• Lehan Ajish



Are you a Winger in football? A winger is one of the most demanding and crucial position in the game of football. One needs to understand how a Winger is expected to play in order to improve his/her game. So here is an article in order to help you lead yourself to success as a winger in Football.

Who is a winger?

For those of you who are not familiar with this term in football, A winger is someone who plays near the sidelines of the field. The sidelines of a football field are sometimes referred as “the wings”. Therefor the name winger arises.

Remember that the term wingers is not only used for right and left wing forwards but also for the full backs( right back and left back defenders).

Any position where you are required to play near the sidelines is a winger position.

In order to become a winger one should know what is expected from a winger. Football academies and clubs look for these traits while selecting their team. So keep in mind these points and excel your football trials in India.

Roles of a winger

As we said winger is a really demanding position. There are varied roles of a winger. But one cannot coin roles for a position generally. A player is required to play according to the team. But some common roles are:-

  1. Crossing

That’s probably the the most important function of a winger. It’s usually a winger who takes the corner shots. A winger with a good crossing ability can elevate the attack to a different level. It is one of the fastest way to score a goal, giving the opponent defense very less time to react.

2.Scoring goals

Taking a look at statistics shows us that after Strikers, it is the forward wing players who score the maximum number of goals. They have the opportunity to cut towards the inside of the thirty yard box and take a shot. Wing forward is one of the most unpredictable positions. You can always confuse the opponent’s defense. Be unpredictable while taking crosses and taking shots at the goal and let the defense take guesses about your next move. You can watch clips of Arjen Robben as example. He is one of the most unpredictable wingers in the game of football.


The sidelines are usually the least dense areas of the pitch. This gives wingers opportunity to dribble. Being a winger, you will constantly face one vs one situation with the opponent’s full backs. So it is crucial that you develop your 1 vs 1 football dribbling skills.


A player may be required to fall back when the opponent has the possession. So a winger should also develop his/her defending abilities.

you will face situations where you have to mark your opponent's forward wing players or full backs.

So these are basic roles that a winger should adhere to. Now let’s talk about some tricks and tips that professional footballers use to become a better winger and and stand out on the pitch.



There are basically two objectives for a winger( generally speaking!! Do not forget the defensive or playmaking part)

  1. Give a cross/pass/assist.

  2. Score a goal and cause a change in the scoresheet.

You always need to be a goal scoring threat. The opponent’s goalkeeper should become alert when you receive the ball.

To help you with this, Do check out our post on essential football finishing drills to help you score more goals.

2. BE UNPREDICTABLE( Mentioning again because it is important)

Being unpredictable is something which irritates the opposition most. This makes it difficult for them to study and analyse your game. You can become the master and control the game. Therefore be unpredictable and change the course of the football match.

How to be unpredictable?

As a winger, you have a lot of options when you have the ball. Set up a one two one passes with the midfielders, pass down the line to a striker, change the wing by giving a long pass to the other side, cut in and score goals.... Do whatever you wish to do.

To be unpredictable, you should not have a “weak foot” especially for wingers. Why? Lets say that you are a right wing forward with a weak left foot. Having a weak left foot will prevent you from cutting in and taking a shot. So what would you do generally. You will move forward and deliver a cross. This limits your options. So make sure have two strong foots.


As a winger you constantly face 1 vs 1 situations. Unless you beat your man, it is difficult for you to take a cross or shot at the goal. Therefor have a few match effective skills up your arsenal. This post right here on five easy yet match effective football skills will help you upgrade and polish your skills.

It is not important that you have to be the most skilled player out there on the pitch. being a winger it is required that you have lightning speed and quick feet. You can always use your speed and ball control to your advantage. Take the example of Lionel Messi. He just uses his ball mastery and speed and is one of the greatest dribblers( and players) of all time.

Here are a few tips to beat your man :-

  • Change of directions to give your defender a tough ankle breaker.

  • Quick change in your speed to leave the defender behind looking at your back.

  • A simple body feint/shoulder drop to confuse the defender.


As a winger you kind of have complete view of the football pitch. So look everywhere and analyse the game. Take the fact that you play near the touchlines to your advantage.

Always check your shoulders before receiving the ball. Constantly check look around for defenders. Look where your teammates and your opponents are positioned it the pitch. These are basic things which apply to all football players, not just wingers.

Always decide what you will be doing after you have the ball, before receiving the pass, analyse the game and change your decisions according to the situation.

When it comes to awareness and vision there are few things to remember as a winger:-

  1. Use the width to your advantage. Your team needs to expand when in possession and compress when the opponent is in the possession. When you expand you get lots of space. But again be unpredictable. Sometimes move to the inside. Do not always run forward and backward near the touchline. For eg sometimes move in and let the full back or attacking mid fielders take your position. Then you can make a run into the goal for a through ball and attempt a shot.

2. Always open your body. Do not face the opponent’s goal or your goal before receiving the ball. This gives you full view of the pitch.


To understand this, lets say that you are a left wing forward and the ball is with the right winger. As he approaches the goal. Make a run to the back post ( far post of the right winger). Now you are kind of in a striker position. The right wing forward can provide you with a cross or assist and you can score in a single touch.

Take the example of Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a winger and most of his goals are scored like this. He makes a run to the back post to get a tap in goal.


This is very important for any football player. Communication is an essential element of any team sport. Communicate with your full backs and midfielders. For eg as you move into the thirty yard box to score a goal, you are leaving space in your actual wing position which could easily cause a deadly counter attack. So you need to communicate with the full backs and tell them to take your space. Team chemistry is really important.

You cannot explain how a winger plays in a single post. But I hope that this article added a little value to your game. Make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter and our YouTube channel. We provide football drills and training plans for free to elevate your game. We also update you with all latest football trials taking place in India.

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