man-marking regime, whereby the centre-back - who had now retreated to the centre of the three man defence - would stick as close to the opposing centre-forward as possible, while the full-backs - who had moved further wide to accommodate the centre-back - would mark the wingers. This left two mid-fielders in a slightly less advanced position than before to act as wing-halves who would have the dual responsibility of loosely marking the inside forwards and providing the forwards with the ball. This was helped by the slight withdrawal of the inside forwards from the front line. Chapman's formation was referred to as the M-W formation due to its appearance on the field with all the players in their described positions. Offside is a Law in association football which effectively limits how far forward attacking players may be when involved in play. ... Arsenal Football Club (also known as Arsenal, The Arsenal or The Gunners) are an English professional football club based in Holloway, north London. ... Herbert Chapman (January 19, 1878 – January 6, 1934) was an English football player and manager. ...


A variation of the M-W formation was the Hungarian M-U formation used to great effect against England in 1953, when they became the first non-British side to beat England at the old Wembley Stadium. This formation was so-called because of the deep-lying centre-forward Nándor Hidegkuti, used to draw the opposition centre-back out of position, leaving plenty of space between the full-backs for the inside-forwards Ferenc Puskás and Sándor Kocsis to exploit. First international  Scotland 0 - 0 England (Partick, Scotland; 30 November 1872) Biggest win  Ireland 0 - 13 England (Belfast, Ireland; 18 February 1882) Biggest defeat  Hungary 7 - 1 England (Budapest, Hungary; 23 May 1954) World Cup Appearances 12 (First in 1950) Best result Winners, 1966 European Championship Appearances 7 (First in... Wembley Stadium was a football stadium located in Wembley, London. ... Nándor Hidegkuti (March 3, 1922 - February 14, 2002) was a Hungarian footballer. ... Ferenc Puskás (April 2, 1927–November 17, 2006) (Hungarian: Puskás Ferenc, nickname Puskás Öcsi, Spanish: Ferenc Puskas Biro), was a legendary Hungarian football forward and coach. ... Sándor Kocsis Peter (born Budapest, Hungary, September 21, 1929; died Barcelona, July 22, 1979), also referred to as Kocsis Sándor, was a Hungarian footballer who played for Ferencváros TC, Budapest Honvéd, Young Fellows Zürich, CF Barcelona and Hungary. ...


In 1958, the Brazilians won their first of five World Cups to date thanks to the flat back four system they had developed to counter the Hungarians' M-U. Two centre-backs would mark the inside-forwards' runs from deep, while the wider full-backs would not only cut out the threat of the opposing wingers but also provide width on the counter-attack. The relative lack of numbers in the middle of the park meant a creative presence was required, and for the Brazilians, that presence was provided in the form of their dazzling midfielder Garrincha. For the club competition, see FIFA Club World Cup. ... Manoel Francisco dos Santos (October 28, 1933 – January 20, 1983), known by the nickname Garrincha (little bird),[3] was a Brazilian football right winger and forward who helped the Brazil national team win the World Cups of 1958 and 1962, and played the majority of his professional career for Brazilian...


The advent of the Italian "Catenaccio" (bolt) system came soon after, and was a more defensive variation on the Brazilians' 4-2-4 system. Two forwards were withdrawn to leave just two up front, and an extra midfielder was added to bolster the midfield. However, the major tactical innovation with this formation was the floating sweeper, often referred to in Italian as a "libero", or "free man". While the four main defenders would have the task of strict man-marking the opposition forwards, the libero would act as a sponge, mopping up any attacks that might happen to get through the tight defence. Franz Beckenbauer of Bayern Munich gave the position a more attacking role and played a major part as captain of the West Germany side that won the World Cup in 1974 and came third in 1970. Karl Rappans verrou Catenaccio describes a tactical system in football with an emphasis on defence and tactical fouls. ... Franz Anton Beckenbauer (born September 11, 1945) is a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed der Kaiser (the emperor) because of his elegant style, his leadership qualities, his first name Franz (reminiscent of the Austrian emperors), and his dominance on the football pitch. ... Wikinews has related news: 2007/08 Bundesliga: Bayern Munich vs. ... The team captain of a football team, sometimes known as the skipper, is a team member chosen to be the on-pitch leader of the team: it is often one of the older or more experienced members of the squad, or a player that can heavily influence a game. ... Qualifying countries The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging of the World Cup, was held in West Germany from June 13 to July 7. ... Qualifying countries The 1970 FIFA World Cup, the ninth staging of the World Cup, was held in Mexico, from May 31 to June 21. ...


Meanwhile, the English had also developed a tactical formation that lay somewhere between a 4-2-4, a 4-4-2 and a 4-3-3. The flat back four that had become so popular remained intact, but the midfield was a free-flowing unit with players given license to attack as the scenario saw fit. In defence, using the 1966 World Cup side as an example, Martin Peters, Bobby Charlton and Alan Ball would all stay back to counter the opposition attack. However, in attack they had two options: Peters and Ball could charge forward, creating problems for the opposition out wide with their pace and crossing ability, creating a 4-2-4 formation; or Charlton could burst through the middle of the strike partnership of Roger Hunt and Geoff Hurst and overload the centre of the opposition defence, providing either an extra man in the box or an effective long-shot alternative. The unsung hero of Alf Ramsey's England side was Nobby Stiles, who was the midfield linchpin, whom the team relied on in defence when Charlton surged forward in support of the strikers. Qualifying countries The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from July 11 to July 30. ... Martin Stanford Peters MBE, (born November 8, 1943 in Plaistow, London) was a football player and hero of the victorious England team which won the 1966 World Cup. ... Sir Robert Bobby Charlton, CBE (born 11 October 1937 in Ashington, Northumberland) is a former English professional football player who won the World Cup and was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1966. ... For other persons of the same name, see Alan Ball. ... Roger Hunt MBE (born Golborne, Lancashire 20th July 1938) was a footballer whose predatory instincts made him one of the English games most feared and respected strikers. ... Sir Geoffrey Charles Hurst, MBE (born December 8, 1941 in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire) is a footballer enshrined in the games history as the only player to have scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Norbert Nobby Peter Stiles MBE (born Collyhurst, Manchester, 18 May 1942) is an English former football midfielder. ...


The mid- to late-1970s saw the coming of the Dutch "Total Football" scheme. While not burdened with a specific, rigid formation, the system relied on extremely versatile players who were able to fill in at any position the circumstances of the game required them to. One such player was the legendary Johan Cruijff, who epitomised the Total Football ideology by being able to play in almost every outfield position going. The only major criticism of this style of play was that it never yielded a single major trophy, but it did help the Dutch side to reach two consecutive World Cup finals (1974 and 1978), which is no mean feat. In football (soccer), Total Football is a system where a player who moves out of his position is replaced by another from his team, thus retaining their intended organizational structure. ... Hendrik Johannes Cruijff ( ) - often spelled Cruyff outside the Netherlands; see IJ (digraph)); born April 25, 1947 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football manager/coach and former player. ...


The last major tactical evolution occurred in the late 1980s/early 1990s, when the A.C. Milan side played with a variation on the 4-4-2 formation. This formation relied extensively on the four defenders' ability to work as a unit in order to spring the offside trap on slower attackers, as well as the stamina of the midfielders who would be expected to pressurise the opposition as soon as they gained possession of the ball. In attack, the team would play short-passes within the midfield, using their crisp passing and dynamic movement to open up holes in the defence and create attacking opportunities. Associazione Calcio Milan is an Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy. ...


These days, the 4-4-2 formation is very much the predominant tactic in world football. However, this does vary from country to country, such as in the Netherlands, where the 4-3-3 formation is favoured, and even division to division within some countries. Some teams prefer a more defensive option, packing the defence in a 5-3-2 formation, while others will exploit the opposition's defensive incapability by deploying their speedy wing-backs in a 5-3-2 formation. Other formations, such as 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1, etc., do exist, but the 4-4-2 formation remains the dominant tactic.


New tactics are being pioneered all the time, most recently by Barcelona, whose plethora of attacking midfielders and forwards (Ronaldinho, Deco, Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o, etc.) leads to very attacking and fluid formations, which can change from 4-5-1 to 3-2-5 in an instant. This fluidity in attack has also been emulated by Manchester United, whose attacking trio of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo are able to interchange their positions quickly, stifling opposition defences, with defenders not knowing whether to stick to their man or to their specific zone on the pitch. Unsurprisingly, these tactics helped Manchester United to the 2006-07 Premiership title and Barcelona to the La Liga and Champions League titles in 2005-06. Futbol Club Barcelona, known familiarly as Barça (IPA: baɾ.sə), is a sports club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. ... For other persons named Ronaldinho, see Ronaldinho (disambiguation). ... Anderson Luis de Souza, OIH (born August 27, 1977 in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil) is a professional Brazilian footballer widely known as Deco [Portuguese]. He is of Portuguese Brazilian descent. ... Lionel Andrés Messi (born 24 June 1987 in Rosario) is an Argentine international football player who currently plays for FC Barcelona in the Primera División, and appears on Argentinas national team. ... Samuel Etoo (born March 10, 1981 in Nkon, Cameroon) is a professional footballer, who currently plays for FC Barcelona. ... Manchester United Football Club are a world-famous English football club, based at the Old Trafford stadium in Trafford, Greater Manchester, and are one of the most popular sports clubs in the world, with over 50 million supporters worldwide. ... Ryan Joseph Giggs OBE[1] (born Ryan Joseph Wilson on 29 November 1973 in Cardiff) is a Welsh footballer, currently playing for Manchester United in the English Premiership, and formerly for the Welsh national team prior to his retirement from international football on June 2, 2007. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OIH (pron. ... Locations of the 20 Premiership clubs in the 2006–2007 season, as green dots. ... (Professional Football League), commonly known as La Liga and also known as Primera División, is the professional football league in Spain. ... The UEFA Champions League (also known as the European Cup, UCL, CE1, C1[1] or CL) is a seasonal club football competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 1955 for the most successful football clubs in Europe. ...


See also

There are various individual skills and team tactics needed to play effective football (soccer). ... In Association football, the formation describes how the players in a team are positioned on the pitch. ... A goalkeeper. ... The Bolton players in white are defending - the nearest player is trying to prevent the Fulham forward in cyan from crossing the ball. ... The Midfield in relation to the football positions In association football, a midfielder is a player whose position of play is midway between the attacking strikers and the defenders (highlighted in blue on the diagram). ... The striker (wearing the red shirt) has run past the defender (in the white shirt) and is about to take a shot at the goal, while the goalkeeper positions himself to attempt to stop the ball. ...

References

  1. ^ O Jogo Bonito. Article on Soccernet (August 30, 2005). Retrieved on July 14, 2007.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Football (soccer) positions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2601 words)
The standard football skills of ball control, tackling, passing and dribbling are not usually required in a goalkeeper, although the introduction of the back-pass rule in the early 1990s has necessitated improvement on such skills.
The position was formerly referred to as "centre-half." In the early part of the 20th century, when most teams employed the 2-3-5 formation, the row of three players were called halfbacks.
Whatever the terminology, the position itself is a loosely-defined one somewhere between the out-and-out striker and the midfield.
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