Football Positions: A Guide for New Traders

Football Index is an exciting new gambling platform where enthusiasts of the beautiful sport can come together and win some cash on the side by betting on the future success of their favourite players. It can be intimidating to get into if you don’t have any working knowledge of football, which is where we come in.

Our handy primer about football positions can be your first step towards developing a love for the game –and help you decipher some common terms you’ll come across while trading. Read on:


The goalkeeper or goalie is often referred to as a team’s final line of defence—he protects the net or the goal, and his primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. Goalkeepers are the only players on the field allowed to use their hands and arms to catch, palm, or punch the ball to block it when a game is in session. They typically remain in and around their own penalty area for most of the game, a unique position that gives them a better view of the pitch and enables them to advise other defensive members of the team when opposing is on the attack.

They are required to wear a different coloured kit from outfielders and officials. In association football, common goalie colours include yellow, black, shades of blue, green, and grey. They also wear specialised gloves that protect the hands and offer a better grip on the ball. The winner of the 2019 Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper Award is Alisson Ramses Becker, commonly known as Alisson who plays for Liverpool.


Defenders are field players positioned closest to the goal and are tasked with protecting the goalkeeper by blocking shots and providing interference to the opposing team. There are 4 types of defenders:

Centre-backs or central defenders are considered the hardest working members of the team, playing both a defensive and an offensive role depending on the location of the ball. Their job is to block the opposing team’s strikers from scoring and to bring the ball out from their penalty area. Most teams station 2 centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper.

The sweeper is a type of centre-back who is tasked with sweeping up the ball if the opposing team manages to take it past the defensive line, hence the name. They are known in Italian as libero, which translates to “free”. Former German captain Franz Beckenbauer is said to have invented the role and is considered the best player in it.

Full-backs are positioned on either side of the centre-back(s) and are tasked with protecting them from wide attackers from the opposing team. They can be called left or right-back.

Finally, wing-backs are defenders that are put in offensive positions and are expected to support the midfield when the team is on the attack. The name is a portmanteau of the terms, “winger” and “full-back”. It is known as one of the most physically gruelling positions in the modern game.


Midfielders operate around the centre of the field, ahead of the defenders but behind the attacking forwards. They are versatile players that are tasked with maintaining possession of the ball, taking it from the defenders and moving it towards the strikers. There are 4 types as well:

Centre midfielders link the team’s attack and defence, staying primarily within the middle third of the pitch. They will support strikers on the attack and attempt to win the ball back when playing defence. They are sometimes referred to as the “engine room” of the team, as centre-midfielders are some of the most active and busy players during a game.

Defensive midfielders are positioned in the centre, just ahead of a team’s defenders to provide added protection.

Attacking midfielders are placed in advanced midfield positions, between the centre midfield and the team’s forwards. They are tasked with creating scoring opportunities for the team.

Wide midfielders are also known as left midfield or right midfield, stationed to the left or right of centre midfield. They are tactically deployed to provide width and an added layer of defensive protection along the flanks or sides of the pitch.

Arguably the most famous midfielders of modern football include players such as David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.


Also known as strikers, these players are positioned closest to the opposing team’s net or goal and are mainly responsible for scoring goals or creating chances for other players to score. Notable strikers include such well-known names as FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.

It may seem like a lot of terms, but learning the various player positions in football is very easy! We hope this guide has helped you decipher some of the language as well as have more fun while watching the game and trading on the Index.