Striker Soccer Position Explained

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

How do you play the striker soccer position? The striker position is a true attacking player whose main job is to score goals, create goal-scoring opportunities, and be a threat in the attacking third.

The striker position is one of the most important positions because this position is responsible for scoring most of the team’s goals. To win games you have to score the most goals and a lot of this responsibility falls on the striker.

In this blog I will be going over the striker position which is referred to as the number 9.

striker soccer Image by Jeffrey F Lin

The Role of a Striker in Soccer

The striker is the one who makes it all happen. Their main goal, no pun intended, is to score goals but they also have other import responsibilities.

Creating Chances

Smart strikers know that positioning is everything. A striker can find the correct spaces and gaps to create chances for themselves and their teammates. By having good positioning you know where you can run to either drag opponents with you or make an unpredictable run.

Almost 99% of the game is played without the ball, making your off the ball movements one of the most important parts to work on. Players have to be constantly scanning and aware of their positions, the positon of their teammates, the positions of the opposing players, and empty spaces to run into.

One tip as a striker is that sometimes it is valuable to stay between defenders to confuse them. If you stay near one defender it will be easy for them to mark you so confuse them by standing right in the middle of them.

Scoring Goal

A great striker is someone who can score from anywhere on the pitch or at any moment. All great strikers have a great understanding of how to score goals from outside the box, from inside the box, on the ground, in the air, with both feet, and with the head.

striker soccerDifferent Types of Strikers

The Lone Striker

The lone striker operates as the main attacking player of the team that leads the front line. They must possess a combination of goal-scoring abilities, hold-up play, and be able to create opportunities for themselves and their teammates.

Players with this role include Karim Benzema, who won the Ballon D’or with Real Madrid before moving to the Saudi League, Robert Lewandowski, who now plays in FC Barcelona, and Luis Suarez, who now plays for Inter Miami FC.

The Center Forward

Center forwards are traditional attacking players who, similar to the lone striker, lead the front line, but these players also contribute and can play more as a CAM or the number 10.

Players with this role include Paulo Dybala, who plays in Roma, and Dries Mertens, who now plays in Turkey

The Target Man

The target man is a physically imposing striker who serves as the leader of the front line. They are great at winning aerial duels, holding up the ball, and bringing teammates into play with lay-offs and flick-ons. Target men thrive in a direct style of play and are crucial for teams looking to bypass opposition defenses with long balls.

Players with this role include Olivier Giroud, who plays for AC Milan, and Romelu Lukaku who plays for Roma.

The Poacher

Poachers are specialists in finding space within the penalty box and scoring goals from close range, but they can also score long range goals from time to time. They have exceptional timing, positioning, and finishing ability, often capitalizing on defensive defender’s mistakes and rebounds.

Players with this role include Javier Hernandez, who played for Manchester United and Erling Haaland, who plays for Manchester City.

The False 9

The false 9 is a deceptive role that involves a striker playing more like a playmaker, linking up with attacking midfielders and wingers while occasionally making unpredictable runs into the box. False 9s require intelligence, vision, and technical ability to create magic out of nothing.

Players with this role include Lionel Messi, when he was playing for Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side in the 2010, and most recently Roberto Firmino who now plays in Saudi Arabia.

striker soccer Image by Source

Attributes of a Great Striker in Soccer

Although, the attributes of a striker differ slightly based on the type of striker, tactics, playing style, and team dynamics, there are some key attributes that all strikers should have.

Effortless Athleticism

Today’s strikers need to be really athletic so that they can control their bodies in various ways and score all types of goals. There is a spectrum of athleticism in which some players are more muscle driven and others are more fascia-driven athletes.

If you are a serious striker looking for ways to reach a new level then it is very important to train your fascia system, improve your foot and toe strength and control, and fix your breathing, which is directly linked to your athletic performance.

Tactical Intelligence

Successful strikers need to be intelligent, not just physical or technical. Having soccer IQ means you understand your position, your formation, and how to move the ball around and create or find space.

Without tactical intelligence stickers can get caught off-sides, lose possession of the ball, or have a pass intercepted by the opponents.

Composure

As a striker being able to stay calm is important to get over mistakes and stressful situations. Mindfulness techniques like meditation or visualization before games are a great way to help you stay composed during games.

Goal Scoring Ability

And finally, the most important attribute of a striker is their goal scoring abilities. A striker must be able to score from inside the box, outside the box, in the ground, in the air, and/or with both feet.

Every striker is unique but, in order to show their shooting abilities, a striker must also possess exceptional ball control skills and skill moves to create space between them and the opponent.

striker soccer Image by Robo Michalec

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best soccer training program?

The best online soccer training program and soccer app is Football Entangled. There is no other program like Football Entangled on the market and this community, much more than just an app, will help you get closer to making your dreams a reality.

Who are some of the best strikers to analyze and learn from?

There are many amazing world-class strikers to analyze and learn from including Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Alexander Isak, Victor Osimhen, and Gabriel Jesus, to name a few.

What is the difference between a center forward and a striker in soccer?

A striker will usually stay closer to the goal box and focus solely on scoring goals while a center forwards will try to score goals as well, but they may drop deeper than a true striker to help the team and create goal scoring opportunities in other ways.

Who are the attacking players in soccer?

In soccer the attacking players include the forwards, which means the strikers, variations of a striker, and wingers, as well as the attacking midfielder and wide midfielders.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the striker soccer position is responsible for scoring most of the team’s goals, but they also have other important responsibilities. In this post we went over the role of the different types of strikers, key attributes needed to become a great striker, as well as answered frequently asked questions about the striker position.

So now that you are done reading this article, lace up your cleats and go train.

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