What is the hardest position in soccer and why is it considered the most difficult position to play?

What is the hardest position in soccer and why is it considered the most difficult position to play?

Lenah Ann
September 19, 2023 at 11:10 AM

Soccer is one of the world's most popular sports, with a massive fan base from every corner of the globe. From the goalkeeper to the striker, the sport comprises different positions requiring different skill sets since each position has some degree of difficulty. The debate to determine the hardest position in soccer and why it is considered the most difficult has been around for years among players, coaches and fans alike.

What is the hardest position in soccer?
A general view of a soccer ball that is about to be kicked. Photo: Phonlamai Studios (Modified by author)
Source: UGC

Some experts argue that goalkeeping is the most challenging position due to the pressure associated with it. In contrast, others speculate that fullbacks and central midfielders face the most demanding tasks since they must cover vast field areas when defending and attacking.

What is the hardest position in soccer?

Goalkeeper is considered the hardest position in soccer due to its pressure. A goalkeeper is constantly under pressure compared to the other players, especially when the opponents are knocking on their half.

Aside from possessing unique skills, they face a higher level of competition than other athletes on the field. A little mistake from them can lead to conceding a goal, affecting the match's outcome.

Most difficult positions in soccer

Although soccer is a sport that requires a team effort to achieve success, most fans often give credit to the goal scorers, who are mainly strikers. According to various online sources, here is a detailed list to answer the question: what is the hardest position to play in soccer?

6. Striker

Scoring goals is no walk in the park since the players who take up the mantle must be excellent finishers with incredible ball control, stamina, and pace and can make high jumps for aerial balls.

A good striker can intercept defenders and easily take advantage of available spaces. Some of the all-time world's legendary strikers include Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, and Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Is centre-back the hardest position in soccer?
Andrej Kramaric (9) of Croatia in action during the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match against Armenia at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium on 11 September 2023 in Yerevan, Armenia. Photo: Hrach Khachatryan
Source: Getty Images

5. Central midfielder

Generally, midfielders are the heart of the team. They determine where, when and who gets the ball and are required to have incredible pace, defensive ability, passing, long-range shooting, awareness and tackling.

4. Fullback

Have you ever wondered what is the hardest position in soccer besides goalkeeper? Worry not, since fullback is widely considered one of the most difficult positions in today's soccer. Aside from requiring pace and stamina, it also needs acceleration, speed and excellent ball-crossing ability.

3. Attacking midfielder

These players have the most remarkable passing abilities and can surpass defenders easily with incredible vision and speed. They create goal-scoring opportunities easily and are charged with leading offensive advances.

2. Defensive midfielders

They are charged with ball distribution all over the pitch to find attacking spaces and feed the ball to the strikers. Aside from being physically fit, they must be smart to counter interception and prevent potential teammate's mistakes.

1. Goalkeeper

What is the hardest position in soccer?
Teemu Pukki (10) of Finland and Joachim Andersen (2) of Denmark battle for the ball during the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifier match at Helsinki Olympic stadium on 10 September 2023 in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Ulrik Pedersen
Source: Getty Images

Is the goalkeeper the hardest position in soccer? Although it might not seem like it, various experts agree that goalkeeper is the most difficult position in soccer due to the pressure associated with it.

Generally, the goalkeeper carries the team and thus must be physically fit with feline reflexes, agility, and great lower-body strength. They should be able to anticipate the opponent's intentions and prevent goal-scoring shots.

Is centre-back the hardest position in soccer?

Although the centre-back has sometimes been considered the hardest due to the direct advances from the strikers, it is easier than the goalkeeper, fullbacks, attacking midfielders and strikers.

Who runs most by soccer position?

The amount of running varies between different players depending on their roles and playing style. It is without a doubt that midfielders cover the most significant distance than all other players since they are involved in attacking, defending and ball distribution.

What position requires the most skill in soccer?

It is not easy to pinpoint a particular position since they all have unique attributes and skills. However, due to their responsibilities, midfielders and strikers are mostly considered the most talented.

Most difficult positions in soccer
Takehiro Tomiyasu of Japan during the international friendly match against Germany at Volkswagen Arena on 9 September 2023 in Wolfsburg, Germany. Photo: Alex Grimm
Source: Getty Images

To perfectly handle their responsibilities, they are required to possess excellent ball passing accuracy, control, vision, defensive capabilities, and tactical awareness, among others.

Remember that what is considered hard to one person may be easy to another since each position on the field represents a unique challenge that may suit a particular player's talents and abilities. Since various experts, fans, coaches and players have different opinions regarding the hardest position in soccer, the most important thing to know is that each position has its degree of difficulty.

READ ALSO: Who are the top 20 best strikers in the world?

Sports Brief has published an article ranking the top 20 best strikers in the world. These strikers are vital to winning matches since most score goals and provide crucial assists. They also contribute to the defensive aspect by possessing the ball and planning attacks in the opponent's half.

Strikers are the highest-paid individuals in the soccer world, hold excellent transfer value and thus are expected to deliver consistently. Click the link above for more details about the World's top 20 best strikers.

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Lenah Ann
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Cristiano RonaldoRobert LewandowskiZlatan Ibrahimović