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What is football?

Football, or more commonly known in the US as soccer, is the most followed sport in the world. According to the dictionary, football is:

Football/Soccer ((a noun, bitch)): a game played by two teams of eleven players with a round ball that may not be touched with the hands or arms during play except by the goalkeepers. The object of the game is to score goals by kicking or heading the ball into the opponents’ goal. 

In a basic game of soccer, there are 11 positions, as said above. These 11 players are split up into four ‘general’ positions, with different variations under these positions. You have the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and forwards. Let me break the positions down for you.. ((All definitions are from various websites: wikipedia, soccerlens)) 


On wikipedia, goalkeepers are defined as: “In football, each team’s goalkeeper defends his/her team’s goal and has special privileges within the game. The goalkeeper’s main job is to stop any penetration of the ball into the goal. The goalkeeper is the only player in the side who may use his or her hands and arms to catch, throw and save the ball, but only within the penalty area. Goalkeepers are required to wear a distinctive color jersey, separate from the referee’s jersey color and either team’s regular jersey color, so the referee can easily identify them.”

Types of goalkeepers ((only one, ha)): 

Goalkeeper: “As a the name suggests, the job of the goalkeeper is to keep the goal safe and make sure that any ball sent towards the goal is either held or punched to safety. A good goalkeeper is required to have a lot of moral character and absolute fitness to function properly in the position. A good goalkeeper can keep the goal safe and ensure a clean sheet; on the contrary a bad goalkeeper can lay all efforts made by the team to waste if he doesn’t perform properly. The Goalkeeper can also play an integral part in an attacking move by guiding the ball up the field.”


On wikipedia, defenders are defined as: "Defenders play behind the midfielders and their primary responsibility is to provide support to the team 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.“

Types of Defenders: 

Center back ((also called center half, or a central defender. In this definition, it is labeled as 'center full-back’)): "The center-full back position in football is considered to be the heart of the defense position. Playing right in front of the goalkeeper, the fullbacks have the duty to make sure any offensive move by the opposition team is dealt with. Center fullbacks are usually well built players who have good vision and are good in the air (which means they are good headers of the ball). The center full-backs can also make an offensive run if the team is making a counter-attack after breaking the opposing team forward runs. Passing is also key and the ability to fluently get the ball from defense to mid-field is an essential skill required by the center full-backs.”

Sweeper: “The sweeper position in the defense lineup of a team is an integral and extremely important constituent of the whole team. Not only is the sweeper required to have a strong moral character but also strong leadership skills to make sure the defense stays intact and doesn’t get carried away. Usually a sweeper is visible if there is a 5 defenders-3 mid-fielders-2 striker’s strategy in place. The sweeper also has the duty to stay behind the two center backs and make sure that the goal is secured at all times even if the center backs decide to make a run towards the mid-field.”

Full back ((Left, or right)): “The left/right fullback position in defense is yet again a very key position in a game of football. They cover the far corners of the pitch and make sure that any sudden burst made by the opposing midfield or the opposing strikers is stopped. In the recent past, left/right full-backs also play a pivotal role in any attack that a team makes.”

Wing back: “To play in a wing back position in a game of football not only requires brute strength but also requires a considerable amount of skill to match the strength. The wing back plays on the wing position of the pitch but with a defensive frame of mind capable of attacking ((attacking: aka, trying to score goals)). The wing back is sort of like a hybrid car with an ability to shift between the two roles with utmost ease and also perform well.”


On wikipedia, midfielders are defined as: “Midfielders are players whose position of play is midway between the attacking forwards 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 defense. Midfielders can be expected to cover many areas of a pitch, as at times they can be called back into defense or required to attack with the strikers. They are more often the players that initiate attacking play for a team.”

Types of midfielders: 

Central midfielder: “The two central midfield positions are base camp for any attack. The ability to pass with precision and keep the ball and not give it away is an important skill that any central midfielder has to possess in order to play with proper proficiency. As the job of the midfield is also to stop any proceeding attacks from the other team, the central midfielders must also resist and retaliate if any attack does materialize so that the defense gets a little breathing space.”

Defensive midfielder: “The defensive midfielder has the task to play in a role that supports the defense but also facilitates the midfield area of the pitch. A lot of character and patience is a prerequisite to play in this position. To hold any surging midfield attacks made and to run with the ball in the opposing half to start a move are one of the many duties of a defensive Midfielder.”

Attacking midfielder: “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 a deep-lying forward. This specialist midfielder’s main role is to create goal-scoring opportunities using superior vision and skill. The attacking midfielder is an important position that requires the player to possess superior technical abilities in terms of passing and, perhaps more importantly, the ability to read the opposing defense in order to deliver defense-splitting passes to the strikers.“

Left or Right midfielder: "Midfield as the name suggests is the middle battling ground in a game of football. The midfield line is an initial stop to the aggressive offense by the opposition and is also the starting point for any attack that is a counter. A player playing in the mid-field on the left or the right is required by the nature of the position to have a good strength and precision crossing abilities, crossing abilities so that when there is an attack the pinpoint crossing can find the striker to eventually score.”


On wikipedia, forwards are defined as: “Forwards ((or strikers)) are the players who are positioned nearest to the opposing team’s goal. The primary responsibility of forwards is to score goals and to create scoring chances for other players. Players who specialize in playing as a target are usually of above-average height with good heading ability and an accurate shot." ((In my own words: basically, forwards are usually jut the people who score the goals. You’re welcome.))

Types of forwards: 

Center forwards: "The center forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. The player may also be used to win long balls or receive passes and 'hold up’ the ball as team-mates advance, to help teammates score by providing a pass ('through ball’ into the box); the latter variation usually requiring quicker pace. Most modern center forwards play in front of the second strikers or central attacking midfielders." 

Striker: "Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the blind side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goal scoring position. They are typically fast players with decent ball control and dribbling abilities. A good striker should be able to shoot confidently with both feet, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. While many strikers also wear the number 9 shirt, the position is traditionally associated with the number 10, and occasionally numbers 7 and 11, though both of these are more common for wingers.” ((In my own words: A good example of a number 7 would be Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid, a good example of a number 9 would be Luis Suarez of Uruguay and FC Barcelona, a good example of a number 10 would be Lionel Messi of Argentina and FC Barcelona, a good example of a number 10/11 would be Neymar Jr as number 10 for Brazil but number 11 for FC Barcelona.))

Winger: “As the name suggests, the winger is someone who lives and breathes on the wing of the pitch but has the ability to make a surgical run between the defense and score. This position has gotten a lot of importance as of late because wingers are usually the most deadly players in a football team.”

This is only part one of the post, because this is long enough. In the next post of 'what is football’ I’ll explain the rules, red/yellow cards, penalty kicks, etc. If anything is not written correctly, message me! :)