What Is The Difference Between Striker And Winger?

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What is the difference between striker and winger?

Before answering that question, keep in mind that both a striker and a winger are forwards in soccer. They both participate in the attack of a team.

In this article, you are going to learn all the differences between a striker and a winger in soccer/football.

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What Is The Difference Between Striker And Winger?

The main difference between a striker and a winger is their main roles in a team. Both create goal-scoring opportunities for their team but, wingers play close to the touchline and strikers play the nearest to the opposing goalie.

Strikers and wingers have to bring danger to the opposing area and make sure to create as many chances as possible to win the game.

Here’s a full article about the winger position in soccer.

Here’s another one about the striker position in soccer.

There are many other differences that I am going to explain later in this article.

Others Key Attributes For Strikers

  • A striker is usually tall.
  • Not so fast
  • Good at playing with their head
  • Very good in the air
  • Ability to win the first ball
  • Always attract opposing defenders
  • Run behind the defenders
  • Find spaces to receive the ball
  • Strikers are great finishers
  • Most strikers wear the number 9

Key Attributes For Wingers

  • A winger is fast
  • They are great dribblers
  • A winger doesn’t hesitate to go on a one-on-one with the defender
  • They are great at crossing the ball
  • Perfect and powerful shot
  • Nice vision to easily find strikers in the box
  • Most  wingers have the number 7

From those key attributes listed above, you can understand the difference between a striker and a winger.

So, if you want to play as a winger or striker, you know what you need.

How Do Strikers And Wingers Play Together On The Pitch?

Although both strikers and wingers have to create goal-scoring opportunities for their team, each of them is complementary to the other.

If a team plays with a 4-3-3 as shown in the pic below, in this case, we have two wingers and one striker.

What is the difference between striker and winger - Winger position

With this formation, the main role of the striker is to score goals.

However, the wingers may have two roles: Crossing the ball for the striker and cutting inside the opposition defence and curling the ball to score themselves. This happened a lot with players like Arjen Robben.

A-Crossing The Ball

This can be a tactic used by the coaching based on the defence weakness and the wingers ability to eliminate the right/left back and cross the ball.

This is why teams have a coach who can analyse the opponent and find weaknesses.

If a team has a physically strong and tall striker, they might use the cross-system. Meaning, ask the wingers to dribble and make crosses for the striker.

This is how Giroud and Mandzukic were used in their teams.

B-Cutting Inside To Score

Sometimes, if there’s no solution, a winger may decide to cut inside with the ball, find space and curl the ball.

This strategy is used by most wingers now.

Who Is The Most Important Between a Striker And Winger?

Both strikers and wingers play an extremely important role in a team and on the pitch. A team relies on a striker to score goals because this is a striker’s main role. If a team doesn’t score goals, the fans will first blame the striker.

But, does that mean the striker is more important than the winger?

Well, the answer is no.

Just like the striker, the winger has their role and also has an impact on the pitch. It is not easy to take a flank and run the whole game. Most wingers have to come back defend and help their right/left-back. This gives them an additional job to do on the pitch.

With that being said, both positions are essential.

So, if you want to play as a winger, stamina is required.

Mistakes Strikers And Wingers Make

When strikers and wingers play together, sometimes they make a lot of mistakes.

But there is one mistake I see a lot between a striker and wingers.

1-They don’t understand each other’s movements on the pitch.

Strikers and wingers are supposed to train often together. So, during a game, they have to know each other’s moves.

I have seen many wingers crossing the ball too earlier or too late. It is important to know the right timing.

If a winger wants to cut inside and try a shot, the striker needs to be aware of that. It is like a free kick. Players who practice freekick tricks in training execute them well during a game.

Final Thoughts

A winger and striker are two forwards who both participate in the creation of goal-scoring opportunities for their team.

Each of them has particularity and skills. Sometimes, a striker can have the same skills as the winger.

I hope you have gained value from this article and that your question has been answered.

As usual, if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below.

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