The Difference Between A Wide Midfielder And A Winger

Soccer Coach Theory Team

Football is a team sport that requires players to have different skills in order to succeed. Two of the most important positions on the field are wide midfielders and wingers, but what’s the difference between them?

In this article, we’ll be discussing how these two positions differ and examining which one might be best for your team’s needs. We’ll look at both offensive and defensive duties involved in each position so you can get an understanding of what each role entails.

We’ll also discuss some key traits necessary for success as either a winger or wide midfielder. By the end of this article, you should have a better idea about whether having a wide midfielder or winger would work best for your team!

Roles & Responsibilities

Take the example of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.

As a wide midfielder, he has found great success by providing width to his team and creating chances for others.

His creative freedom allows him to express himself both on and off the ball, often leading to devastating results against opposing teams.

In contrast, Raheem Sterling is usually deployed as a winger at Man City, which requires different playing styles than those of wide midfielders.

He generally focuses more on offensive duties while sacrificing some of the creative freedom that comes with being in a wider position.

The ability to take defenders one-on-one makes him an ideal player for this role.

By using these two players as examples it’s easy to see how each position calls for distinct roles and responsibilities that make them unique from one another.

Offensive Duties

Shooting is an important skill for both a wide midfielder and a winger; they both have to be able to accurately place the ball into the back of the net.

Passing is another essential skill, as a wide midfielder is expected to be more of a playmaker than a winger; they need to be able to accurately pass the ball to their teammates.

Crossing is an important duty for a winger, as they need to be able to provide accurate and dangerous crosses into the box for their teammates to take advantage of.

As a wide midfielder, crossing is also important, but they don’t need to be as proficient at it as a winger.

Both a wide midfielder and a winger need to have the ability to shoot, pass, and cross accurately in order to be successful.


When it comes to offensive duties, the difference between a wide midfielder and a winger is evident.

A wide midfielder often relies on their passing accuracy in order to create attacking chances while a winger will depend more heavily on their dribbling skills.

The former can use accurate deliveries into the box to set up teammates for shots, whereas the latter uses skillful runs down the flank to cut inside and have an attempt at goal themselves.

Both roles require good shooting ability but they differ in how they approach it: a wide midfielder must be able to pick out targets with great precision while a winger needs to be able to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself within shooting range.

As such, both positions demand different qualities from players when it comes to taking shots.

Ultimately, whether you’re looking for someone who can deliver pinpoint passes or someone who can make mazy runs and finish them off with a shot, there’s sure to be something for everyone among wide midfielders and wingers alike!


Passing is an integral part of any attacking play, and the roles of wide midfielders and wingers are no different. Wide midfielders rely on their passing accuracy to create chances for teammates, while wingers use creative movement and dribbling ability to get into shooting positions. Both players need good ball control in order to be able to execute passes accurately.

However, a winger’s job requires more improvisation than that of a wide midfielder due to their greater emphasis on individual skill and taking opponents out one-on-one. Ultimately, both positions demand different qualities from players when it comes to passing; whether you’re looking for someone who can pick out targets with great precision or someone who can make mazy runs and still deliver accurate passes – there’s sure to be something for everyone among wide midfielders and wingers alike!


Crossing is another important part of offensive duties for wide midfielders and wingers.

Wingers in particular need to be able to use a combination of dribbling technique, aerial duels, and crossing ability to create chances on goal.

For example, good wingers will use their close control when running at defenders before delivering an accurate cross into the box.

Similarly, wide midfielders may need to time a late run into the area before connecting with a team-mate’s pass.

Both positions require players that have great ball control over long distances as well as good decision making to decide where and when to put crosses in.

With these skills combined, it’s no wonder why they are so dangerous going forward!

Defensive Duties

Although the wide midfielder and the winger share offensive duties, there are certain distinctions between them. The primary difference is that a wide midfielder will be more focused on maintaining their team’s shape while a winger will concentrate on getting forward to create chances for his teammates.

A wide midfielder should have an understanding of tactical awareness so they can understand how best to position themselves within the team formation. They need to maintain balance with overlapping runs from fullbacks and keep tight lines when defending.

On the other hand, wingers are expected to get up and down the pitch quickly in order to provide additional width where needed but also contribute defensively if required. Wingers must possess good ball control as well as pace in order to beat defenders one-on-one and deliver crosses into the box for attacking players.

These two positions require different skillsets although both roles are essential for success offensively and defensively at any level of football. Key traits for achieving this include tactical intelligence, good ball control, dribbling ability, acceleration and crossing accuracy.

Key Traits For Success

When it comes to the difference between a wide midfielder and a winger, there is much more that separates them than just their positions on the pitch. It takes skill set, mental toughness, positional awareness, creativity and teamwork for players in both these roles to succeed.

As an example of how important each trait is when considering this comparison, take two well-known footballers who are renowned for playing either role: Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. While they both have exceptional ball control and passing ability, their approach differs significantly which reflects the type of player they were deployed as; Messi was known for his attacking prowess while Iniesta was utilized mainly in midfield.

The Argentine often played with flair and directness as opposed to Iniesta’s patient possession game – demonstrating the necessity for different attributes depending on position:

  • Skill set
  • Mental Toughness
  • Positional Awareness
  • Creativity

These traits should not only be taken into account when comparing wingers and wide midfielders but also when considering any potential recruitments or transfers within your club. Finding the correct balance with regards to personnel is pivotal because having players that don’t fit perfectly can disrupt what may otherwise be a successful team dynamic.

Finding The Right Fit

Wide midfielders and wingers have different roles in a team’s formation. The main difference between the two is player positioning. Wide midfielders are typically positioned further back from their opponents, allowing them to link up with central players and provide defensive cover if needed.

Wingers on the other hand tend to be located higher up the pitch, closer to their opposition, making it easier for them to create scoring opportunities by taking advantage of space behind defenders. The playing style of each position also differs significantly.

Wide midfielders need good ball control so they can keep possession and drive play forward while wingers rely more heavily on speed and agility to get past opposing defenders and send crosses into the box. Both positions require creativity but in different ways; wide midfielders must think ahead and come up with innovative solutions while wingers should look to exploit spaces quickly when presented with an opportunity.

Both positions are essential components of any successful team as they offer unique qualities that complement each other. Finding the right fit for these roles is crucial as each position calls for specific skillsets that not all players possess. By combining individual strengths with tactical know-how, coaches can ensure their teams make optimal use of both wide midfielder and winger roles within their formations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Average Salary Of A Wide Midfielder Or Winger?

The average salary of a wide midfielder or winger can vary greatly depending on the player’s experience, performance, and market value.

For example, transfer fees for elite players like Lionel Messi have been as high as $250 million, while youth academies often pay much less to develop young stars.

However, typically speaking, wages for these types of positions range from around £50k per year in smaller leagues up to €4m plus bonuses per season in top European clubs.

How Do I Know If I Am Suitable To Play As A Wide Midfielder Or Winger?

The best way to determine if you are suitable to play as a wide midfielder or winger is by assessing your training requirements and technical abilities.

You will need excellent ball control, speed, agility, dribbling skills and good crossing ability in order to be successful.

It’s also essential that you have good awareness of space on the pitch and how to use it effectively during matches.

Additionally, it’s important for any player playing these positions to have good stamina and team work skills.

By working hard on developing these areas of your game, you can give yourself the greatest chance of succeeding in either position.

Are Wide Midfielders And Wingers Used In All Formations?

Wide midfielders and wingers are commonly used in all formations, as they both fulfill attacking roles while also providing defensive duties.

Wide midfielders tend to play a more central role than wingers, taking up possession of the ball often closer to the center of the field.

Wingers typically occupy wider positions and utilize their speed and agility to quickly move down the line for crosses or passes from teammates.

What Skills Are Necessary To Be A Successful Wide Midfielder Or Winger?

When it comes to being a successful wide midfielder or winger, tactical awareness and ball control are essential skills.

Both roles require the player to have an understanding of the game that allows them to read the field in order to make smart decisions with their positioning.

Additionally, they must possess excellent ball handling abilities so they can receive passes accurately and deliver dangerous crosses into the box.

These two attributes together create a well-rounded attacking threat capable of unlocking any defense.

How Do Wide Midfielders And Wingers Differ In International Soccer?

In international soccer, the duties of a wide midfielder and winger differ greatly.

Wide midfielders often have more defensive responsibilities than wingers during matches due to their position on the field; they typically provide support for the defense by tracking back when needed and covering passing lanes.

Wingers are more focused on attacking roles, such as making runs down the sidelines or cutting inside to create scoring chances.

Their primary goal is to supply service into the box from out wide positions in order to allow strikers to score goals.

Therefore, while both share some similar characteristics, it’s clear that there are distinct differences between a wide midfielder and winger in terms of their respective duties during an international match.


Wide midfielders and wingers can both be instrumental in a team’s success, but there are differences between the two positions.

It’s essential to know what skills and qualities you need for each role so that you can make an educated decision on which one best suits your abilities.

With international soccer becoming ever more competitive, it is vital to understand these distinctions if you want to reach the top of the game.

So, if you are looking to become a professional wide midfielder or winger, now is the time to gain knowledge about what makes them unique.

Who knows? You could be the next star on the pitch!