Soccer, officially known as association football, is the European version of football and it is the most popular sport in the world. It is played by two opposing teams, each consisting of eleven active soccer players, not counting reserves, coaches, doctors, strategists and so on. The basic rule of soccer is to score as many points as possible – more than the adverse team – by kicking the ball in their gate. Soccer players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands, except the goalkeeper who can do so in trying to stop it and when throwing it on the other side of the field. Nevertheless, some players use other parts of their bodies, like their legs, torso or head to handle the ball.
As mentioned before, a regular football team is made up of eleven players, including the goalkeeper. Nevertheless, in some extreme cases, if most of the players are injured, unavailable or have been taken out of the game – this is usually done by the referee or coach – the team can play with just seven players. Equipment for soccer players is not too complicated because this sport is rarely dangerous, even though injuries are pretty common.
Therefore, a soccer player’s equipment is usually made up of a shirt, shorts, socks and special footwear. Soccer shoes are specially-made and they differ from others in that their soles are covered in spikes which are supposed to prevent the players from slipping on the grass. Some players even have them custom made to fit each of their feet perfectly and to serve different purposes; for example, a soccer boot can be made from water-resistant materials in case it’s raining, or from materials that allow the feet to breathe. Most players also use shin guards to prevent knee injuries, and some soccer players may even choose to wear protective headgear, though it is not required.
The coach is allowed to change players during the game, either when they’re injured or when his strategy requires it, but he is limited to a number of three players. The types of soccer players in a team, defined by their role and purpose in it, are as follows: two or three defenders which are called fullbacks and who usually remain close to their goal to try and prevent the ball from entering the goal; other players are the midfielders and they can be two, three or four in number; then there’s the forwards, which can be 1-3 players. The midfielders are somewhere between forwards and fullbacks and they help the team with whatever they can. The forwards however try to place themselves as near as possible to the opposing team’s goal and to score points.