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Wide Attacking and Winger Roles in Soccer

Technique and pace

Wingers play on the outside flanks (left and right “wings”) of the attack. The wing position has a variety of roles in how the position plays. However, wingers are skillful dribblers in all of these roles, pinpoint crossers of the ball, and scorers of beautiful goals.

Traditional winger

Traditional wingers, as the name implies, play on the outside flanks of the midfield. These wingers play fairly wide. Even so, they trackback, staying with their midfield line and pushing forward to become a wide attacking threat on offense.

Inverted winger

The inverted winger plays on the side opposite of his strong foot. So a right-footed player will play on the left wing and vice versa. This allows the player to cut into the middle of the pitch with his or her dominant foot. A well-timed touch into the middle can open up the space to take a shot on goal, with the dominant foot already in a position to strike.

Inside forward

The inside forward plays very similarly to the inverted winger. However, the inside forwards tend to sit higher up the pitch, focusing on the attack. Inside forwards rarely trackback. A great example would be Lionel Messi.

False winger

The false winger plays narrower than traditional wingers. Instead of making runs on the line, the false winger makes his runs into the center of the field. This role is usually used when extra numbers are needed to support the middle of the park. Additionally, this movement into the middle opens up the wing for the outside back to overlap and take an advanced position. False wingers are very hardworking as they need to support the midfield and be involved in any play that occurs on their wing.

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