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Soccer is More Than Just Scoring Goals

When a soccer ball hits the back of the net, the joy it brings to the scorer is quite infectious. Scoring a goal brings a player’s abilities into focus and he becomes the subject of much conversation. Goals win games and tournaments, and without it, soccer couldn’t possibly be fun to watch. Yet, there is more to being a soccer player than scoring goals. One can be an excellent soccer player without being the one scoring goals. Though one player kicks the ball to get it over the line, a goal is the product of a team’s effort. Some goals are scored due to a sequence of passes that begins with goalkeepers and defenders, while some come from a cross from a midfielder or attacker. There is the very rare occasion where a goalkeeper can score directly from a goal kick but other than that, a goal involves team effort.

Parents who are new to soccer may worry when they watch other children score while their child doesn’t. A good understanding of the game should assure them that this does not mean their child is bad at the sport. In a situation where the worry comes from the child, it is for the parents to explain to the importance of being part of a team where every position and task is equally important. The child may not be scoring because they have been selected to play in defensive positions, in which case parents will do well to explain just how crucial it is for a successful team to have very capable defenders.

In a soccer team, attacking players score the most goals. They are positioned closest to the opponent’s post and so their shots are more likely to hit the target than those shooting from further away. However, attacking players cannot get the ball in those attacking positions unless defenders and midfielders pass it to them. If an attacking player wanted to always run with the ball from midfield, he would soon become tired and would generally perform poorly. Therefore, players in the middle and wings contribute to goal scoring by feeding quality balls to the forwards. In the modern era of soccer, the ability to provide an assist – a pass leading to a goal – has become more recognized than ever before.

Assists are probably as important as scoring goals. Players who are most notable for delivering assists usually have excellent passing and crossing abilities and are praised often for their vision and quick thinking. The more creative players in a team are usually not those who score the most goals. Playmakers in midfield provide the ingenuity that drives a team towards scoring goals. But even players who have little to do with goal scoring play indispensable roles in a soccer team. Defenders have a very important task to prevent the other team from scoring. Central defenders use their height and strength to neutralize threats posed by attacking players from other teams. Defenders who play on the wings are also important parts of the team as they stop crosses from coming into the team’s penalty box. In the modern game, wingbacks serve as an outlet for launching attacks. Their pace and strength always carry a potential threat.

Unlike sports like basketball, football, tennis or baseball, it is quite difficult to score many points in soccer. To score a goal against a capable team, a soccer team has to be well structured. All players must be play according to a pattern in which they are all in harmony. It will be impossible to win a game if everyone in the team wanted to play as a forward or everyone wanted to play as a defender. Goals come when everyone does their job as well as possible.


While the scoring of goals may be the ultimate objective of playing a game of soccer, it is not simply a sport in which scores are counted on a three-point mark sheet for the purpose of awarding trophies. At the end of the day, soccer games are won by the team that scores the most goals. However, it is a product of a process involving different components. As the Dutch legend Johan Cruyff observed: “Soccer is a game of mistakes, whoever makes fewest mistakes wins”. So if a team with a great attack scores five goals but has a really weak defense that gives away 6 goals, they end up losing the game. Soccer is more than scoring goals; every player who does his job excellently will always get the attention and respect he deserves.


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