Updated: Jan 18
We think that a clean build up is essential for good development of the action. We will therefore always try to build the game from behind organizing the build up phase according to pressure opponent.
My idea of the build up is to stay compact, overcoming one line of pressure at a time without forcing verticalizations or long balls. This principle allows us not to lose our structure and thus be more ready for the defensive transition phase once the ball has been lost with immediate re-attack.
We want to attack well, to defend well. We will attack trying to bring many players to the goal, this way we can stop a counter and delay the opponent's transition for thus being able to rearrange ourselves for our defensive phase. Through rotations and exchanges we want ball possession dynamic capable of disorganizing the opponents by making them get out of their positions.
In the offensive phase we do not have a fixed module but the positioning and the movements of the players on the field are required to achieve of our principles.
We want one player, and only one, to always be wide to ensure the use of the entire field in each action. This will allow us to force the opposing full backs to make a choice: remain wide and allow spaces in the center, or tighten and arrive late. The width will be guaranteed by players used to playing on the wings, technical, fast and good at playing one on one. The strikers or midfielders can change the game "with their eyes closed", the opposite back will always be wide and high. We drift to the right to attack on the left.
The main objective of our offensive phase is to find a player in the finishing area. At least two players will be stationed constantly in this mobile area between the defense and the opponents midfield and, frequently, other players will join them. With the ball and facing the goal in the finishing area at least two players have to attack the space. Players positioned between the opposing lines must insistently move so that you always have a free passing line.
Depending on the characteristics of the players we can play with a only 1 central striker or with two strikers.
The movements are not fixed. Based on the characteristics of the players and the game, there will be different rotations: the left-back can stay high, the wingers can come into the finishing area.
You have to attack the opposing line with at least 5 players (the two winger and the three central players), often they can become 6 or 7.
However I believe that in the last 30 meters the creativity and the individual talent should be the master of the game, with players free to express themselves.
Quotes from Pirlo's thesis - Original source: https://www.figc.it/media/124922/andrea-pirlo_tesi.pdf