How many points is a goal worth in soccer? Understanding the value of a goal

How many points is a goal worth in soccer? Understanding the value of a goal

Helix Odhiambo
February 17, 2024 at 8:23 AM
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FIFA World Cup
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ENG Premier League

Scoring is one of the ultimate objectives of any footballer. Every team aims to score more goals than their opponents to secure victory. By winning, they get to improve their league position or proceed to the next round of competition. But how many points is a goal worth in soccer?

Cristiano Ronaldo scores against Al-Khaleej
Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr FC scores against Al-Khaleej on 4 November 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Justin Setterfield
Source: Getty Images

Soccer is an exciting sport with millions of followers globally. Many people understand most of its rules because it is popular and played in almost every corner of the world. Footballers play to win games by scoring as much as possible to overcome their opponents. So, how many points per goal are there in soccer? This article explains in detail how goals and points work in football.

How many points is a goal worth in soccer?

The number of goals scored in soccer is not equal to the points awarded. In soccer, teams get points depending on the outcome of a game. It differs from basketball, where a team can earn points (1-3) depending on their scoring position. In cricket, scoring depends on the number of runs scored and wickets taken (outs).

How is a goal scored in soccer?

Mike Maignan and Napoli players
AC Milan's goalkeeper Mike Maignan carries the ball in the net against SSC Napoli on 18 April 2023 at the Diego-Maradona stadium in Naples. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli
Source: Getty Images

Football has eleven players on the pitch. Anyone can score, from shot-stoppers to defenders, midfielders, wingers, and strikers. Scoring in soccer happens when the ball passes entirely over a goal line, between the posts and under the crossbar.

There are numerous ways of finding the back of the net, including strikes, headers, chests, volleys, penalties, free-kicks, tap-ins, and own goals. However, players can score with any part of their body apart from the hand or arm up to the shoulder.

What are points in soccer stats?

They are crucial metrics determining a team's standing in a league. Teams are awarded differently depending on the outcome of a game. Football matches can end in three ways ( a win, a draw, or a loss). Here is a breakdown of what teams receive after the final whistle.



Three (3)

When a team wins

One (1)

When a match ends in a draw (tie)

Zero (0)

When a team loses

Winners of football leagues like the Premier League and La Liga are determined by the points they have accumulated at the end of the season. The system is also used in group stages of tournaments like the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations to decide who proceeds to the competition's knockout stage.

According to football rules, the point system does not apply in knockout stages because whoever wins the game progresses towards the next phase.

How many points is a goal worth in football?

Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid
Real Madrid's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois dives against Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on 9 May 2023. Photo: Oscar Del Pozo
Source: Getty Images

A goal is a goal in soccer, and teams only earn points depending on their results after 90 minutes of playing, regardless of how much they score. Bagging more goals helps you win a match and increase your goal difference, which could be a tiebreaker.

For example, if a team wins 1-0 and another 3-0, both earn three points, while draws of 1-1 or 4-4 gets a single point. Scoring from a long-range strike, a curled free-kick, or a bicycle kick has the same impact on the scoreboard as finding the back of the net from a tap-in or a penalty kick.

Who can score in soccer?

Traditionally, scoring is the duty of strikers because they often play near the opponent's area. Their primary task is to receive the ball near or in the rival's box and send it into the net. Some of the best stars who are good at the job include Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema, and Erling Haaland.

Soccer has also produced midfielders and defenders who have mastered the art of scoring. Lionel Messi, Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Ramos, Ronaldinho, Frank Lampard, and Ronald Koeman have defined an era with their scoring abilities despite not playing as strikers.

Legendary goalkeepers Rogério Ceni and José Luis Chilavert defied the norm by getting into the scoresheet multiple times during their careers.

Frequently asked questions

Robert Lewandowski scores a goal
Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona scores against Deportivo Alaves at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on 12 November 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: David Ramos
Source: Getty Images

Goals are worth more than just winning games. Some create lasting memories and define eras in football. The beautiful goals have even left commentators with poetic phrases describing and appreciating the genius and technique behind them.

How many points is each goal worth in soccer?

A goal is not worth any point, but it helps determine the outcome of a game. The more a team scores, the higher their chances of outscoring an opponent and winning a game.

Can you get 2 points in soccer?

In soccer, teams only receive three points for a win, one for a tie, and zero for a loss. Some have even had deductions for failing to attend a game or violating financial rules and regulations, among other offences.

How many points is a goal worth in the Premier League?

The English top-flight awards points based on the outcome of a game but not on the number of goals scored. When teams tie, goal difference is used as a tiebreaker to separate the sides.

Final word

How many points is a goal worth in soccer? As revealed in this article, a goal is not directly related to points according to football rules. However, scoring more increases a team's chances of outscoring the opponents, winning a game, and improving their league standing.

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Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.