Slowww Downnn Messi! Learn How To Play Soccer One Step At A Time

how to play soccer

Looking for the best way to learn how to play soccer?

Wanna learn the different types of soccer fields that exist, the rules of the gamesoccer fundamentals and really just understand what it's all about from top to bottom? It's all here for you. From the rules to actually kicking a soccer ball, everything you'll need and more

“Surrreee I'd love to come but I don't know anything about soccer. Actually I don't even know what the rules of soccer are. Actually I just remembered I have to wash my cat's hair today sorry no can do.”

Find yourself in this spot? or maybe you just want to brush up your knowledge of the game. Basic info about the equipment needed, crazy soccer fans and about the little sphere we all chase after, the soccer ball.

No sweat, the beautiful game is explained here along with the laws of the game and all the soccer fundamentals you'll need to truly understand the game.

How To Play Soccer Explanation Video

The Basics Of How To Play Soccer

Here we go, let's ease into it nice and slow. Two nets, two teams and one ball. Put the ball in the other teams net. Simple enough? Don't worry lesson isn't done yet, just want you to get the idea in your mind that soccer is quite a simple game.

It's basically like hockey. Just without the ice, equipment, skates, boards oh and the rumble in the Bronx that tends to break out once in a while, great comparison, actually it is if you strip each game down to it's raw basics, two teams each defending their net with a goalie, most goals wins.

If you're looking for step by step videos and pictures of how to play soccer have a look at this step by step explanation.

Fundamental Skills

Every sport from basketball to tennis and everything in between including soccer has basic fundamentals. To get great at any sport you've got to master these to perfect your game.

Passing & Receiving

  • Learning simple passing and receiving technique is vital in understanding the basics of sharing, collecting and delivering the ball to your teammates when necessary.
  • It involves learning how to distribute the ball with all parts of your foot by swinging it forward while hitting the middle of the ball.
  • Receiving the ball is need to keep it in your teams possession by showing the desired surface then withdrawing it like catching an egg. 


  • Let's stick the basics of shooting like hitting it with your laces (for power shots usually from far distances) and for accuracy/placement shots with the inside part of your foot (usually for shots closer to goal).


  • Weaving in and out defenders to eventually score a goal is another critical fundamental skill.
  • While using all parts of your foot (outside of your foot is a common preference to dribble with) to escape pressure and beat defenders.
  • Keep that head up so you can see where you're going and your arms out to shield off any potential defenders.

Ball Control

  • Whether it's controlling a ball that comes your way on the ground or in the air having ball control mastery is a skill you absolutely need to have in your tool belt.
  • Manipulation of the ball no matter the situation on the field is vital in your ability to make an impact on the game.
  • Have a look at various fast footwork drills and ball mastery drills to increase this part of your game.

Fundamental Physical Attributes

1. Strength

  • Squats, lunges, using bands and lifting weights are common exercises in the strength umbrella in relation to soccer.
  • Strength training is a an incredibly important component to physical training for soccer as it acts as the base and foundation for all other movements below.
  • It is also extremely important in preventing injuries all over your body specifically knees, ankles and lower body muscles.

2. Fitness/Conditioning

  • Soccer is a sport that uses both aerobic (longer runs) and anaerobic (shorter explosive runs) capacity of your body. Making sure you've got both up to a high level is so critical.
  • A simple aerobic fitness test for soccer players is the cooper test (run as far as you can in 12minutes around a track) and the beep test as an anaerobic test is a good fit for soccer players.
  • Test yourself at both to see what level of player you are at.

3. Speed

  • Plyometrics and sprints are the most common exercises when we think of speed for soccer players.
  • These need to become your best friend as speed is the most important of all the physical qualities you need to have to be successful in this sport.
  • Remember speed work is an everyday kind of exercise if you really want to see long term results.

4. Agility

  • Lateral jumps, plyometrics, shuttle runs, box jumps etc. are examples of some exercises you should be competent at when you're learning the game.
  • These exercises mimic all the necessary movements to be a serious soccer player, be sure to use proper technique and do them safely as injury can occur if not executed properly.

I Don't Know How To Play Soccer, How Can I Learn?

Well first if you don't play, shame on you, this is officially the end of our friendship. Kidding of course, obviously playing with an organized team of some sort or even playing pick up in your local area can help you understand some of the in's and outs of the game.

You'd be surprised how much you can learn about the way the game is played just by kicking a ball around with some friends, oh and if you try that and still you're not getting it, fake an injury and watch!

Another great resource for anybody, beginners to pros is watching it on TV. Watching professional leagues on TV helps you understand not only the basic rules of the game but how you can play the game the right way.

Pass and move, pass and move, that's the way the game is played and the best way to learn how to play soccer. Hardly will you see anymore players dribbling 5 or 6 players and scoring, those days are over Maradona (Messi might have something to say about that).

I want to know how to play soccer, the rules and why they wear such tight shorts? And why does it seem like they roll on the ground when they get fouled, oh and why is there so much running!?!?

If you've ever asked yourself any of these questions about the game or watched it on TV puzzled, then you've come to the right place to clear it all up.

How To Find A Team If you're Just Learning
How To Play Soccer

Pick Up Soccer

  • Search the internet for different facebook or different social media groups that meet up and play pick up soccer. Many soccer facilities in your area will have set times where anyone can jump in and play some pick up soccer.
  • This is a great way to find a consistent routine of playing and meet some new people if you're looking for an actual team.
  • What's important to remember is the level may not be where you want so for you to actually improve and get something out of it you need to go in with the mindset of playing one and two touch to challenge yourself and increase your speed of play.

Adult Leagues (Indoor & Outdoor)

  • Adult leagues are a great way to learn how to play soccer with some real game like competitiveness. Go to your local soccer facility or their website and see what is available.
  • These leagues vary in skill level from recreational to competitive to people who think they are still playing in the World Cup so be sure to start off at the right level for where you are at.

Local Community Center/Park

  • Go to a busy park and see if there are any people kicking a ball about or playing an actual friendly pick up game.
  • If there isn't bring your own ball on the weekend and see how quickly people will start to become attracted to the ball and see if slowly week by week you can start to build your own pick up game.

Local Soccer Club

  • Every town has a few soccer clubs in it and no matter your age they will have a team that suits your level.
  • Learning how to play soccer with an official club can be beneficial if you're looking for a good level and to expand your social circle as well.

The Important Numbers Of The Game You Should Know

  • 10 field players and 1 goalie on each team (11 players per team on the field).
  • 1 Referee who officiates and regulates the game (don't get me started).
  • 1 Yellow card = caution, 1 Red Card= ejection, 2 Yellow Cards = ejection.
  • 90 Minute Game divided up into two halves (45 a piece), teams switch sides at half.
  • 3 Substitutions of players is allowed at the pro level (unlimited at youth and collegiate level generally).
  • Most goals scored wins!

That's just a basic overview of the game, for more in depth rules see the Soccer Rules page and really get the in's and out's on how to play soccer at an advanced level. 

Okay I got the Gist of it, how do I play like Messi or Ronaldo now?

whoa whoa whoa slow down tiger so you want to know how to play soccer well? What's the secret? Magic ingredient or trick to the game?

Like every sport there is no perfect formula for player performance, players change, the game changes as do all the different factors that surround the game, but one thing that never goes out of style in all sports and facets of life, is hard work.

Great thanks tips! Give me the goods I wanted when I clicked on this page already. Okay okay here's some advice from a pro on ways how to play soccer and play it right if you are just starting out or have been developing your game long ago.

  • Keep it simple, the best players in the world are the ones that play simple, don't overcomplicate your life.
  • Think two plays ahead if you can, a fast mind beats a fast player any day.
  • Believe in yourself and your skills, nobody else defines your worth.
  • Think pass first, dribble second.
  • Know what you are going to do with the ball before you receive it.
  • Enjoy it, if your not enjoying it then you shouldn't even be there.

Soccer truly is the worlds sport, and no matter where you live in the world the beautiful game is being played wherever you can find grass or any flat surface for that matter.

Knowing and double checking some rules and regulations are important if you want to keep up.

So as long as you have a ball you're set, use your shoes as nets and away you go. That's the revised version of how to play. Looking for a more extensive overview? You'll find everything you need from yellow cards, to offsides and everything in between. Whether your new to the game or just brushing up on some things you weren't sure of this how to guide can answer all your questions.

Your complete guide to the game we all love, you'll find your area of interest below, just remember in case a question about the game comes up with your friends and you still don't know what they are talking about, just smile and nod, smile and nod.

Soccer is a simple game and a beautiful one. Every player, coach or fan that ever comes across the game will tell you the same and will tell you that you're never done learning and will always be a student of the game, now that you know kinda sorta how to play soccer, go on now grab a ball and lets see what you've got.