One of the best things about soccer is that it can be played by virtually anyone! Players are able to play a variety of positions regardless of their size, but there are some positions that players can really benefit from their size. These are the best soccer positions for short players.
These are the best positions for short players in soccer
In no particular order, the best soccer positions for short players are:
- Center attacking midfielders (CAM)
Below, I go into more detail as to why these are the best soccer positions for short players, the qualities short players need to excel, and the successful short professional players in those positions.
Central attacking midfielder | The best position for short soccer players
The central attacking midfielder in soccer is positioned between the midfielders and the forwards.
Their role in the team is to create goal-scoring opportunities, either by scoring goals themselves or getting assists for teammates.
He is a complete breakdown of how to play as an attacking midfielder in soccer
This is one of the best soccer positions for short players because:
- They will find it easier to pick up pockets of space between the opposition midfielder and the defensive line
- Short players are experts at keeping control of the ball in tight areas, using their lower center of gravity to quickly change directions.
- Teams that play with central attacking midfielders typically like to play with the ball on the ground (which favors the shorter players)
Qualities a short player needs to succeed as a central attacking midfielder in soccer
For a short player to succeed in this position these are the main skills they must focus on developing:
Movement off the ball
One of the main skills that will set you aside from taller attacking midfielders is your ability to find passing lanes to receive the ball between opposition players.
Make sure you are constantly scanning the area so you are aware of your opponent’s and teammates positioning.
To help you create space for yourself your first movement must be away from the ball, with your second movement going towards the ball.
Even if you do not receive the ball yourself you may have created space for a teammate to exploit.
When you pick the ball up in dangerous central areas you need to be able to make the best possible decision in the shortest amount of time.
By the time you have already received the ball, you must know already know your next action.
The best way to improve your decision-making skills is by looking at key pieces of information before you receive the ball, while you are on the ball, and after you have passed the ball.
This will include the movements of your teammates, the positioning of opposition players, and the amount of space you have on the ball.
Short players tend to be phenomenal dribbles of the ball because they take advantage of their low center of gravity.
Shorter players are able to change direction quicker and more efficiently than their taller counterparts.
Opposition defenders will be more cautious and elect to stand you up as opposed to trying to dive in to win the ball.
This allows you to drive with the ball at your feet into more dangerous positions.
Great short central attacking midfielders in soccer
Here are 3 of the best short central attacking midfielders in soccer:
Lionel Messi is arguably the best soccer player the sport has ever seen.
Look how he’s able to glide past players using his low center of gravity and dribbling ability.
He is also constantly scanning around him so he can make the best possible decisions while is on the ball
Winger | The best position for short soccer players
The winger plays in the wider areas of the pitch.
Their role in the team is to provide crosses into the box for their teammates to attack.
Wingers can also cut inside and drive toward the goal, either crossing it or having a shot themselves.
Here is a complete breakdown of how to play as a winger in soccer
This is one of the best positions for short players because:
- They will be able to isolate the opposition fullbacks, taking advantage of their 1v1 dribbling skills
- Taller players are better at attacking crosses, especially crosses played in the air. So it would make sense to have the shorter players crossing in the ball into the box
- Shorter players have better agility and a great at quick, sharp, changes of direction. This makes it easier when either looking to run in behind the defenders or receive the ball to feet.
Qualities a short player needs to succeed as a winger in soccer
These are the most important skills and qualities a soccer player needs to succeed in this soccer position
1v1 dribbling skills
For a short player to succeed in this position, they need to have a variety of skills they use against the defender.
They must also combine the skill with a quick change of direction and a change of pace to ensure they get past the defender.
Most importantly then need to have the confidence to use these skills in game situations
This is arguably the most important skill for any wide player to possess not just a shorter wide player.
There are a variety of crosses a winger needs to utilize but you need to practice all of them.
Different types of crosses include; inswinging, out swinging, or a pullback.
You must also practice delivering crosses from different scenarios.
Such as cutting inside, going around the outside, or crossing the first time.
Being aware of space to exploit
Exploiting space in this sense can come in 2 forms.
The first way is to identify spaces you can create for yourself or your teammates to receive the ball by dragging defenders away from a space with your first movement and then moving into that space for the second movement.
The second way of exploiting space is by having the ball at your feet and playing passes to teammates who are moving into space.
To effectively be able to exploit space your must be constantly aware of your surroundings and constantly checking your shoulders.
This means you are able to make the best possible decision on the ball to exploit the space.
Great short wingers in soccer
Here are some of the best short professional wingers in soccer:
Raheem Sterling is a fantastic example of a short winger who is confident in his 1v1 ability, can cross, and has excellent movement that exploits space for himself or his teammates to attack.
Striker | The best position for short players
The striker is the player on the team that leads the attack.
Their main role in the team is to score goals and help assist teammates in scoring goals.
Strikers should have the ability to shoot almost anywhere and shoot comfortably with either foot.
Here is a complete guide on how to play as a striker in soccer
This is one of the best positions for short players because:
- Short players can be really good at holding the ball up (providing they use their bodies correctly) to win free kicks or bring teammates into play. This allows the team to get a strong foothold in the game
- Short strikers can twist and turn in the box, allowing them to create chances out of nothing. Defenders will also be very cautious when going in for challenges in case they concede a penalty.
- Center backs tend to be taller players, which means it takes longer for them to turn and accelerate. Short strikers have a major advantage when a ball is played over the top and the center-back has to quickly turn and face their own goal.
Qualities a short player needs to succeed as a striker in soccer
These are the skills and qualities a short player would need to play as a striker in soccer
A short striker must be a great finisher.
This means scoring goals from a variety of different areas, inside and outside the box.
Scoring goals from half chances will really make you stand out as a striker, no one cares about your size as long as you score goals!
To score finish more chances you must be confident when taking your shots.
Try to take your shots as early as possible, this takes the goalkeeper and defenders completely by surprise.
Hold up play
To be great at holding up the ball you do need to be the biggest or the strongest!
You just need to learn how to use your body to protect the ball.
Not only is a low center of gravity great for changing direction, but it is also perfect for maintaining balance and holding off incoming defenders.
Tall defenders find it very hard to get the ball off a short player that knows how to use their body correctly.
They either end up giving away a free-kick or end up getting turned because they got too close.
Here is a post showing how to hold up play better in soccer.
Play in the defender’s blind spots
A player’s blind spot is where they cannot see you in their line of vision.
For a defender to you in their line of vision, they must completely turn their heads.
Combine playing the defenders’ blind spots with quick, sharp movements you will be a defender’s worst nightmare.
When creating space to receive the ball either check in short to receive the ball in behind to turn the defenders.
Or check out to receive the ball to feet.
Either way, you are forcing the defender to turn, giving yourself the upper hand.
Great short strikers in soccer
Here are 3 of the best short strikers in soccer:
Sergio Aguero was a ruthless finisher in front of the goal.
For his size, he was incredibly strong on the ball and would score from virtually anywhere on the pitch.
Combine that with his dribbling skills, he may be the closest player to a complete striker.
Final thoughts on best soccer positions for short players
As a soccer player, you shouldn’t be limited to a certain position for your size.
However, it is important to remember that certain sizes may have more benefits than others.
If you want to make a position your own then you should go above and beyond to make sure you are the best in that position.
Here are different positions for each age group in youth soccer
Always focus and play to your strengths!
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.
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