Soccer is a widely played sport worldwide and has more than a billion fans and enthusiasts worldwide. It is not only an active sport but a passionate hobby in which people invest their time, energy, and finances to entertain themselves and be a part of the football domain. It is easy to play, inexpensive, and a player’s game. Soccer is played professionally with people going to the football stadiums to follow and cheer for their respective favorite teams. A billion people watch the game on television or the internet, making it the most popular game globally. The players are expected to be fully competitive and physically fit to join the team. Since it is a competitive sport, there is no room for significant blunders that may impair or curtail the chances of winning the game. The players endow their time shaping their physical strength, increasing their mental stamina, and preparing themselves for the rough encounters about to befall them.
To be an athlete and play professionally on the big outdoor field, having a solid body with appealing physical features and body shape tends to be a significant aspect of soccer players. Soccer is a rough game that requires brutal and forceful encounters with rival teams. Players with fragile bodies will not be able to cope with the complex challenges out on the field; therefore, it is imperative to work on their bodies, make them physically robust, build up muscle resilience, and shape their bodies to tolerate kicks and force. Players can only be successful if they score a goal, and to do that, they need to be active on the field rather than allow a substitute to replace them. Active players are more likely to work on their foot movement, run through the area, actively overcome obstacles, and score a goal in the end. This is why footballers have one of the fittest bodies in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, has a healthy body, and many men aim to have a body shape similar to him.
What Are The Physical Characteristics Of A Soccer Player?
- Height: The height of a soccer player plays a huge role, especially in critical positions such as goalkeepers, central defenders, and strikers. Most especially in Europe’s top 5 leagues, the average height of the goalkeepers seems to be around 1.9 meters, and the average height of the outfield players may be about 1.79 meters. However, this does not indicate that soccer players who do not meet this height are not good enough. A good number of world-class players fall below this height.
- Bodyweight: A player’s weight is another factor affecting soccer players. Most soccer players are generally lean and work to not gain so much weight because of the demanding number of miles a soccer player should cover per game, endurance, and the agility required; ideally, a soccer player is not expected to weigh above 210 pounds. The average weight of all players as of the last world cup was around 170 pounds.
Why Are Soccer Players So Lean?
Soccer players can be so lean because this sport expects players to have specific characteristics that a person with a high-fat level might find difficult to participate in. Why are soccer players lean? It is because of these activities:
- Flexibility: Soccer players are expected to be flexible. As a result of the numerous turning and twisting in a single game, players must be flexible enough, which can cause players to be lean.
- Speed: Because of the rate the players run and the distance covered in a game, players will have minimal body weight.
- Intense training schedule: Soccer players do a lot of physical work and train practically every day on the training ground. This daily routine tends to lower the players’ body fat to a large extent and keeps the body lean and in good shape.
- Career Longevity: As soccer players get older, they must have a lean structure and shed some body weight to maintain a high level and intensity. When a player has less muscle tissue and body fat, in cases of injuries like sprain and strain, such a player can have a quick recovery time.
Is Being Short Advantage In Soccer?
Yes, being short can be an advantage in soccer. A short player can perform specific roles and positions such as wingers, wing-backs, and midfielders which aids in the ability to change directions very quickly than the tall players because of the short player’s rapid stepping patterns and low center of gravity to help dribble past other players quickly.
For example, one of the world’s best soccer players, Lionel Messi, is high, only 5ft 7 or 169 cm.
In terms of aggression, tall people tend to get called for fouls more than short players because the height might be seen as aggressive in contesting for the ball. This, however, does not mean that being short is more advantageous than being tall in soccer. The height is only an advantage based on specific positions.
Soccer players come in different sizes and body shapes. Typically, the tallest and heaviest players are made goalkeepers, central defenders, and target men based on their defensive characteristics and duties. Players shorter in height and have widebody features play wide and attacking roles. However, exceptions are always there, and players are allotted different positions based on their respective bodies. Commonly, soccer players have lean and slim bodies. They are cardio machines and have muscular legs and arms. Their average height is similar to that of an average person, and their weight does not exceed 200 lbs. for a man and 155 lbs. for women. Body types and physical attributes are variables in the game when it decides a player. The physics constraints and requirements are rigid in soccer because of the endurance and physical demands needed by the players to carry on on the field. Physical characteristics determine and shape players’ abilities and appropriateness to adapt to a specific position, but it is not conclusive.
Soccer players fall under the category of ectomorphs and mesomorphs. The latter type is the most common body type, but many soccer players fall under ectomorphs.
Ectomorphs soccer player
An ectomorph body shape is categorized as thin and tall. Individuals possessing an ectomorph body shape tend to have elongated legs and lengthy limbs with small joints and lean muscles. They have a narrow body frame, and their structure does not allow increased weight and muscle mass.
Mesomorph soccer player
Individuals possessing a mesomorph body shape are labeled to be naturally muscular. Their chest is broadened; their shoulders make a wide-body structure and frame. They have a large bone arrangement and are muscular compared to the ectomorphs. They have a low amount of body fat with sufficient muscle.
Endomorph soccer player
Endomorphs are petite in height and build compared to ectomorphs and mesomorphs. They have a medium to the prominent bone structure, but their limbs are not elongated and are thick. They also have an athletic body shape, but they quickly gain weight.
In most professional soccer games, most soccer players are either mesomorphs or ectomorphs. Because of increased muscular build, mesomorphs are less prone to injury in professional sports. Soccer players need to be fit in athletics with heightened endurance levels, so the mesomorphs are well suited to be soccer players.
Goalkeepers are the tallest and heaviest players on the soccer field. Most of the goalkeepers have an average height of about 6 feet. They are generally mesomorphs and endomorphs.
Center-back defenders are also the tallest and heaviest on the team. They cannot run fast, but they need to be physically forceful and powerful to fulfill proper defense. Some of the center midfielders are long-legged, but there are short and thickset midfielders. Defensive midfielders are assigned different positions in the field and are on the front line of defense, making them vulnerable to physical challenges and encounters. They need to be active and robust because they are responsible for attacking the opposite team and tackling and marking them by covering the rivals. They are not that tall and often fall under the endomorph category. Such players are naturally strong and physically durable.
Attackers in the soccer game are short and quick with low centers of gravity. Players who take the midfield positions are expected to dribble, pass, and use their feet quickly to confuse the opposite team, so they need robust core strength. However, several other attackers are powerful, tall, and fast and play the attacking role successfully. They often fall into the mesomorph category as they are natural athletes.
There is significant room for improvement in each body type. This requires countless hours of training and improving coordination against resistance and work on balance. Soccer clubs mostly prefer mesomorphs because they are the most flexible and show the best aerobic exercise and endurance improvement.