The Positions That Make Up A Football Team

Most people already know that there are eleven players on a football team, but what are their positions and purpose within the team and how is their formation decided?

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Defending positions

The goalkeeper is the last line of defense in any football team and the player in this position needs to be agile and have their wits about them and ensure that they are keeping up with the game play. The goalkeeper is supported in defense by full backs, wing backs, central defenders and the sweeper. Full backs and wing backs tend to take up position on either the left or right-hand side of the pitch with the central defenders looking after the central section in front of the goalkeeper. Defenders need to be good at tackling but also need to support the attackers by supplying crosses which will help push the team forward. The sweeper position is quite unique and plays mainly behind the defense to provide extra security. It is the job of all of these positions to prevent the opposing team from getting to a position where they can take a shot at the goal.

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Attacking positions

At the other end of the pitch, strikers are the players who are expected to score goals and they rely on a combination of strength, speed and power to outwit the opposition. They are backed by the central midfielders, wide midfielders and the behind the striker positions. Both midfield positions require a huge amount of stamina, strength and speed as they cover large areas of the pitch and are expected to assist with defensive cover and create chances for the strikers. The behind the striker position has a varied role and can be expected to score goals from loose balls as well as supply crosses to the striker.


Each team is also allowed to make three substitutes during the match. The substitutes will wear their team football kits while on the sidelines so they are ready to go on if they are called up and you will often see them warming up on the sidelines. If you’re looking for Discount Football Kits for your team, have a look at sites like Also take a look at the FA’s guidelines about players and substitutes.

Team formation

Depending on the opposition, the fitness of the players available and how match play progresses, a team manager may decide on different formations for the team. The most common formation is 4-4-2, four defenders, four midfield players and two strikers but this might change to 3-5-2 if a team wants to switch to a more attacking formation, for example.