With the FIFA World Cup just around the corner, it’s only natural that sports betting sites will be gearing up for a massive few weeks of bets and excitement as soccer fans from around the world unite for the first time in four years.
Of course, there are many millions of us out there who don’t really understand every little thing there is to know about the sport, so we’ve put together this quick guide for you to make sure you understand enough about the game to bet on a match or two. Here, you’ll find definitions to help you understand the game, as well as the inevitable chatter you’ll hear around the office water cooler, down at the pub, or even on your regular Sunday afternoon call home.
We’ll kick off with an easy one. A goalkeeper is a player who stands in front of the posts and guards the goal. They are also the only players on the pitch allowed to touch the ball with their hands in the penalty area. These players need to be quick on their feet and react sharply and with a well-executed strategy to prevent the other team from scoring a goal at the post.
In a soccer team, defenders are in charge of stopping the opposing team from scoring any goals. They are split into two categories: center backs and full backs.
Also known as wing backs, the full backs are stationed on the right and left flanks of the defense. They are entrusted with two main tasks: the first one is to make sure that any attacking players from the wide ends of the pitch are stopped. Their second task is to bring the ball forward and to facilitate the attacking play. Full backs are either assigned to play on the right or on the left of the two center backs.
Center backs, or central defenders, form the heart of a soccer team’s defense. They are always positioned in the center of the line of defense and are tasked with stopping the opposition from running toward the goalpost and scoring. Most soccer teams play with two center backs, although there was a time when teams would have just one, known as a sweeper.
Midfielders are the players that stay at the center of the field, positioned just between the defense and the attack players. Traditionally, midfielders have been entrusted with the task of bringing the ball from the side of the defense and then passing it onto the attacking players. They can be further classified according to their specific functions, which usually include playmakers, wingers, defensive midfielders, and attacking midfielders.
Strikers are employed by soccer teams to go forward and score goals, so they are like having the winning card or symbol when playing at an online New Zealand casino. They are usually good finishers and are able to convert good crosses and passes into goals. Previously, it was preferred that strikers generally have larger physiques, but this has since changed to allow for smaller players who can quickly and swiftly weave through the defenders.