The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
English Soccer Positions by Numbers

Football Positions UK Player Numbers

All English soccer positions include the layout names and the football positions numbers for shirts. Find out what players do on the pitch.

FOOTBALL POSITIONS ON THE FIELD: Explaining 11 soccer positions by numbers and their role on the pitch.

Knowing all the English soccer player football positions and the part they play on the pitch will help to clarify the different squad formations.

FIFA football rules for all 11-a-side soccer competitions must have a minimum of seven team players to start the match.

The goalkeeper protects the goal area. The rest of the team includes defenders, midfield players, wingers, central midfield and attackers.

'Soccer - A Football Team with 11 Positional Players in a Side'

UK Premier League teams and European competitions can use 3 player substitutions from 7 nominated subs. Recreational soccer friendlies have less stringent football equipment rules. Generally they allow the use of more substitutes throughout the match.

Soccer Football Positions UK Guide

The soccer player football positions by numbers refers mostly to the olden days. Football numbers and positions got assigned to their field position for certain games. Soccer position numbers and their roles determined the arrangement of players on the pitch.

This topic is one of our most frequently asked questions about football. Back then, football players positions did not traditionally have their own number. Traditional football numbers by position were not personally assigned to each individual.

1. Goalkeeper

Wearing a football jersey with 'number 1' on the back is an important role within the team. The job of saving goals is largely unenviable by most outfield footballers. They often see the keeper's task as both crazy and brave.

Goalies spend much of the game alone in their goal area watching team players make attacking moves. But, goalkeepers need to be agile and always alert, ready to make a match-winning save.

Goalkeepers are the only players on the pitch who can legally touch and hold the ball. But, it must be inside the soccer penalty box and obeying the 'back pass rule' to avoid an infringement. Goalies need to be agile and always alert, ready to make a match-winning save.

Rule changes mean the goalkeeper can no longer react to back passes by picking up the ball. That means there is greater emphasis on a goalkeeper's control and ball kicking skills.

2. Right Back

The football full-back defensive position is where most of the attacking moves begin. Most pundits suggest gaining ball possession in your own half and moving the ball forward is the main role of full-backs.

English football positions numbers traditionally have a left footed player at full-back. There would be a right footed player on each side of the defense - called a left-back and a right-back. The role of Ashley Cole when playing for England is typical of the left-back position.

3. Left Back

Left back responsibilities and tasks include winning tackles and blocking the opposition’s wide attackers. Left back positions in football may also support the central defenders. They chase after loose strikers trying to steal the ball off them before they score.

If your team does not score during the match, the only method of winning points is to deny the opposition from scoring against you. The role of the modern defender often encourages them to venture beyond the halfway line. This role means they can support team attackers by supplying crosses into the box.

Modern soccer wingbacks have many roles. But few sights compare to the excitement of an attacking wingback football player running up and down the flanks.

Famous football players like Roberto Carlos were experts at tormenting and harassing oppositional defense.

A team using the typical wing-back formation will likely use three midfield players. That gives the wingers plenty of space and freedom down the sides of the pitch. Attacking wing-backs are difficult to defend against, because of their agility, fitness, and speed.

Wing backs often have extra footballing qualities. They are strong tacklers and superb crossers of the FIFA football ball from their wide positions in football.

English Football Positions: Central Defender4. Central Defender

Playing in the center of defense is a tough role for any soccer player. Your strengths should include being a committed tackler and powerful in the air.

Central defender positions in football will see constant action against the best strikers. Your role is dealing with strikers bombarding you with danger.

A successful football team is usually built around a strong solid defense. The central defender is the pivotal player in that zone. The role requires total focus on the game and an ability to read the opposition's next move.

It also means making yourself available for an easy pass from your goalkeeper when he has the ball.

If a central defender gets caught 'napping' it often results with a striker's turn of pace bursting through. This is a typical way strikers score goals.

A central defender position in football is not a relaxing role. Your threats come from many different angles.

5. Sweeper (center back)

The soccer sweeper system is more popular in continental football than in the English leagues. The role of the sweeper does not suit every club. It is a specialized appointment within the team formation.

A sweeper usually plays slightly behind the defensive players. It is a role that adds solidity and security as well as supporting the midfield. Sweepers need to be good game-readers with a sharp footballing brain.

They are rarely one-footed players. All football sweepers should be confident on the ball with excellent passing techniques.

6. Central Midfield (center back)

Central midfield players can win or lose games. Most of the 20 Premier League teams all have the one thing in common. They all have world-class central midfield players.

The middle of the field gets most of the action throughout the regular 90 minutes of play. Unsurprisingly, influential midfielders need stamina. Central midfielders will run their legs off for most of the game.

They are often likened to the conductor of an orchestra. They organize the teammates and dictate the general pace of play.

To play in the central midfield position you should be skillful and strong at tackling. You will be constantly running up and down the pitch. Your role is winning ball possession and developing scoring opportunities.

7. Right Wing

Wide midfield soccer players rank among the most exciting footballers in the game. They are often called wingers but they signify a hardworking wing man. Right wingers display clever footwork and fancy tricks. An example would be the role of Ryan Giggs playing at Manchester United.

11. Left Wing

You need bags of energy and stamina to play at wide midfield football positions and numbers. You should provide defensive cover for your full-backs. Left wingers often flash down the wing creating match-winning opportunities for their strikers.

Football Positions on the Field: Michael Owen Striker Position8. Behind the Striker

Playing behind the striker is unusual to see in lower league clubs. But it is becoming more popular at international levels. Soccer pundits often use the football terminology 'license to roam' to describe the role of a striker.

10. Offensive Midfield (second striker)

The player occupies a deep position between the opposing defenders and their midfield. The freedom to roam also makes the player behind the striker difficult to mark.

That's because they always have superior sharp vision for the game and a lightning turn of pace.

9. Striker

Strikers are selfish goal thirsty players – none more so than Michael Owen (pictured). Scoring more goals than your opponent is the most simplistic winning regulations of football.

A good striker might have superior pace, whereas another might excel in agility, strength, and power. The role, characteristics, and first goal of a striker is to finish the move up front.

There is no better feeling in English football than performing outlandish goal celebrations after getting your team on the score sheet.

English Football Positions UK and Player Numbers Explained