Soccer players come in all shapes and sizes with some sizes better suited to some positions than others. This post goes over positions that would be better suited for tall players. Taller players in soccer are more common in certain areas of the pitch, and there’s a reason for it! These are the best soccer positions for tall players.
These are the best soccer positions for tall players
In no specific order, the best soccer positions for tall players would be the:
- Center back
I go into more detail below as to why these are the best position tall players, as well as the qualities needed and professional tall players in those positions.
These examples of positions are in a 4-2-3-1 soccer formation.
The best positions for tall players in soccer | Goalkeeper
The goalkeeper is the only player that can use their hands to pick the ball up (while they are in the keeper’s area).
Their main responsibility is to protect the goal and save shots on target from the opposition team.
They are also the only player that can truly see everything on the pitch, which means the goalkeeper has an important role to organize the defense too!
Here is a complete guide on how to play as a goalkeeper in soccer.
3 reasons why the goalkeeper is the best position for tall players
They take up more space in the goal
Being a tall goalkeeper in soccer means you take up more space in the goal.
This reduces the size of the target areas of the goal for an opposition player to aim for.
A striker can find this very off-putting too!
Especially when a tall goalkeeper comes charging off their line to collect the ball or block a shot on goal.
Tall goalkeepers are great at collecting crosses
Being a tall goalkeeper means you can climb head and shoulders above the rest of the players when collecting crosses.
This makes it very hard for the opposition team to create dangerous chances from crosses or set pieces, forcing them to change their attacking approach.
Having a tall goalkeeper that comes out to claim crosses instills huge confidence in their defenders too.
Confident players will win you games!
Reach corners of the goals with ease
A taller goalkeeper has longer limbs!
This means that they can cover large areas of their goal with very minimal effort.
Being able to reach the corners of the goals is a perfect counter for strikers that are deadly finishers.
Tall goalkeepers will make fantastic shots, that look destined for a goal distinctly average.
Qualities a tall player needs to succeed in the goalkeeper position
If you are a tall player looking to be a goalkeeper these are the qualities that you need to work on
Good with the ball at their feet
As well as being comfortable with your hands blocking shots and collecting crosses a tall goalkeeper also needs to be comfortable playing with the ball out of their feet.
A goalkeeper that can play with the ball at their feet gives the team a huge advantage when attacking and keeping possession of the ball.
By being able to play out of their feet, goalkeepers can help break opposition presses from teams that like to press high.
As a goalkeeper, you can also help change the point of attack and switch play to areas of the pitch where your team can exploit the space
Be a great shot stopper
As a goalkeeper, this should be your strongest quality.
You need to focus on making yourself as big as possible in 1v1 scenarios to give opposition players as little of the goal to aim for as possible.
Being a great shot-stopper also relies on your decision-making too.
Knowing when to rush out to win the ball and close an angle down, or trying to avoid going to ground early when an attacker is lining up their shot.
Here are some great goalkeeper soccer skills that will improve your goalkeeping ability.
Quick reactions and good footwork
As a tall goalkeeper, one of your main weaknesses would be your footwork and agility.
This is why it is essential as a tall goalkeeper that you focus on this part of your game.
Combining quick reactions with agility is an excellent way to make you stand out from the other tall goalkeepers.
As a goalkeeper is essential that you get your footwork and balance locked in when diving to make saves.
These qualities will also come in handy when making multiple saves in quick succession.
Being able to react quickly and having good agility will enable you to get set and ready for the next shot to save.
Great tall goalkeepers in soccer
These are some of the best tall goalkeepers in soccer:
Thibault Courtois is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world and is the tallest goalkeeper on the list.
He is an incredible shot-stopper.
Not only that, but he shows great athleticism to reach parts of the goal and quick reactions to make multiple saves in a row
The best position for tall players | Center-back
The center-back in soccer is at the heart of any team’s defense.
Depending on the team’s formation, they will either play with 2 center-backs in a back in back 4 or a player with 3 center-backs in a back 3.
The main responsibility of the center back to prevent opposition players from creating chances and scoring goals in the final third of the pitch.
Here is a complete guide on how to be a center back in soccer
3 reasons why the center back is the best position for tall players
Better at winning aerial duels
Taller players will find it easier to win headers and control the ball from the air when compared to their shorter counterparts.
By winning defensive headers you are able to relieve your team of pressure and reduce the number of opportunities opposition players can create from the long ball or crosses into the box.
Not only can your aerial duels provide your team with a defensive advantage, but they can also provide your team win an attacking advantage too.
Having a good heading ability will provide your team with an extra attacking option from set-pieces.
This will help you chip in with your fair share of goals as well.
As a striker coming up against a tall center-back can be very intimidating.
This means that strikers will be playing with low confidence and put off from their normal game as they are more focused on your than the ball!
For most teams, a striker is their most dangerous player, so you may have the upper hand even before a ball is kicked!
Most tall center backs carry a commanding presence which can provide extra confidence to the backline too.
Easier to step in a win the ball
As a taller center back, naturally, you’ll have longer legs, and this is a great asset when it comes to defending.
Having longer legs means that you’ll find it easier to stand players up and step in to win the ball.
Also, it’ll give you the advantage when chasing down an opposition player who’s running through on goal.
It can make it seem you are impossible to get away from!
Qualities a tall player needs to succeed in the center-back position
If you are a tall player looking to be a center back then these are the qualities you need to work on
Comfortable playing out the back
Especially in the modern game, it is becoming crucial that any central defender, regardless of size is able to play with the ball at their feet once they have regained possession of the ball.
For a tall center back to excel in this they should:
- Scan the area before receiving a pass so they know what they are doing with the ball before they receive it
- Receive the ball in an open-body position and on the back foot.
- Can use both feet to pass and receive the ball
- Had the ability to play short and long passes.
Having a tall center-back that is great at winning possession and is able to keep possession is a huge bonus to the team.
To able to win ariel duels
One of the main reasons for teams wanting tall central defenders is for their ability to win defensive headers from set pieces but also score goals from attacking set pieces.
When heading the ball you will want to jump and make contact with the ball onto your forehead.
For defensive headers, a tall center-back should get under the ball more.
This will mean that the ball will travel a further distance and will give your team the ability to step up and set up better defensively.
When making an attacking header the tall center-back should try to get over the ball and direct their header downwards.
This will make the headers more accurate and harder for the opposition goalkeeper to save.
Great reading of the game
Taller center-backs tend to be less agile than shorter opposition players.
To help combat this as a tall center back you will be required to understand the game better and rely on their position to win the ball through interceptions as opposed to winning it in a 1v1 scenario.
This is how a tall center-back can read the game better:
- Constantly scan the area and use the movements of opposition players to anticipate what could happen next
- Communicate with your teammates and make sure you are relaying to them what you are seeing and what they need to be aware of
- Watch footage of previous games of yourself or professional tall center backs and see how they position themselves
Great tall center backs in soccer
These are 3 of the best tall center-backs- in soccer:
Van Dijk is a tall, powerful center-back who not only is strong in the air but also shows great game sense and looks to break down play before it even happens.
He also provides his team with great attacking options from set pieces and scores his fair share of goals from center back!
The best positions for tall players in soccer | Striker
The striker in soccer is the player on the team who is the best at scoring goals.
Depending on the formation a team may play with a front 3, 2, or lone striker.
As a tall striker, you do play a role in scoring goals but one of the main responsibilities is to spearhead the attack and bring teammates into play to support the attack.
This a complete guide on how to play as a striker in soccer.
3 reasons why the striker is the best position for tall players
Great target players
Being a tall striker means that you are going to be a great target player for your team.
Whether you are flicking the ball on for your teammates to run onto or bringing the ball down and waiting for teammates to support the attack, you will be the focal point of your team’s front line.
Being a taller striker you are able to great a greater distance between the ball and the opposition when you are shielding the ball.
This will make it a lot harder for opposition defenders to step in and in the ball.
Even if defenders win the ball they would of most likely had to foul you to get it.
Dangerous from set pieces
Tall strikers will also be a handful for opposition defenders.
They will be a likely target for set pieces and crosses and can provide the team with plenty of assists and goals from these positions.
By being the center of attention on set pieces they will take the spotlight off other players and allow them more space and time in certain areas as you have dragged the defenders away.
As well as being dangerous for attacking set pieces they can also be a huge help to defensive set pieces too.
Similar to how a tall center-back can be intimidating to a shorter striker the same happens when the role is reversed.
A tall striker can distract the center back from correctly fulfilling their role.
The center-back may compensate by trying to be too eager to win the aerial duels and to step in to win the ball.
This can result in the opposition defender giving way to cheap free-kicks and potentially getting booked early on in the game.
This will give your team a great foothold in the game.
Qualities a tall player needs to succeed in the striker position
If you are a tall player looking to be a striker in soccer then these are the qualities you are going to need to succeed
Hold the ball up
Holding the ball up is essential for any tall player looking to play as a striker in soccer.
By holding the ball up well you are able to allow your team to reset and quickly transition to a meaningful attack.
This is how you can get better at holding the ball up as a tall striker:
- Receive the ball in a side-on-body position on the front foot
- Put your hand back to maintain distance from the defender
- Keep your knees bent to help maintain your balance
Remember, don’t hold onto the ball too long!
Once you have controlled the ball and passed it off to a teammate you should be moving and looking to receive the ball again or get in a dangerous area of the pitch where you could score.
Get on the end of crosses
You should always be trying to find the best position to get n the end of crosses to either score goals or set the ball down for a teammate to score instead.
To make sure you get in good positions unmarked as a tall striker, you should be always looking to play in between the center backs or the fullback and center.
By starting your runs from these spaces, you are dragging players into positions they may not feel comfortable in as well as running from their blind spots.
This makes you a lot harder to pick as a taller striker
Know how to create space for yourself
Tall strikers are not all gifted with pace unfortunately and won’t always look to make runs in behind the defense.
So they need to play to their strengths, which is receiving the ball with their back to the goal.
A striker who just stands still is incredibly easy to mark.
The best tall strikers are experts at making small movements to create space for themselves to receive the ball.
When making movements to create space for yourself the first movement should always be away from the space, dragging the defender with you.
With the second movement being to receive the ball.
Sometimes as a tall striker, you may have to make 3 or more decoy runs before you make the last movement to receive the ball
Great tall strikers in soccer
Ibrahimovic is a tall striker who is strong on the ball, has great balance, and can score from anywhere.
He’s excellent at playing as a target too, whether he is getting on the end of crosses or bringing teammates into the attack.
He is a perfect example of how a tall striker should play at the highest level.
Final thoughts on the best soccer position for tall players
These are the best soccer positions for tall players.
However, soccer positions are not limited to body size and height and they are some incredible soccer players who had it professional in certain positions with the odds against them.
The purpose of this post is to help give tall players a better insight into what position they may have a higher chance of succeeding in than others.
Regardless of your size or the position that you play you want to make sure you put in the work on and off the field.
These are the best soccer player workouts and exercises to ensure your success on the pitch.
This is a great guide to prepare you for your soccer tryouts.
If you found this post on the best soccer positions for tall players helpful or know a player that would then please share it with them using the social media buttons.
Thank you for reading and sharing,
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