Champions League Tactics brings together UEFA statistics, quotes from leading managers, and in-depth analysis to offer an in-depth guide to the methods, formations, and playing styles of the leading clubs in Europe. Conclusions – In its concluding chapter, Champions League Tactics analyses the persistent style of play among the most successful teams in Europe, as well as the influence that coaches have had on improving their tactics and methods. Only the best teams are capable of competing in the Champions League, and Champions League Tactics profiles the tactics used by some of the best managers in the world in building successful teams.

Whether you are a student of the game or a veteran coach who trains teams at the highest levels, Champions League Tactics provides an engaging analysis on how some of the world’s best managers use tactics and formations to achieve an advantage. Whether you are a student of the game or a coach training players at the highest level, Champions League Tactics will allow you to take away invaluable insights from some of Europe’s greatest tactical minds, which you can use to enhance your own formations, strategies, and understanding of the game.

Champions League Tactics will both enrich your knowledge about tactics, methods and styles of play used in European football, as well as provide you with invaluable insights that you can use in coaching your own teams and replicating tactics used by the greatest clubs in Europe. Its insightful analysis of European football formations and strategies can be used to enhance your tactical awareness as well as to enhance the coaching and performances of your teams on gameday. In Part 2 of this study, it is examined if methods created (tactics) for success in soccer can be taken as paradigms, examined in detail, with examples from soccer’s history.

Total football is founded on the notion that every football pitch is flexible and could be altered by the teams playing on it. The 2-3-5 was not officially recognised until the 1880s, but began to mark a significant change in how football teams played. The tactics below changed football forever, and changed the style of play in ways that made the game much more entertaining.

The first teams played an attacking-oriented shape (such as 1-1-8 or 1-2-7), which heavily emphasised individual skill on dribbling. Players would receive the ball and advance with teammates following behind as back-ups should the ball be lost, with individual dribbling skills being a high point in the earliest soccer games. In the early 1970s, a Dutch Total Football system employed players with versatile skills who could handle defensive as well as attacking duties, with a more aesthetic effect.

It expected playmakers to be able to make plays on the ball–almost all teams now employ one–and attacking midfielders to make forward runs, covered up by defensive-minded midfielders. In most teams, midfielders are generally expected to be primary carriers of the ball, while their fullbacks are expected to take less of an active role in moving the ball, fulfilling tactical functions such as running out of possession or positioning themselves to counter attacks. Team formations omit goalkeepers, and enumerate the distribution of players according to positions, listing the defenders first, followed by midfielders, and then finally forwards (such as a 4-4-2 or 2-3-5).