Players that truly know how to play football know how to correctly interpret whether they are in a positional superiority even if they are in a numerical inferiority. In the same way as to whether they are in a positional inferiority they perceive whether they are in a numerical superiority. Accordingly, when players position themselves in the 1st build-up phase they must have a basic principle associated with the offensive set-up in mind which is: creating adequate conditions for being able to advance on the field of play in the direction towards the opposition’s goal, i.e., to get beyond the opponent’s defensive (pressure) lines.

The Match Analyst  Image-1a-1030x579Barcelona’s build-up
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In the last game vs Espanyol, Luis Enrique chose a usual tactical set-up to start the 1st build-up phase, but Espanyol practically didn’t allow space for progression from the 1st line. The mobility of FC Barcelona ’s midfielders (Gomes, Busquets and Rakitic) was shown to be fundamental for it to be possible to sometimes progress from behind.

The Match Analyst  Image-2a-1030x579

Barcelona’s build up
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With this positioning, it is easily seen that the only possible and safe outlet option is a long pass and the possibility of winning the 2nd ball. Marking in the area of the potential receivers of the ball and not allowing progression if the goalkeepers opt for this option.

The Match Analyst  Image-3a-1030x577

Barcelona’s build-up
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Spaces for intervention are created, as is the case of the 1st build-up phase, and according to these spaces specific situations arise, even though these types of spaces constantly appear and disappear. They are unpredictable.

Joao Nuno Fonseca

Professional Football Match Analyst

Joao Nuno Fonseca hold an MSc in Sports Training with specialisation in Football under the guidance of the Professor Jose Guilherme. Start his professional career during University in Academica de Coimbra – 1st Division Portugal, as match analyst for the historical club. Won the Portuguese Cup in 2012 against Sporting Lisbon. Former Senior Football Match Analyst for ASPIRE Academy in Doha – Qatar and U19 Qatar National Team.