What is the most important position in soccer? To some surprise there isn't one position that dominates over others. Similar to most team sports there isn't one position that necessarily reigns supreme. It can be understood that without a certain player then the other players might not work as well together. There needs to be a centerpiece to build the team around. Take Barcelona for example, the team has been built around Messi since he began playing for him. He is the centerpiece and before him was Xavi and Iniesta. The centerpiece of the team has to be someone you can develop but will also help develop other players.
But can the centerpiece be a different player? Some could make the argument that it is the forward or the midfielders. Others can bring up the idea that it is the goalie. Is there one position on the field that necessarily is viewed as the leader? No. Take the Spain national team from 2010. The final was won by Andres Iniesta scoring the lone goal. While it can be viewed that neither team scored it can be approached as both defenses playing extremely well. So there isn't really one dominant position in the game. But if you ask someone who played the sport, well the answer can vary.
Soccer is a team sport. It starts with the eleven on the field and ends with the same eleven. Each player has a role and brings different skills to the table. Ball control and speed are critical in matches and there will be times you want a certain player to have the ball. It is worth noting though that many of the well-known soccer stars share the same position. Lionel Messi is a forward, Cristiano Ronaldo is a forward and Neymar is a forward. Do you see the trend? If someone looks up the main objective of a forward they will see that their role is to start the game and be a field general at the top part of the field. But what about the other ten players?
There are eleven players on the team and it can be viewed that the front six play offense and the back four (and goalie) play defense. The back four have without a doubt the toughest job in the game when they have to go toe to toe with some of the most elite athletes. Think about players such as Neymar, Iniesta or Luka each of these players are known for being terrific midfielders or forwards and are great scorers. But what if there were players who didn't allow them to score?
The defense and goalie are known for a tough job but it all comes down to them as being the last line before an attempted score. It can be true that a team might not be known for their defense but the defense has to put up a fight. When I played soccer our captain was primarily a midfielder and a defender. The defender served as the leader of the back and ran the communication to line everyone up for corner kicks or situations defense was critical.
It can be understandable if some people only know certain players. If someone was to name a notable defender for the Spanish national team it is likely they would say, Pique. It is also possible to follow one team more specifically than others.
For instance, let's look at the France team that won the World Cup. RunRepeat brings into consideration how France has some of the most talented players on the team and mentions the value of each player. The research states how there are so many players from Paris playing in the World Cup that the players could make up a full team and coach. Many of the players from Paris play for the Paris Saint Germain soccer team which has become a very impressive team in the past few years.
The lineup is displayed including starters and substitutes and deep in the middle of the lineup are the two biggest soccer stars in France: Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe. Both happen to be a forward and a midfielder respectively. This raises the question Should certain positions be valued more than others? In a sense, it can be hard to determine. If you look at football the quarterback is typically going to be the highest paid followed by the supporting cast. In the case for soccer, it can appear that way too. Kylian Mbappe is valued at 120 million € despite only being 19 and Ronaldo just signed a contract with the Italian team Juventus worth 100 million €. Ronaldo is the captain of the Portuguese national team, scored over 300 goals while playing with Real Madrid and is also a forward. The trend of forwards shows that they can be viewed as the quarterback of the team or the field general.
I can't give a definite reason for why people are more familiar with a certain position in soccer. I played soccer and I was always biased to the midfielders and defenders. If it was up to me I would say they're the most important position. There isn't going to be one specific position but everyone will have a different idea. Soccer is a team sport and maybe we need to start learning more about the teams rather than just the best player.