Soccer Strategy Like Top Pro Clubs

soccer strategy, soccer tactics, soccer formations, soccer positions, soccer training

Checkmate! If you feel like brushing up on your soccer strategy knowledge or want to know tactics that pro coaches and players use then you’ve come to the right place.

Different styles of play, philosophies and strategies of high level teams that employ high level specific strategies throughout the course of a season.

Is There Really A Lot of Strategy in Soccer?

The team with the best players will always win, no matter the strategy of the opponent right? Oh how wrong we are. Sure having great players goes an extremely long way but without discipline, organization and a detailed strategy going into a match even the most talented teams can be defeated.

Sure X’s and O’s matter and there is a lot of strategy involved in a teams preparation for a match, but it’s no quantum physics. It’s all about direction, a team that has a planned direction for a desired outcome will always be better off then the team that just shows up and goes through the motions.

What’s the Best Soccer Strategy?

Read carefully now, here is the secret to all of soccer and the strategy that will win you every game. If you ever hear somebody tell you this you might as well buy magic beans off of them while you’re there. The secret is (drumroll please) there is no ONE best strategy.

Your soccer strategy or tactics largely depend on who your opponent is, the strengths of your own team and the situation at hand. This tends to change from game to game and throughout the course of a season.

Although sides do have strategies and tactics that work best for them and are a staple of their team, no one is best. The best strategy is the one that gets the desired performance from your team and desired outcome from the match and that constantly changes.

What Types of Strategy are There in Soccer?

There are several and each coach will tell you they have a variation of one of these that is their own magic recipe, they are:

Possession Oriented

-We have the ball all game so you can’t score mentality. You will see team such as Barcelona, Spain and Man City employ this tactic for large periods during a match.

Keeping the ball, not forcing anything waiting for the right moment to slash the back line. By the time the opponent creates a turn over they are so dead tired from playing defense for so long that they give it right back to you. This soccer strategy can be physically and mentally deflating for the defending side.

Counter Attacking

-It says it in the name, sitting back in your own half and sucking a team in. Once the ball is turned over, you then counter your opponents by exploiting the space in behind them as they are caught on their heels.

A team with speed, discipline and clinical finishing is required to properly execute this strategy. One mistake, miscue or error in judgment can make 89minutes of hard work go to waste. Choose your soccer strategy wisely now.


An emphasis on defense first and attack second. This means several things such as:

-The team defends as a unit (yes that means you up top too)

-Outside backs don’t look to join the attack as much

-One center mid always stays home

-Striker is the first line of defense

-Neat and tidy in the back with clearances

-Better safe then sorry

-Compact and discipline


If you didn’t figure it out by now this soccer strategy depends on your team’s ability to go forward and create dangerous scoring opportunities. This involves:

-Combination play in the final third

-Overlapping runs on the wings

-Midfielders joining the attack and linking with the forward line

-Constant offensive pressure on the opponent

-Taking players on and not looking back

High Pressure

You will find this strategy commonly used when a team feels their opponent is not strong at possessing the ball. Also commonly found in basketball applying high pressure on an opponent involves a team pressuring them as a unit and looking to cause a turnover.

The idea here is to cause uncertainty and indecision to the ball carrier forcing them to make a poor decision causing to an error and loss of possession. This is also commonly used when a team wants to shift the momentum, put the pressure on one side or is down a goal and needs to get back into it.

Low Pressure

Low pressure is siting back in your half waiting of the right moment to go “high pressure”. Sounds much more complicated then it really is. It’s high pressure just sitting back deeper in your half waiting for a mistake to pounce on. Also can be a great way to set up the counter attack.

Staying tight and compact as a unit is the name of the game here, frustrating your opponents and making the best of your opportunities you do get at the other end.

Focusing on Exploiting Certain Players or Positions on the Field

Attacking certain weaknesses of your opponents or strengths of your own team such as getting the ball in a certain 1v1 match up as much as possible.

Maybe you want to attack the wide areas of the field or you want to play balls in the air versus a short back line. Whatever it is find your strength to exploit their weakness, then you really got a dynamic soccer strategy.

Which Strategies do Professional Teams Use?

Professional teams use several if not all the strategies listed above in the course of a playing season. One day may call for an all out attack exploiting a weaker team where as another match may require playing bunker defense before going back home for the second leg.

Professional players get to the professional ranks because they have quality and already have a large skill set. Pro level coaches don’t use as much team in developing the player as they do getting a system for the team to perform in. This may mean trying several of these strategies until they find their own bread and butter “go to” strategy.

Is it Better to Have Just One Strategy?

I’ve always felt a great player can adapt to any system. This I believe is true for teams as well. Every successful team must be able to adjust their game plan slightly for every opponent.

Meaning that being a one trick pony won’t get the job done at the highest of levels. You must be versatile and able to apply any soccer strategy at any given time during the course of a year.

Return from Soccer Strategy Page to Soccer Formations Page

Return to Soccer-Training-Methods Homepage