It is said that goals win games and defenses win championships. Protecting your goal is more important than attacking your opponent’s goal. Great teams in history have relied on the solidity of their center backs and midfield. Based on this confidence, the attackers were more free to play their football.
So, it’s normal to wonder how I can be a good defender. All boys and girls want to score goals, a lesser number want to prevent them. If you strive to be a defender you are more likely to be a professional footballer, but it takes a lot of practice and a series of tips.
Tips to defend bette
Center backs like Sergio Ramos, Van Djik or Piqué have not been good by chance. There is a methodology to prevent intuition from being the most used recourse by defenders. Under normal conditions, the attacker has the upper hand in the 1 vs 1, but our goal is to level this duel as much as possible.
Positioning in front of the opponent
The ideal position would be to position yourself at a distance from my attacker where you can intercept the ball before it reaches his feet. This is complicated, since I unprotect my back, so the best thing to do is to give him a few meters, but to put as much pressure as possible on his receiving the ball. If I get him to receive the ball with his back turned or if I have to protect the ball, I already have my first advantage.
If he receives the ball comfortably, it is essential to lower our center of gravity (not to be completely straight) and direct the attacker towards his less skilled leg. The most difficult players to defend are ambidextrous players, as they can come out in either direction.
Successful entries and recovery runs
Once my positioning has been ideal, the second part consists of making a successful tackle. Attackers are skilled players, but there is always a moment when they unprotect the ball. It is here that we must take the opportunity to make our tackle. If they receive
the ball from behind, our pressure must also increase. However, without being too hard, because then it will be a foul.
If the opponent manages to overtake us, it is key to perform the recovery run. This is a sprint where the objective is no longer to steal the ball, but to appear in the path between the attacker and the goalkeeper to block the shot. You can learn all these skills with our UEFA PRO Licensed coaches at Soccer Inter-Action.
The great defensive systems of history
There are certain teams that will be remembered for their ability to not concede goals. The famous Italian national team with its three central defenders has gone down in history for being unbreakable. But there have also been teams that have been able to defend using the ball, as was the case with Spain at the 2010 World Cup.
The catenaccio: defensive play par excellence
The Spanish translation of catenaccio is cerrojo. The term is not misleading. The first to name the Italian defensive system in this way was the journalist Giani Brera, in the 1940s. He argued that the Italians, as a result of the post-war period, played at a physical disadvantage and could only play defense and counterattack.
Thus, they gave the ball to their opponents and positioned themselves with a sweeper behind the line of four defenders. When the attackers had passed the first line of defenders, the sweeper would appear to steal the ball from them. Since then, Italy and its clubs have stood out for their defensive ability.
Spain at the 2010 World Cup: defending with the ball
Few teams have achieved as much success as that of Luis Aragonés and Vicente del Bosque. Spain managed to win the 2008 European Championship, the 2010 World Cup and again the European Championship in 2012. The first and only star of our country had a determining factor: not conceding any goals in the finals.
To do so, the team defended with the ball at its feet. There is a saying that if you have the ball, the opponent cannot attack you. This is how Spain defended. Portugal, Paraguay, Germany and Holland lost against them by the same score: 1-0. In 2010 you knew that if Spain scored a goal you had lost the game.