I'm a fairly big guy for a soccer player, which has some advantages and disadvantages. Two of the disadvantages is that referees think that I'm clumsy when I fall over, or that I'm not being fouled when I don't fall over after someone pushes me.

Does anyone know tactics on how to:

  1. Make a defender's pushes on your back less effective?

  2. Make someone pushing you appear more reckless or dangerous?

  • 3
    As a football player and enthusiast, I would personally recommend you not look for ways to over-exaggerate fouls on yourself. Playacting, simulation or diving is going to hurt your reputation in the long run. My advice would be to be aware of defenders' positions and be prepared for the push and only go down when it happens naturally.
    – CodeNewbie
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 5:38
  • 1
    @CodeNewbie I would agree with you - I was looking more for ways that I could show that I was being pushed in more than trivial ways. I would prefer that my spine not be injured at the same time, as some of these guys don't care where or how they push you. But it sounds like it's one of those suck it up and live with it things.
    – Rolan
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


I have played as a defender against some very frustrating strikers with larger frames. The good ones lean back a bit, expecting some contact, and concentrate on shielding the ball. They don't let a small push from the defender's body disturb their play, and know that an obvious shove in their back using both hands will result in a free kick.

Try practising the scenario with a teammate, and get used to adjusting your balance to counteract his pushing from behind. Unless he is much stronger than you, with some practise you should be able to keep your balance and the ball.

A push in the back is unlikely to make you fall, and throwing yourself to the ground will convince nobody, especially if the defender is smaller than you. I don't think anyone would ever see pushing as reckless or dangerous, but repeated foul play by a defender could result in a yellow card.

Remember that you are (literally) the bigger guy here, and are more than capable of pushing back (legally), so just accept it as part of the game and concentrate on winning the bigger battles. If you keep possession, and pass to a teammate then it is a small win for you. If you are able to use the aggressiveness of the defender in your favour and spin past him, it is a big win for you. If you frustrate the defender into an obvious foul, again a win for you.

  • 1
    As one of those other bigger players, I wholeheartedly concur.
    – Val
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 14:32
  • I can agree for the most part - the defenders I play against tend to be able to push my entire weight (which is substantial!). It just gets frustrating when someone is pushing up into your back with both hands hard enough that you have to lean back into them to not be pushed over, and when you are pushed over, you don't get the call. Thanks for the advice, in any case.
    – Rolan
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:01

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