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Physical Ability in Soccer

By Michael Shanks

Is height is a critical trait for soccer players? Not really, but in the modern game it's becoming quite useful. Overall though, soccer is a sport in which small men can and do flourish at the highest level.

Just look at players like Xavi, Iniesta and Silva - all Spanish soccer stars who are quite short. Oh yeah, then there's a player called Lionel Messi, who certainly isn't tall.

Soccer is an incredible sport in which players of all sizes may rise to prominence, also augmenting its [accessibility]. However, in today’s professional level, tall players are an important part of your team when it comes to winning head balls in the back and scoring goals off of corner kicks.

Then there's a player like forward Peter Crouch who uses his height to his advantage on corners, but he's also is very skillful with the soccer ball at his feet.

But the beauty of soccer is it doesn't matter how tall or strong you are. The most important factor is how good you're with the soccer ball at your foot. While it's useful in the modern game to have strength and size, it is still skill on the ball that wins out over everything else.

Of course speed kills, and even players with less skill can become a critical factor. Speed breaks defenses down like no other strategy. However, as you get to the highest levels, there's no replacement for ball skills. Even a player with great speed has to have great touch and the ability to dribble, cut and avoid defenders.

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