Attributes of Quality Forwards in Soccer

In soccer, when you think of a forward you think of a players who score goals. That’s their job, to score goals for their team and help them win games. Forwards in soccer are there to make runs and put themselves into positions to score goals – it’s as simple as that. And a forward might not be too involved in the game even but is there to score the decisive goal at the end of the game for his team.

Players like Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney, Samuel Etoo, and Chicharito of Manchester United constantly score goals because they get themselves into the right position in the goal box. They make the right runs and sneak in behind their defender to slot the ball home. They are hungry to score and angry when they don’t score the game winner for their team.

Robert Lewandowski 2019/20 – watch all the goals he’s scored so far this season. Lewandowski loves to do the stutter step too, when taking penalty kicks. One of the best forwards in soccer is Robert Lewandowski.

But the best soccer forwards not only score goals but bring that little bit extra to their team. These forwards bring an energy to the team, chasing down defenders to win the ball and holding the ball up so their team can build up an attack and keep possession. This is a player like Samuel Etoo, who was a star for both Barcelona and Inter Milan.

Etoo famously chased the ball down and charged at defenders when they tried to build out of the back. And of course he was also there to score for Barcelona. I’m sure defenders hate it when Etoo would run at them and force them to put their head down and go backward. That’s what you need from your forwards on defense.

“The most important thing for a forward is speed of thought. Top football players read the game.” Samuel Etoo

Here’s a list of attributes all forwards in soccer should possess:

  • Scores goals.
  • Creates goals.
  • Good in the air – can flick the ball to a teammate or head the ball with power into the goal.
  • Good speed.
  • Strikes the ball well with both feet.
  • Calm near goal.
  • Reads the game (times their runs into the attack so they’re not offside).
  • Takes chances – shoots when there’s a chance it may result in a goal.
  • If they miss a shot they forget about it and try to score the next chance.
  • Has the endurance to chase back and win the soccer ball when needed.
  • Can hold the ball up and keep possession so his or her team can build an attack.

Watch Videos of Great Forwards:

Reminder:  When you have a defender in the corner with their back turned, don’t foul them. Please don’t foul them. It’s just not necessary. So often you see forwards foul the defender deep in the corner of the opposing team’s goal, and it’s something that’s so frustrating for the rest of the team. The defender is in their own defensive third, just close them down and force them to make a tough pass or kick the ball out of bounds. They’re the ones who are in a tough position, don’t give them an easy way out by fouling them.

Also, a forward has to have a poor memory. That means they forget quickly when he or she misses a shot or even a one on one with the goalkeeper. Instead, the forward’s mentality has to be ready and waiting for that next goal scoring chance. The best forwards don’t dwell on the fact they missed a shot or a wide open goal. The top forwards in the world only focus on scoring the next chance that comes.

NEW: Check out these soccer training sessions by position:

And then a training session to improve speed: