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[av_heading heading=’Tactical analysis of the Champions League final’ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’46’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#ffffff’][/av_heading]

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Author: Joao Nuno Fonseca

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Football is the most seen sport worldwide and it doesn’t share out its glory. Real Madrid won! The 11 times Champions of Europe, 5 times of which were in the last 20 years…remarkable. What were the most significant tactical aspects in this Spanish final of the Champions League?

Real Madrid started the game strong, dominating in the 1st half especially dangerously through set pieces. Atlético Madrid played as they normally do and started with a strategy of defending in a central and compact backline.
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The importance of Real Madrid’s midfielders in closing up the central corridor allowed unpicking the offensive strategy drawn up by Simeone.
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Whilst Modrić had a role in being the frontal support after the recovery of the ball and fundamental for advances during offensive shifts, Casemiro was always concerned with covering the midfielders Kroos and Modrić. The work of this Real Madrid midfielder was impressive, who was considered by many as the man of the match.
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In their defensive set-up Real Madrid were cohesive, with Benzema and Modrić being the players who unpicked the advances via the central corridor and C. Ronaldo/Bale who paid attention to the movements of the midfielders and/or wingers.
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After Real Madrid’s goal they offensively relaxed, whilst no longer having the incisiveness that they had had up until the moment of the goal, which allowed Atlético Madrid to have 62% possession of the ball against Real Madrid’s 38% in the last 15 minutes of the 1st half.

This served as a tone-setter for that which would come in the 2nd half of this European final. A Real Madrid that gambled with the result and pushed their backline deeper, thus obliging Atl. Madrid to assume the play.

The defensive responsibility of Bale/Ronaldo in closing up spaces surrounding the wingers was very important, principally in the 2nd half where Simeone changed his tactical system to 1-4-3-3, thus allowing the advances of the wingers and principally, Carrasco – as the protagonist.
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The entry of Lucas Vázquez (important in the advances with the ball) and Isco allowed Real Madrid to have some more moments in the 2nd half and extra time, principally during offensive shifts, with greater speed and a greater backbone.
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The game has been and shall be a means that reveals managers’ personal profiles…their identity!

This Atlético Madrid lost another Champions League final but the whole football community became richer, as “El Cholo” Simeone allowed his players to express their identity through their play. His players put on a firm display and they have to be proud of their journey in this season’s Champions League.

I have no doubt that there is no better way of competing and growing, generating prosperous realities among competent people…Simeone has nurtured, enhanced and made these Atlético Madrid players become recognised worldwide.
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Joao Nuno Fonseca
Senior 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. Currently is Senior Football Match Analyst for ASPIRE Academy in Doha – Qatar and U19 Qatar National Team.

www.joaonunofonseca.com

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