Captain (association football)

A captain's armband with FIFA's "My Game is Fair Play" slogan printed on it.

The team captain of an association football team, sometimes known as the skipper,[1] is a team member chosen to be the on-pitch leader of the team: it is often one of the older or more experienced members of the squad, or a player that can heavily influence a game. The team captain is usually identified by the wearing of an armband.[2]


United States captain Abby Wambach and England captain Steph Houghton shake hands before kick off, 2015

The only official responsibility of a captain specified by the Laws of the Game is to participate in the coin toss prior to kick-off[3] (for choice of ends) and prior to a penalty shootout. Contrary to what is sometimes said, captains have no special authority under the Laws to challenge a decision by the referee.[4] However, referees may talk to the captain of a side about the side's general behaviour when necessary.[5]

At an award-giving ceremony after a fixture like a cup competition final, the captain usually leads the team up to collect their medals. Any trophy won by a team will be received by the captain who will also be the first one to hoist it. The captain also generally leads the teams out of the dressing room at the start of the match.

The captain generally provides a rallying point for the team: if morale is low, it is the captain who will be looked upon to boost their team's spirits.[6]

Captains may join the manager in deciding the starting eleven for a certain game. In youth or recreational football, the captain often takes on duties, that would, at a higher level, be delegated to the manager.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Kapitan (futbol)
беларуская: Капітан (футбол)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Капітан (футбол)
한국어: 주장 (축구)
Bahasa Indonesia: Kapten (sepak bola)
Bahasa Melayu: Kapten (bola sepak)
português: Capitão (futebol)
српски / srpski: Капитен (фудбал)
Türkçe: Kaptan (futbol)
українська: Капітан (футбол)