Why Do Goalkeepers Walk Out Second

Why Do Goalkeepers Walk Out Second? (Explained)

As the teams walk out from the tunnel before kick-off, you may notice that the goalkeeper typically walks out second, just behind their captain.

Why does this happen, and can the goalkeeper walk out first?

Here’s what you need to know:

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Roles Of The Goalkeeper in Soccer - Support players on the ball
Why do goalkeepers walk out second?

As the teams walk out from the tunnel, the captain will be in front to lead the team. The goalkeeper will be the second player to walk out based on the ascending sequence of squad numbers in a team.

In this Europa League match between Braga and Sheriff Tiraspol, you can see that the goalkeepers are the players who walk out second, just behind their captains.

Here is another example in a Serie A match between Milan and Napoli.

The captain can be any player on the pitch that is deemed to have the best leadership qualities, such as a goalkeeper, defender or even a striker.

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What order do football players walk out?

When football players walk out to the pitch before kick-off, the captains will be leading the team. For the remaining players, they will walk out in an ascending sequence based on their squad numbers, where the goalkeeper is usually number 1, and the attackers have the largest numbers (9 to 11).

While there is no rule to say how the players should walk out from the tunnel, it has been a tradition to follow this ascending sequence.

The captain will be the first player to lead the team, and then the rest of the team will line up in ascending order, based on their position.

The captain is usually the player with the best leadership abilities, which is why they will wear the armband too.

In the past, there used to be a common numbering system from 1-11 for the first team, which looked something like this:

NumberPosition
1Goalkeeper
2Right Back
3Left Back
4-5Centre Backs
6-8Midfielders
9Striker
10Centre Attacking Midfielder
11Winger

This numbering system is no longer followed strictly, which has led to some goalkeepers taking other numbers apart from the usual number 1.

However, it is also common for the ‘star player’ in the team to be the last to walk out.

This could be because they will generally receive the loudest applause from the fans, and the announcers in the stadium will be able to make a ‘grand entrance’ for them.

If you’re wondering if footballers can hear the commentators during a match, you can view this article here.

Could the goalkeeper go out first?

It is possible for the goalkeeper to be the first player to walk out from the tunnel if he is the captain of the team. This is because the captains will usually lead their team onto the pitch before kick-off.

Any player can be the captain of the team, including the goalkeeper. If both the players and the manager feel that the goalkeeper is the best player to lead the team, he may be appointed to be the team’s captain.

Here is Kasper Schmeichel (captain of Leicester City) leading his teammates to walk out from the tunnel during this Europa League match.

Manuel Neuer is another goalkeeper who is a captain, and he is shown leading his teammates from the front in this Champions League match between Bayern and RB Salzburg.

Most goalkeepers who are the captain of their team are usually much more experienced, as they have played many matches. As such, they can be seen as a calming presence to lead their team from the back.

You can find out some reasons why goalkeepers may retire later here.

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Conclusion

It is somewhat of a tradition where the goalkeepers will walk out second, just behind their captain.

This was based on the old numbering system, where goalkeepers are usually number 1.

However, it is also possible for the goalkeeper to be the first player to walk out of the pitch. He will need to be the captain of the team so that he can lead them out!

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