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Soccer Midfielders

What is a midfielder in soccer? Get ready to learn about midfielders in soccer.


The midfielders are a group of players responsible for playing defense and defending their team's goal. They are well-rounded players who cover the most ground during a game, as their job is to play a combination position of a forward and defender.

Soccer Midfielder

Like defenders, there are central midfielders and wide midfielders, while there are also players who further specialize like attacking or defending midfielders. Central players with the most mobility, linking transition from defensive third to offensive third

The Midfield and Midfielders

The midfield is often considered to be the middle of the pitch, between the two penalty areas. Most of play will happen here. You will be able to identify midfielders as they are the players spending the majority of their time in this area playing both defense and offense.

Soccer Midfield

Goals And Jobs of Midfielders

The midfielder's jobs on the pitch will change depending on the location of the ball on the pitch and the team strategy being used. However, a midfielder's core jobs are to:

Midfielder Strategies

While the forwards and midfielders have clear roles to either defend or attack, the midfielder is tasked with doing both. Naturally, instead of relying on players to figure this out on their own, managers assign specific roles to the midfield, supporting either attack or defense.

On defense, not only are midfielders asked to defend attackers, but often quickly receive passes from defenders to start an offensive attack.

Midfielder Jersey Numerals

Historically, midfielders wear the numbers six through eight, with the best wearing the number 10 but this nomenclature is not often used outside of national teams.

Types of Midfielders

There are quite a few variations on the midfielder playing position in soccer:

Attacking Midfielders

An attacking midfielder is a midfielder with the primary purpose of assisting in the attack. While several midfielders may assist in an attacking play, this midfielder will spend most of the match attempting to pass towards and shoot on goal.

Holding Midfielders (Midfield Anchors)

A midfield anchor, or holding midfielder, will be a midfielder tasked with staying in the midfield, never too far back on defense or too far up on offense. They primarily look to facilitate passing, always being an open option for their team to set up an attack or relieve pressure on defense.

Wingers (Wide Midfielders)

A winger is a player who will play out wide near the touchlines, often pushing forward into the attack. Wingers also known as wide midfielders are often responsible for sending in crosses and beating players one on one due to their typically above average dribbling skills. Sometimes they are converted strikers with pace and less shooting abilities.

Midfielder Key Statistics

There are few important statistics that define a good midfielders:

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