What is the most important position in soccer/football? If you are a soccer player, likely, this question has ever popped up in your mind.
In soccer, there are multiple positions, each with significant importance.
However, six positions seem to stand out from the rest and could potentially penalize a team if those positions are empty.
In this article, you are going to find out the top 6 most important positions in soccer.
Let’s get started.
Table Of Contents
What Is The Most Important Position In Soccer?
Center Midfielder, center back, goalie, defensive midfielder, playmaker, and winger are the most important soccer positions. Teams rely on them to connect defense and attack, guard the goal, and shape every game.
Although each position is important and has a unique role, every team can play without a striker and full back, but never without the positions listed above.
Therefore, these positions are essential in every game, making them the most important.
Before moving further, you have to understand that when we refer to the most important position in a team, we look at whether a team can play without any of these positions.
We know all soccer positions are important. But what position can negatively affect a team if you remove them from a team or a game?
Answering that question will help you find the most important position in soccer.
No team can play without a goalie, a centre back or a central midfielder. These are the top 3 most important positions on the pitch.
In the next section of this article, I am going to go into more detail about each of those positions so you have a better understanding of why they are considered the most important positions in soccer.
The goalie is inevitably the most important position in soccer.
It is impossible for a team to play without a goalkeeper. A soccer game is composed of 10 players + the goalie and there is a reason for it.
Would you imagine a game starts with 11 players and the cage empty? Of course, not.
The goalie needs to be there in every game, making it the most important position.
Plus, FIFA and UEFA would not accept a game to start without a goalkeeper in the cage.
Likely, you have watched games where the goalie is sent off and the game cannot continue until the penalized team manages to get a new goalie or someone else in the cage.
The same thing happens when a goalie gets injured during a game. The game cannot continue until the goalie gets up and feels better.
This shows how important a goalkeeper is in a team.
2-The Centre Back
The centre back is the second most important position in soccer.
Just like the goalie, it is difficult for a team to play without a centre back. Although there are no rules or regulations that make the use of a centre back mandatory, no team would want to play without a centre back because this is a very important position.
Without a centre back in a team and a game, a team could leave much space to the opposition and concede many goals.
Look at the pic below and imagine this team without the three centre backs. Could you imagine a team using this system?
Well, I don’t think so.
Every team, regardless of their playing style, strategy, or tactics, requires a centre back to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals.
The Central midfielder is the third most important position in soccer.
As mentioned before, a midfielder links the defense to the attack. A team that plays without a central midfielder won’t have possession of the ball the entire game and might potentially lose.
The central midfielder is also considered the hardest position in soccer and there is a reason for it.
This position is so important because it allows a team to control the game. Remember, it’s in the middle of the field, meaning the ball has to pass through that position every time to reach the defense or the attack.
Leaving this position empty might ruin your chance to dominate the game and have possession.
Have you ever seen a team play an entire game without a central midfielder? Let me know in the comments below.
You can also read, what do midfielders do in soccer?
These were the three most crucial positions on the field.
Now, let’s have a look at the next three.
4 – Defensive Midfielder
The defensive midfielder plays a crucial role in protecting the defense and regaining possession. They sit in front of the backline, break up opposition attacks, and distribute the ball to restart the attack.
A strong defensive midfielder like N’Golo Kante gives the team shape and balance. They allow the other midfielders and fullbacks to get forward.
Without a proper defensive mid, the team can get exposed.
5 – Playmaker/Number 10
The playmaker operates behind the strikers as the creative attacking outlet. They find space between the lines to receive the ball and initiate attacks.
Playmakers like Mesut Ozil provide the killer pass in the final third to unlock defenses. They link midfield and attack. A talented playmaker gives direction to the team’s attack.
Lacking creativity here makes it hard to break down defenses. That’s why it’s in my top 6 most important soccer positions.
6 – Winger
Wingers stretch defenses by staying wide and hugging the touchline. Their pace and dribbling ability allow them to beat fullbacks one-on-one and deliver crosses.
Wingers like Riyad Mahrez give the attack more variation. They can isolate and create overloads against fullbacks. Without proper wingers, attacks can become too narrow and predictable.
Stretching the defense creates space centrally.
But, why not a striker or any other forward? You might ask.
Well, I got you covered.
Why Not The Striker Or Another Forward Position?
The truth is that every team can play without a striker.
The main role of a striker is to score goals. Although this skill set is not given to anybody, defenders and midfielders can score goals as well.
It can not be considered the most important position because if you remove a striker from a team, it won’t necessarily affect the team negatively.
The perfect example to illustrate this is the Man City team. Pep Guardiola uses a system without a striker. Plus, he stated that Man City plays better without a striker.
He is not the only one. Most teams seem to use the False 9 system in modern soccer nowadays.
The same can apply to wingers. A team can play without wingers and just use a right and a left midfielder to compensate them.
Why Not The Full Back?
The right-back(RB) and left-back(LB) are considered full back in soccer.
Just like the striker, a team can play without full-backs without penalizing the team.
In this position above, there are no full-backs. This formation is good if you want to play an offensive game.
Once again, this shows that this position can not be considered the most important.
At the end of this article, it should be noted that there are six key positions in soccer: goalkeeper, center back, midfielder, defensive midfielder, playmaker, and winger.
They are considered the most important soccer positions because no team can play without including any of them in the line-up.
Everyone has their own opinion on this topic. Some may prioritize their position as it is where they play.
But this article has done a good job of explaining why a position is considered important and others are not.
I hope you have gained value from this article.
If you have any questions or you would like to add something else, do not hesitate to leave a comment below and I will answer you as quickly as possible.