Offensive Positions in Soccer

Post title over image of soccer player

One of the most exciting positions to play in soccer is in offense. These players score the most goals, create chances, and usually get the most glory! You’re here because you want to know more about these positions. So let’s get started!

The offensive positions in soccer are the positions located closest to the opposition’s goal. The offensive players’ role is to create goal-scoring opportunities for their team and convert those chances into goals. Offensive players are the most creative players on the team.

There are a variety of skills, strategies, and formations used in offense. We’ll look at that as well as discover who the best offensive soccer players are. But first, let’s look at how many offensive players there are in soccer.

How Many Offensive Players Are There in Soccer?

An offensive player in soccer is a player positioned in an advanced role on the soccer field. They play in front of the defense and possess the skills and ability to create and score goals for their team.

As I’m sure you’re aware, this is a vital role in any soccer team.

The whole purpose of soccer is to score more goals than the other team.

But a soccer team comprises of 11 players, and not all of those players can be offensive players. The team has to be able to defend as well as attack.

Any team that neglected their defense would quickly concede multiple goals and would probably lose every game!

So, in every team, some players are designated as offensive players, and some are designated as defensive players.

There are five offensive players in soccer:

  • A striker
  • A center forward
  • An attacking midfielder
  • A right-sided midfielder
  • And a left-sided midfielder

The focus of each of these offensive players is on creating opportunities and scoring goals for their team.

The Offensive Positions in Soccer

Now we know how many offensive players there are, let’s look at their positions and roles in the team.

If you’re new to the sport of soccer, you may not have realized that the words used for the positions on the soccer field are the same ones often used to refer to the players.

The truth is that in soccer, the terminology can sometimes be confusing. For example, knowing what it means to “score a brace” (<<click on the link to find out!), or understanding what a “cap” is (<<click on the link to find out!) can be a mystery to someone new to the game.

So when we talk about positions, you may notice that it looks the same as the players. See what you think!

Here are the offensive positions:

offensive soccer positions on soccer field
Offensive soccer positions on a soccer field

The offensive positions in soccer are:

  • Striker
  • Center forward
  • Attacking midfielder
  • Right-sided midfielder
  • And left-sided midfielder

The role of the offensive positions in soccer is to provide the team with opportunities to attack the opposing team’s goal. Each offensive position fulfills a unique responsibility that aids the overall strategy of the team.

Each offensive position complements the others.

The best offensive strategy in soccer is to combine the team’s offensive players’ skills and abilities and train them to work together effectively. When the offensive players are working together seamlessly, it is far more likely that a team’s offensive strategy will succeed.

Roles of Each Offensive Position

To give you a full picture of what the offensive players do, let’s quickly look at the roles of each offensive position.


The striker in a team is considered the primary goal scorer on the team.

Out of all 11 players on a team, they are positioned closer to the opponent’s goal than anyone else. This position gives them the greatest chance of being in the right place when a goal-scoring opportunity arrives.

Above all else, a striker’s one role is to score goals for the team.

For more information about this check out my article – A Striker in Soccer: A Complete Guide.

Center Forward

The center forward is the second of the two forwards on this list. (The striker is the other forward.)

The center forward performs a similar role on a team as the striker. The difference is that the center forward usually stays closer to the center of the field than a striker does.

A center forward’s role is also to score goals for the team, but they often use slightly different techniques than a striker.

A center forward is traditionally a more robust, taller player that can exert their strength on the opposition defenders, battle for crosses, and hold up the ball while other players on the team catch up with the game.

A striker, in comparison, is usually more skillful, fast, and agile. However, a center forward’s primary role is the same as a striker – to score goals for the team.

Have a look at my article – A Soccer Forward Vs A Striker – for a more in-depth comparison.

Attacking Midfielder

An attacking midfielder is the first of the offensive players that are positioned in the middle of the soccer field (or “pitch” as it’s also knownrather than in the most advanced positions.

An attacking midfielder’s role is to support the forwards on the team by creating opportunities for a shot at goal. The attacking midfielders make movements and passes that are focused on creating space for the forwards to score goals.

Attacking midfielders also take advantage of their offensive position on the field to contribute to the team’s goals.

Players in this position are often incredibly creative and are a joy to watch.

Right-Sided Midfielder or Winger

As the name suggests, right-sided midfielders play on the right-hand side of the midfield. These players are also known as wingers, as they play on the “wing” of the team formation.

The role of a right-sided midfielder is to initiate attacks from the right side of the soccer field. Players in this position have the freedom to roam up and down the field and are expected to move the ball towards the opposition’s goal at every opportunity.

Right-sided midfielders are often fast players that love to run at the opposing defenders and try to dribble past them. And a great right-sided midfielder is also an expert at crossing the soccer ball into the forwards.

Left-Sided Midfielder or Winger

The left-sided midfielder’s role is essentially the same as the right-sided midfielder, apart from being positioned on the left-hand side of the soccer field.

These players, also known as wingers, are expected to use their speed, skills, and abilities to create attacking opportunities for the rest of the offensive players.

If they have the chance to score a goal, they should also be well-practiced at shooting effectively to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.

When all the offensive players on a team work together effectively, it can be challenging for the opposing team’s defense to stop them from scoring at will.

It is a beautiful sight to behold and is one reason soccer is so popular around the world!

Best Offensive Soccer Players in the World

Watching the best offensive soccer players play at the top of their game is unlike anything else you will see.

Have a look at this video below and see what it’s like when the offensive players on a team all come together in perfect harmony.

Legendary Counter-Attacks

During that video, you will have seen two players that stand out above every other player in world soccer.

The two best offensive soccer players in the world are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Over the past ten years, no other players have consistently come close to being better than these two players.

Between them, they have won numerous awards, including being voted as the best player in the world 11 years out of the last 12.

While Argentina born Lionel Messi has spent most of his career playing for the Spanish team Barcelona, Portuguese born Ronaldo has played for various clubs such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus.

Both of these players have exceeded expectations at every club they have played for, broken multiple goal scoring records, and simply been better than anyone else.

There are no better offensive soccer players than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

My Recommendations

Throughout this article, I have hopefully helped you understand the importance of the offensive positions in a soccer game.

You will have seen multiple links to other articles that will give you even more information about these topics as you have been reading.

But I would also recommend you check out my Recommended Soccer Gear pages for the best soccer equipment available right now.

Or have a look at one of these related articles below to get you even more excited about the beautiful game of soccer!

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

Recent Posts