A successful soccer game is based on plenty of practice, teamwork, calculations and the best strategies developed by the coach and the players. How players are positioned on the course can determine the chances of winning the game and the coach has to come up with the best formations that highlight the qualities of each player. Discover which are the advantages of the best types of soccer formations and how these can influence the evolution of the game.
The 4-4-2 formation
This formation became popular in European football when A.C. Milan’s football manager, Arrigo Sacchi, used it to win three European Cups, two Intercontinental Cups, and three UEFA Super Cups and it became the most basic formation. It includes 4 defenders (two center-backs, two fullbacks), 4 midfielders(two central and two side), and 2 forwards. One of the two forwards often plays outside the penalty box and one advantage of this formation is having an extra player that will help the striker attack without any support from the midfield. Another advantage is the coverage width obtained by two side midfielders and two fullbacks who can use this width as an offensive. The two central midfielders can be split and one can be used in defense while the other can be used to push the ball in offense.
The 4-3-3 & 4-5-1 formations
These formations have brought many victories to Barcelona and Chelsea, which made them two of the most efficient game strategies. Although they sound different, these two formations mean the same as both play with 4 defenders, 3 central midfielders, 2 wingers and one striker. The difference is that in the 4-3-3, the wingers are considered as forwards while in 4-5-1 are more midfielders, which in both cases has the benefit of achieving good offense. Both formations use the wingers to bring the ball up to the striker, provide him crosses and cut inside the penalty area to support him. Because the striker is expected to receive many crosses, theses two soccer formations use a tall striker with a great heading ability.
The 5-3-2 & 3-5-2 formations
One of the most popular team that played with this formation is Brazil, which won a World Cup in 2002 by relying on its talented full-backs Cafu and Roberto Carlos. The main advantage of these formations is the excellent defense provided by the players. These formation includes 5 defenders, 3 central midfielders, and 2 forwards which are considered as fullbacks in the first formation while the second formation considers them as wingers. The fullbacks must protect the flanks and give width by supporting from the sides while 2 of the 3 midfielders play an offensive role.