How To Form a Good Soccer Team

Tips to Find the Right People for Each Position on Your Soccer Team

Photo of goalkeeper

Know the characteristics that the soccer players should have. Know how to find the right guy for each position as you form your soccer team.

  1. Find eleven men (at least) willing to play soccer.
  2. Know formations of soccer and choose one. In this example I’ll use the more common (4-4-2). Just to explain, the formation is as follows:







  3. Let’s start for the goalkeeper (GK). Your mission is to prevent the other teams from making goals. The goalkeeper normally is tall (185cm at least). He also has agility, the capacity to jump and good “vision of game” (he’s capable of analyzing who is the best man to receive the ball or when is the best moment to act in any situation). This position is one of the most important because any mistake can be decisive so the occupant of this position must be calm and confident.

    Good examples of goalkeepers are: Buffon (Italy), Lehman chosen (Germany) and Taffarel (Brazil).

  4. The two central-backs (CB) should have the same physical characteristics as the goalkeeper but, as they play without their hands, they have to know how to disarm the enemy using the feet and the head (and then make goals sometimes). The first thing that a central-back should know is where to be placed, who marks, and how to marks these people. Normally teams have backs with different characteristics – one has more ability, is calmer and has more vision of game. The other is stronger and more aggressive and has not nearly the vision or ability.
  5. The side-backs (SD) are very important in a 4-4-2 formation because, depending on the coach, they will act in different forms, but the norm in a team is to have one side-back more defensive and the other offensive (independent of the actuation side). The defensive is almost a central-back but independent of this he should have the side-backs’ features: be fast, pass well, disarm well and, critically cross well, because if they play in the side of the field they will always be in a good situation to do this. They can be tall or not, strong or weak – the physical characteristics are not important in this position as long as they can maintain physical preparation, because if they can be offensive but have defensive obligations too, so they will need go to attack and then go back to defense in a short space of time.

    Good examples of side-backs are:

    • Roberto Carlos (Brazil), Lahn (Germany), Ashley Cole (England) for left side-backs.
    • Cafu (Brazil), Cicinho (Brazil), Thuram (France) for right side-backs.
  6. The defensive middle-fielders (DMF) are normally two in a team with 4 middle-fielders, but it is not uncommon to find teams with 3 or just 1. Here I’ll work with the more common, 2. Like the central-backs, one has more technique and intelligence, while the other is purely strong, aggressive and “bad” (commonly you’ll see him kicking the enemy’s legs instead the ball INTENTIONALLY!). The main function of these men is to DISARM; they should destroy the plays made by the organizers of the other team and, afterward, pass the ball to the organizers of their own team. In this moment (the disarm moment), the defensive middle-fielder with more ability can organize a play better than the other; this man should have offensive characteristics (pass well, have vision of game, shoot well, etc.) to use at these moments, and in the moments that his team is attacking, he will be in the attack field, participating in the plays and probably making goals sometimes, this man is called 2° defensive middle-fielder (or in Portuguese 2° volante), the other is the 1° one.

    Nowadays good examples of DMF’s are:

    • 1° DMF – Viera (France), Gattuso (Italy), G. Silva (Brazil), Mascherano (Argentina).
    • 2° DMF – Pirlo (Italy), Schweinsteiger (Germany), Gerrard and Lampard (England).
  7. The offensive middle-fielders (OMF) are the team’s brain. They will organize almost all the attacking plays during the game, so they should be the most intelligent players in a team. They must have strong passing, shooting, vision of game, dribbling, technique and essentially the calm necessary to execute the plays in decisive moments. As the main function of these men is to ORGANIZE, one (at least) of them SHOULDN’T have the obligation of MARKING. If we were to ompare soccer with football, they would be the quarterbacks of a soccer team. They usually use the #10 shirt (Pelé’s shirt). If they mainly organize the plays, they will probably be the most marked and persecuted men in the field; for this reason a fast pass and intelligence are a requirement of the position.

    Good examples are: Zidane (France), R. Gaúcho and Kaká (Brazil), Riquelme (Argentina). The best players in history have played in this position: Maradona, Pelé, Platini, Kruif, Zico and others.

  8. The forwards (CF and FW) are the players on a soccer team nearest to the opposing team's goal, who are therefore principally responsible for scoring goals, so the main characteristic of a FW is the good kick and head. As the other position the two strikers have different characteristics. One, the center-for (CF), is normally tall and strong and his principal characteristic and function is to score goals. This can be done using feet or head (for this reason the stature is important). The other forward has as his principal characteristics the speed and passing skill. Scoring goals is a function of both strikers, but the forward normally does more assisting than scoring goals because he doesn’t stay in the area; he moves around the area to help in the organization of the attacking plays.

    Good examples are:

    • FW – Robinho (Brazil), Messi (Argentina), Owen (England).
    • CF – Ronaldo (Brazil), Van Nistelroy (Netherland), Romário (Brazil).


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By Alex Lebedev