Positions in football: Everything you need to know

The football positions The team's players are an essential part of its planning, because a good football team is well organised and each player has a complementary role which, when well assigned, makes them play as one player. Because good football is also good team play and good coordination.

If you are a football coachor even if you are a football player who wants to know more about football, here is a concise article that will give you all the information you need.

We will explain how the players are distributed, their numbers, roles and the best formations that can be created with them.

Position numbers in football

First, you should know that players have a player number assigned to their position. There are almost always 11 players on the field, which is why since 1920 in U.S. Soccer we have had position numbersThis makes the game easier to understand for young players, developing a universal language for how a football team should be organised. This is useful for learning and remembering.

Here is an example of how the most typical positions and their respective functions should be numbered:

1 ? Goalkeeper (POR): The most obvious position, because of its special role. He is the last line of defence against the opponent's goal. His only job is to protect the net, and he is the only player allowed to use his hands and arms to pick up the ball or block the opponent's shot.

2 ? Right full-back (LTD): The full-backs are the defenders at the back, who help the GK defend from their blind spots. They will move up and down the field, and will also help during offensive plays.

3 ? Left full-back (LTI): Same as number 2.

4 ? Central Defence (DFC): They are also known to be the central defender before the goalkeeper because they represent a second layer of the defence, right in the middle of the defensive line.

5 ? Central defender (DFC) or sweeper (SW): In some formations, such as 4-4-2, you will find two CBs, but there is also the role of Sweeper (SW). The SW is a person who stays behind the defensive line and is in charge of sweeping the ball when the opposing team gets over that line, before it reaches the GK. They can also help in an offensive strategy.

6 ? Defensive midfielder (MCD): The DM is positioned directly in front of the defensive line. He is in charge of intercepting passes and rebounds, and tries to keep the ball as long as possible in the opposing team's zone.

7 ? Right midfielder (MD): Both the MD and the IM are also referred to as the extremes o outside midfielders. These two positions are intended to pull the opposing defence and give more space to the team's offensive line.

8 ? Central midfielder (MC): This is the most flexible role, as he can be either defensive (lining up with position 6) or offensive (lining up with position 10). He will dynamically adapt his role to the position of the ball, so he must have exceptional ball handling skills and speed.

9 ? Forward (DC): The striker is the player assigned to score on the opposing team's goal, so he will almost always be the player closest to the opponent's GK. Strikers must be quick, have good footwork to evade the defensive line and be accurate when taking the decisive shot.

10 ? Attacking midfielder (MCO): The AM is the player who usually leads the attacking play, (which also gives him his other name of "playmaker") even if he is positioned between the midfield players and the striker.

11 ? Left midfielder (MI): Same as number 7.

Consider the fact that the position number starts on the more defensive side of the formation and usually ends on the attacking side. This fact will help you to know instantly what aggressive or exposed that it is a role.

Also note that some football commentators will refer to certain players and play the role of a number concrete, such as "this player behaves like a 10". This is crucial to understand some references.

Football training

After getting to know the most common football positions, it is interesting to explore the most common football positions. football formationsIt gets this information to create a concrete allocation of the roles of the players in a team. But first you must know how to interpret these numbers (4-3-3, 4-4-2?).

This is how training numbers work:

  • Since the POR (goalkeeper) is always in the same position, the formation has only the other 10 players on the field. Therefore, the numbers in the formation must always add up to 10.
  • The numbers refer mainly to the number of players assigned to the defensive line, midfield and offensive line, in that order. Thus, a 4-4-2 would mean that we have:
    • 4 players on the line defensive.
    • 4 in the line of half field.
    • 2 on the line offensive.
  • If a formation has 4 numbers, which is not very common, it means that a line has split in two. This is most often the case with defensive or offensive lines.
  • Even with the same formation number, some formations may have a different shape, which is very relevant.
  • A team must adapt to new game situations creatively, so training must flow naturally with the responsibilities of the players in the team, and it is important to work as a unit.

Given the abundant variation of formations that a team can use to play, you should know at least the following three. recommended football formationsthat could help you win a match:


4-4-2 alignment

This training is one of the most popular in the world because it is easy to understand and very well balanced. If you don't know which formation to choose, play this one. There are also two forwards in the offensive line, who will also have space to interfere during the other team's attacks.


4-3-3 alignment

The 4-3-3 formation is another great option for when you are not convinced about how to build your team. It stands out for being very flexible and perfect for adapting to the most difficult situations in a match. The coach will not need to change the shape of the formation if he wants to change the strategy, which is brilliant.


Alignment 4-2-3-1

We've talked about how formations can split up to 4 lines, and this is a great example. This is the formation that the great football coach José Mourinho used in countless matches, which gave his team a high level of ball control in midfield. It is composed of:

  • 1 striker
  • 3 attacking midfielders
  • 2 defensive midfielders
  • 4 players in the defensive line, consisting of one LTD, one LTI and two DFC.

Want to try out this new information and training? Why not try it out while you make a football tour in Spain with your team, practising the best football tactics with our personalised assistance?

If you want to go further in your team's training, you can also consult our football training camp in Spainwe can help you to raise the level of your team! If you want, we can also organise a football tournament to test your newly acquired skills.

At CN Sports we will be at your disposal, so don't hesitate to fill in the contact form in case you have any questions. Get ready to practice the best football positions and formations with us!

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