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Roles of Positional Play


→ Main article: Halfdefender

Red: The area the LCB/RCB are usually to be found. ("defensive interior corridor")

Orange: The area the LCB/RCB switches to, in order to make the game wide in the buildup phase, if the opponent is pressing high up the pitch. The zones on the first line can be used at goal kicks

Yellow: Special area for the 3-4-3-diamond and further retreating point to evade the opponents midfield pressing.

Lightblue: LCB/RCB are only allowed to stay in the penalty box at opponents set pieces, high pressure and significantly possession of the opponent (with good implementation of Positional Play this isn't often the case)

Half sweeper

Alaba is King

Midfield sweeper

1) → Main artikel: Midfield sweeper

Red: The main area in positional play of the CDM, also called the space of the six. In this space the CDM serves as hedging player and free man in the center for LCM/RCM and LCB/RCB respectively.

Lighyellow: If the ball remains a long time on the wing, the CDM may move into the half-space, in order to overload that zone and prepare a switch of play.

Yellow: Ist LIV oder RIV im Ball stark unter Druck lässt sich der ZDM auch mal in den eigenen Sechzehner fallen, um eine Ablage zu fordern. If LCB/RCB in possession is pressed, the CDM can drops into the box to support the build-up. Additionally, in defence the CDM follows an opposing player into the box.

Wide making winger

→ Main artikel: Wingback

The wide making winger sticks to the touchline, plays linearly and runs back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.

Red: These are the zones the wide making winger is supposed to stay in the build up phase, preferably near the touchline. When the ball is on the opposite side he always needs to be prepared for a switch of play.

Orange: When the attacking winger conducts an inverse dribbling into the half-space, the wide making winger can move up into this space to get a through ball and possibly deliver a cross.

Halfspace playmaker

→ Main article: Halfspace playmaker

Red: The area the playmaker is mainly present, in order to build triangles with the wingers and send offensive signals to the striker by diagonal dribblings.

Yellow: In that zone the playmaker is supposed to stay if the center sweeper is not available for a pass or building triangles is required in the center.

Orange: The so-called space of the 10 where either of the two playmakers is to stay, in order to overload the center and generate triangles on the far side and in the center, respectively.

Blue: This area is supposed to be penetrated by the playmaker for a finishing action if there is no real center striker.


→ Main article: Striker

Red: The center forward stays permanently along the offside line and waits for through balls by the playmakers into the box.

Lightyellow: In possesson in deeper zones the center forward needs to stay in the frontline for the purpose of creating room for the wingers and midfielders.

False 9

Messi 2009-2013


Without the ball:

  • Doesn't take part in build-up play
  • Stays wide in A (LW) or E (RW) and on one line with the opponent's defense
  • Once we have the ball in line 4 or 5, RW and LW have more freedom running diagonally towards the goal to get through balls
  • To prevent that ST/LW/RW don't get in each other's way inside the box, LW should move in B6 and RW in D6
  • Always try to be ready for switches of play from the other side…
  • …maybe even for long through balls, even if they don't come to you often, at least show that you are always ready
  • Don't run back or to the other side to get the ball, since it will slow down build-up and make it harder to get forward

With the ball:

  • Your main job is to get behind der defense by either one-two's or 1on1-dribblings
  • Keep in mind, that going into dribblings before line 5 is too risky and frustrating for teammates if you lose the ball like that
  • If you get the ball in line 5 you can and must be creative and therefore have more freedom on the ball
  • E.g. the RW can dribble from E5 to D4 and then either shoot or assist someone else
  • Having the ball in E6 or A6 should be rare, since you can easily get isolated and the only two things you can effectively do is either cross or pass back to line 5

→ More details, example videos and explanations: Winger

CDM or CB in a three-man defence without a CDM
en/tactics/playroles.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/23 12:50 by jneeskens