Assuming someone shows promise before they get on the field, what should you look for once they are in a game? Here are some of the key abilities and talents to look out for.
Is fast and strong
Speed and strength are two of the most important abilities a soccer player should have. A fast player can switch from offense to defense quickly as the game shifts, making them a force to be reckoned with on the field. A fast player can also sprint past their opponents when needed or rush into gaps to make it easier for their teammates to pass. Strength is equally important, even if it’s not in the same way as in football or boxing. In soccer, strength will help a player retain the ball when other players challenge them for it or will help them beat another player when they challenge them for the ball.
Is always on
A player who is “always on” is always focused and aware of what is going on in the game. They don’t get easily distracted, giving them opportunities that other players may miss. They are also highly motivated, which can help raise team morale.
Has good agility, coordination and control of the ball
In many ball sports, people use the phrase “being one with the ball” and this applies equally to soccer. If someone has the natural and trained ability to control the ball so well that it seems like they and the ball are a single unit – whether this applies to skills like dribbling or putting it in the back of the net – they’re likely to be a devastating force on the field.
Has soccer intelligence
Some soccer players seem to have eyes in the back of their heads or can see into the future when you consider how quickly they can make decisions. These players don’t have superpowers but have simply honed their soccer intelligence which is a player’s ability to identify their options before they receive a ball. For instance, good soccer intelligence includes the ability to visualize the entire field to know where your opponents and teammates are. This allows players to make good decisions quickly. They also understand the risks of making certain plays, such as whether a pass or goal will succeed or fail.
Can score goals or defend consistently
The final sign that someone has a lot of promise is their ability to perform consistently on the field. No matter the skill of their opposition or the state of the game, these players are able to keep their cool and stick to the rules required by their specific position in the team for the duration of the game.
Some of the great players who have these skills
There aren’t many players who have these skills, let alone a complete skill set. Here are a few of the soccer greats considered to be the best all-round players:
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Diego Maradona
- Lionel Messi
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