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31 juillet 2011 7 31 /07 /juillet /2011 11:06

Match programmes

Match programmes are sold inside and outside stadiums before, and sometimes during, matches. In their most simple form, they provide basic information on the teams, players, and match officials. Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/P Battery

Larger clubs usually produce multiple-page programmes with features such as comments from the manager and club captain, interviews with players, ex-players and backroom staff, information about ticketing arrangements for forthcoming matches,Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/W Battery

A detailed fixture list and review of the team's season so far, competitions, pages for junior fans, and a detailed feature on the opposition. Programmes from some matches are collectible items, and can fetch money at an auction.

Pitch invasions

Pitch invasions happen when supporters move from the stands onto the football pitch, some times to deliberately disrupt a match.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/B Battery

This is distinguished from times when, due to safety reasons, fans are let onto the pitch.

Examples of pitch invasions include the 1923 "White Horse" FA Cup final between Bolton and West Ham United at Wembley.Due to the overwhelming numbers in the stadium the police had to bring order back to the stadium.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/B Battery

Another example is the 1977 British Home Championship match between England and Scotland, again at Wembley. After Scotland won 2-1, the "Tartan Army" invaded the pitch and managed to break down the goalposts, as well as cutting up the turf to take.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/D Battery

Solo invasions are more common although few in number. In some cases these are streakers who try to invade the pitch while nude. Supporters tend to view this as harmless fun. One such pitch invasion was at Euro 2004, in the final game between Portugal and Greece, when Jimmy Jump ran onto the pitch to disrupt the game.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/D Battery

Another well known invasion was carried out by Karl Power, who sneaked into Manchester Uniteds team photograph before theirChampions League game with Bayern Munich; his other stunts have involved the England national rugby union team and the British Grand Prix.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/G Battery


Derby matches, which are between two neighbouring rival clubs, are often fiercely competitive. Sometimes there are underlying political or sectarian tensions, such as the Old Firm between Celtic Football Club and Rangers Football Club in Glasgow.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/G Battery

The term often applies to matches between two teams from the same city or region, but it is sometimes used to refer to matches between big clubs from the same country. Derbies are usually treated as the most important matches by the fans, players and clubs, regardless of position in the league table, et cetera.Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/P Battery

The film Green Streetembodies the spirit of derbies when one of the characters refers to the West Ham United versus Millwall Football Club rivalry as that of Israel against Palestine. Of course this film does focus on the mostly past era of hooliganism, however its depiction of matchday passion shows just how important derby day is to fans. Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/P Battery

When it comes to derbies, the culture of football thrives and shines in all its colours. How Soccer Explains the World is a perfect source into how derbies emerged and what they mean to the community.


After the Hillsborough Disaster, the British government commissioned the Taylor Report which resulted in standing being banned from many stadiums, include every top league stadium. Sony VAIO VPCP113KX/W Battery

Groups such as Stand Up Sit Down are campaigning for its return. This is very different to the situation in British non-league football and other leagues around the world where it is common to see terracing (standing areas) making up some, or even all of the room for fans.Sony VAIO VPC-P113KX/W Battery

Sticker albums

Usually collected by children, a sticker album is a book where a collector sticks in pictures of players from different teams in a certain league. The most widespread are those that have been produced by Panini worldwide.


Such is the popularity of football that some players become better known for their 'off-the-pitch' activities. Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/B Battery

The celebrity status is such that advertisers and sports goods manufacturers hire them to sponsor their products. The Brazilian footballer Pelé is such a player. He was so admired as a player during his time that he went on to become a UNICEF ambassador, as well as being a spokesman in advertisements for many different companies. Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/D Battery

He also spent some time in politics in Brazil.Former FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year, and African Footballer of the Year George Weah secured most votes in the first round of the 2005 Liberian presidential election, but was defeated in the run-off ballot.Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/G Battery

Another football celebrity is the English footballer David Beckham. He is a trend-setter in England, with his frequent hairstyle changes triggering copycat looks in the country. He is also married to the former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, and his relationship difficulties were widely reported in the UK press in 2004 and 2005. Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/P Battery

Statues have been made of him, notably at a Buddhist temple as well as made out of chocolate. Becks, or golden balls as he is also known, was a longtime Armani model, famous for his underwear advertisements.

In late 2009 Beckham was replaced by Cristiano Ronaldo as Armani's primary footballer/model.Sony VAIO VPC-P114KX/W Battery

Ronaldo, former Manchester United player and currently a player for Real Madrid, has amassed a massive fan base thanks to his blistering speed and mesmerising skills.

Many other players have also become celebrities and are treated as heroes by the fans. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC Battery

Retired players, such as Gary Lineker, have become celebrities in their own right by working on television or radio. Even non-footballers who are connected to football have become famous through their association alone. After the 2002 World Cup the head of the South Korean Football Association decided to run for president of the country. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/B Battery


There have been deaths of players on the pitch and dugouts. On 5 September 1931, Celtic F.C. goalkeeper John Thomson suffered a skull fracture when he collided with Rangers F.C. player Sam English during an Old Firm match. He was fatally injured and died later that day.Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/D Battery

On 10 September 1985, Scotland manager Jock Stein died of a heart attack as his team scored the equaliser against Wales which virtually secured qualification for the 1986 FIFA World Cup finals. He was aged 62.

In 2003, Cameroon international player Marc-Vivien Foé collapsed during a Confederations Cup match against Colombia and was pronounced dead later that day. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/G Battery

His death was attributed to previously undiagnosed heart problems. On 8 September 1990, York City F.C.'s David Longhurst collapsed and died on the pitch during his team's match with Lincoln City F.C.. The game was abandoned and York City paid tribute to the player later by naming a stand in his honour at their Bootham Crescent ground. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/P Battery

In 2004, the Hungarian international Miklós Fehér died from a heart attack, while playing forBenfica against Vitoria Guimarães. On 9 September 2006 Hinckley United F.C. player, Matt Gadsby, collapsed on the pitch and died during a Conference North game against Harrogate Town F.C.. Sony VAIO VPCP115JC/W Battery

Medical tests revealed he died from a heart condition known as Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. On 25 August 2007 Sevilla FC player, Antonio Puerta suffered a heart attack during Sevilla's first game of the season against Getafe whilst running back towards his own goal. Sony VAIO VPCP115KG Battery

Sevilla teammate Ivica Dragutinovi? as well as medical staff rushed to his aid. He was admitted to hospital and he died on 28 August aged 22. Several players have also been struck by lightning while playing during sudden storms.Sony VAIO VPCP116KG Battery

Other disasters have occurred away from stadia. Most notably, the Superga air disaster of 1949 in which the entire Torino F.C. squad perished. The Munich air disaster, involving the 1958 Manchester United F.C. team and the loss of the entire Zambia national football team in an air crash in 1993.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/B Battery


People of different races have sometimes not been accepted as players in European football. This is changing at the start of the 21st century due to society change as well as campaigning on the part of the football authorities in different countries.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/D Battery

UEFA and the European Union support the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) project which aims to stop racism. Many black players were not accepted initially into European football, even though the earliest black player was in 1881. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/G Battery

However in the 1970s onwards players were increasingly accepted leading to a situation where many club and national teams have players of varying ethnicities. However, full acceptance in the bigger footballing nations did not occur until the 1990s, and racism still exists at some levels. Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/P Battery

Samuel Eto'o, for example, was once racially insulted by some Real Zaragoza fans at a match against FC Barcelona, and threatened to quit the game if they kept insulting him. The same happened to Messina defenderMarc Zoro in a match against Internazionale.Sony VAIO VPC-P116KX/W Battery

In some countries, such as England and Germany, there have been strong campaigns to remove racism and intolerance from football on the pitch and on the terraces. In other countries despite visible problems, little action has been taken such as Spain and Italy.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC Battery

Female players

Women have been playing football as long as the game has existed. Their numbers, as both football players and fans, increased with the lifting of bans on women playing football and attending matches.The first FIFA Women's World Cup was held in 1991, and has drawn worldwide television interest. Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/B Battery

Football matches now tend to have increased numbers of women supporters at the match, as well as watching matches at home or in pubs and bars. In the United States, the Women's United Soccer Association League was formed in 2001 in response to growing interest in women's football around that country. Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/P Battery

The league collapsed in 2003, but grassroots football was not affected, and the league relaunched in 2009 as Women's Professional Soccer. The semi-professional W-Leaguecontinues to operate with 38 teams, as of 2006. Japan's women's league, the L. League is well supported.Sony VAIO VPCP118JC/W Battery


For the best players it means their services can be offered to clubs in various different countries, and for whatever the price they want. The top players can make salaries of millions in a year, plus whatever additional endorsements they receive.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/B Battery

Teams have also benefited from this by being able to find a wider support base outside their traditional local areas. They can also scout for talent from a wider area. However some European clubs have been accused of exploitation for doing this,Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/D Battery

as some African youngsters they have recruited for football teams have eventually been left with nothing after the team no longer requires their services. In the modern game most clubs have multiple foreign players, this is especially evident in the English Premier League where English players are outnumbered by their foreign counterparts.Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/G Battery

Many teams attempt to build a complete team with players with ball control, others with strength, others with speed and others with vision. Traditionally these skill sets are associated with different regions; ball control is regarded as a South American trait, speed is typically associated with African players and strength is typically seen as the European way. Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/P Battery

Therefore, prominent clubs scout these regions heavily for rising talent and advise them to have a trial with the club. Football has become a global sport where spectators from around the world can enjoy many different leagues. It has created international rivalries as well as community rivalries;Sony VAIO VPC-P118KX/W Battery

yet at the same time it has the power to bring communities together. The FIFA World Cup brings the world of football together for an entire month. Through triumph and defeat it is a modern example of nationalism fused with globalisation. In Franklin Foer's How Soccer Explains the World, he explains that national teams create a tribal sense of nationalism amongst fans.Sony VAIO VPCP119JC Battery

This nationalism is shown in wearing football shirts, scarves and flying flags to express pride. When tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, the African Cup of Nationsand the UEFA European Championship bring in supporters from nations around the world, this national pride is a part of globalism.Sony VAIO VPCP119JC/BI Battery

This complex system is all a part of the global community of football. Football brings players, fans, coaches and clubs together from every part of the world. A prime example of the unifying power of football is the African nation of Ghana. It gained independence from British imperial rule in 1957 and used football to unite the nation. Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/B Battery

The Black Stars as the national team became known as, hosted the first African Cup of Nations. Ghana has become one of the most passionate footballing nations in both Africa and the world, thanks the unifying power of the sport.

Coaches are also becoming sought after internationally. Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/B Battery

This extends to national team coaches, once being native to their country, being brought in from other countries. Examples include Brazilianlegend Zico coaching Japan, Sven-Göran Eriksson, a Swede who coached England, as well as Berti Vogts, a German who coached Scotland and Nigeria. Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/D Battery

Another German, Otto Rehhagel, is practically a national icon in Greece, after leading the national team to a shock victory in Euro 2004, and shortly afterwards turning down an offer to coach the German national team and stay with Greece.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/D Battery

Dutch coach Guus Hiddink has a similar iconic status in South Korea after coaching its national team to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup. So much so that one of South Korea's World Cup stadiums was renamed in his honour shortly after the competition.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/G Battery

Role models

Football players, especially at the top levels of the game, have become role models for people. The game itself has now become glamorised, with many children practising the game and aspiring to the wealth shown off by the top footballers. Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/G Battery

The top footballers also have "hangers-on", best compared to the groupies of rock stars. Such extravagance has recently been satirised in the British TV showFootballers' Wives. For another example of notable "hangers-on", see WAGs (wives and girlfriends, more specifically those of the England national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup).Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/P Battery

Debates have been had over whether footballers are appropriate as role models, some arguing that the high profile given to footballers will inevitably lead to them being held up as role models; where as others say that they technical ability on the pitch is of paramount importance, and that they are simply doing a job like any other person.Sony VAIO VPCP11S1E/W Battery

Bad behaviour

While many football players can be argued to be good role models, there have been headlines in the news regarding bad behaviour by footballers. Such is the influence of footballers, their activities tend to be reported widely in the media and also bring condemnation from the government of the countries in which they play.Sony VAIO VPC-P11S1E/W Battery

One such player was Diego Maradona. While he had exceptional skill and was voted FIFA's Player of the Century, he also suffered problems with drug abuse. He was also sent home from the 1994 FIFA World Cup for doping offences and Argentina meekly bowed out of the tournament following a shock defeat by newcomers Romania. Sony VAIO VPCP11Z9E/B Battery

His cocaine abuse has led to his medical problems in recent times.

Shortly before Euro 96, the English national team gained notoriety for the "Dentist's Chair" incident. Several English players including Paul Gascoigne and Teddy Sheringham were photographed in Hong Kong after being seen in a bar pouring beer down each other's throats while the person sat on a dentist's chair.Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery

Later in his life, Gascoigne struggled with alcohol and drug addiction and had to be hospitalized for overdose on several occasions.

There have been incidents in England of players being accused of violence and misconduct off the pitch. Although on many occasions, players have been found not guilty, such cases are highly controversial. Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery

In 2001, two Leeds United players, Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer, appeared in court over the assault of a student outside a nightclub. Woodgate was found guilty of affray.In 2002 three players, two from Chelsea (John Terry and Jody Morris) and one from Wimbledon (Des Byrne), appeared in court on charges of affray. Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery

All were acquitted.[26] On May 20, 2008, Joey Bartonwas sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty for his part in an assault in December 2007. Barton was captured on CCTV punching a man 20 times.

In 2004, the Leicester City trio of Paul Dickov, Frank Sinclair and Keith Gillespie spent a week in prison after being accused of sexual assault while on a training break at the La Manga resort in Spainwith their team.Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery

However, the case was dropped after forensic evidence showed the accusations to be baseless. Although the players accused were ultimately innocent, the scandal led to a media outcry about footballers and their behaviour, especially with regard to children who look up to them.Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery

Wayne Rooney was also attacked in the media for alleged visits to prostitutes in 2004, a claim he later admitted was true. Adrian Mutu admitted cocaine use after failing a drugs test, andGraham Stack was charged with rape but cleared in 2005. Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery

Lee Bowyer again made headlines in 2005 when he and Newcastle United teammate Kieron Dyer fought each other near the end of aPremiership match.


Allegations of corruption, for example match fixing, in football have always been present. Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery

This level of corruption can vary from country to country, and can involve players, agents, and teams. The 2005-06 football season saw many corruption scandals. This included the 2005 Bundesliga scandal in Germany with the refereeing scandals of Robert Hoyzer, and the Brazilian football match-fixing scandalinvolving Edilson Pereira de Carvalho.Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery

This was followed by the 2006 Serie A scandal ("Calciopoli") in Italy where five clubs were found guilty of match fixing and resulted in several top clubs being penalized (most notably, Juventus was relegated to Serie B for the 2007–08 season and lost many top players) Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery

and getting their own title stripped off from them and being rewarded to Internazionalewho were runners up, and Apito Dourado in Portugal, with FC Porto and Boavista FC involved.


While most grassroot clubs and lower division league teams struggle to make ends meet, the big clubs can make a lot of money.Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery

Teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madridare considered amongst the richest in the world with a global support base. Chelsea has also undergone a transformation, buying a number of expensive football players, due to being bought by the billionaire Roman Abramovich.Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery

In 2008 Manchester City became the richest club in the world after being bought out by an Arabian billionaire.

The catalyst for this change was the arrival of satellite television. Satellite TV companies paid massive sums for the rights to cover football matches, and in turn have recouped this investment from the many fans who are unable to catch the game in person. Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery

This benefits the "hardcore" and "casual" fan as they have more choice of which game they want to watch.

While some clubs do well out of the increased money in football, other clubs can get into trouble trying to keep up. Leeds United attempted to do this by spending a lot of money, and were successful for a few seasons.Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery

However the debts became unmanageable, the successful players were sold off, and the team were eventually relegated twice, first from the Premier League to The Championship, and then to League One.

Not all clubs do well out of television money. Clubs in lower leagues receive less money for matches and, if promoted to higher leagues, can have trouble matching the spending power of bigger clubs. Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery

This leaves them more likely to be relegated again.

Clubs from smaller countries also have problems with this issue. Due to their smaller population base they receive less money from television rights. This means they are comparative paupers compared to clubs from the bigger countries, and can lead to debt problems if they try to match spending in trans-national competitions. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery

Some clubs have managed to buck the trend by training players through their youth academies, as well as making wise investments. Examples of these clubs are FC Porto and Ajax Amsterdam, although when these teams become successful, as in Porto's case winning the 2003-04 Champions League, the players tend to get sold off due to financial pressures.Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery


In many countries, football has ingrained itself into the national culture, and many parts of life revolve around it. Many countries have daily football newspapers, as well as football magazines. The mood of regions and countries has been seen to be connected to football.Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery

Victory in a major tournament can bring happiness to the local community or country. Conversely defeat can lower spirits, and has been seen to be connected to mortality in the population.Withdrawal symptoms when the football season finished have also been reported.Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery

The economy can also be seen to be connected to major football tournaments,although the precise association is disputed.

The terms soccer mom and soccer dad, popularized in the United States, refer broadly to a demographic group of parents with school-age children playing football.Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery

Arts, literature and film

The popularity of football has been reflected in the arts, books and films. Books have been written dealing with the culture, such as violence, surrounding football, as well as detailed histories of events or rivalries. Many clubs have one or more fanzines, one example being TOOFIF.Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery

Some consider that British football's image of a nasty working-class pursuit was changed into something far more respectable after Fever Pitch, a memoir by Nick Hornby about his life as an Arsenalfan, was published. The book also provided Hornby's big break. It was later adapted very loosely into a film.Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery

Numerous films have been made including Bend It Like Beckham, and The Football Factory, based on the book by John King, dealing with hooliganism and its relationship to socio-economic realities in England. In Germany, The Miracle of Bern (2003) revived the euphoria of the national team's victory in the 1954 FIFA World Cup and was a huge hit.Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery

One film that has a historical basis is Escape to Victory. The film was based on the true World War II story where a Dynamo Kiev team, which defeated a German Luftwaffe team, was subsequently persecuted, and some team members executed. The story has also been recounted in the book Dynamo by Andy Dougan.Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery


It has been said that in some countries football has become the new religion (although this is a contentious issue). "Religious" aspects of sporting events include:

  • ritual pre-match, match and post-match traditions, ritualised group responses to cues such as on-pitch events, etc.Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery
  • group chanting, singing, dancing.
  • the widespread use of symbols: team colours and logos take on a special importance and insulting these symbols is a grevious insult to the whole side. Wearing them marks the wearer as an adherent of a certain group and divides the world, almost cult-like, into "us" and "them".Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/P Battery
  • idol-worship of heroes which is associated with relics: balls, shirts, numbers, etc. associated with players and events are highly valued.
  • pilgrimages: some fans will fly to another country to see a match live or travel in large groups to far-away places, caravaning, to see events.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/PC Battery
  • deep emotional involvement, ecstatic participation which can go in various directions: cathartic, fun, violent, etc.

Football and other such sports lack some aspects usually associated with religion, however:

  • There is, in football, only a hint of transcendence. The memory of some players might be "immortal" and some teams "legendary," but there is little in the way of an idea or ideology that is found in religion. Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/T Battery
  • There are no holy texts. There are famous sayings, but they do not carry authority for regulating belief or behaviour.
  • Prayers are common, but they are usually directed outside the system. Fans and players do not pray "to" football or "to" football heroes, but to the supernatural entities of other religions "about" football.Sony VAIO VPCW111XX/W Battery
  • There are revered figures, but this is usually with a sense of irony. Owen Coyle was referred to as "God" by Burnley F.C. for example, because of his legendary role as a manager for the club, taking them from relegation favourites to the Premier League within 18 months of being appointed. Sony VAIO VPCW111XXP Battery
  • However in Burnley's Premier League season Coyle left the club during the January transfer window for relegation rivals Bolton, taking the majority of Burnley's backroom staff with him. Because of this he is now widely referred to as 'Judas' by Burnley fans.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXT Battery
  • One of his first games as Bolton manager was against his former club Burnley at the Reebok stadium. During the game several travelling Burnley fans displayed a banner which read 'He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy!', a reference to the Monty Python film The Life of Brian.Sony VAIO VPCW111XXW Battery

Religious beliefs are also in common use throughout football. Some players are religious and can be seen to cross themselves before a game. In Africa, traditional belief rituals are used to help teams win important games. In Argentina an official religion around the football player Diego Maradona has been formed called "Iglesia Maradoniana".Sony VAIO VPCW115XG Battery

The German club Schalke 04 has brought out their own Bible titled Mit Gott auf Schalke (With God in Schalke). This is an edition of the common Christian Bible along with spiritual texts by Christian Schalke players and officials.Football and the often "religious" Yoga are brought together - both aim at fairness so to say ahimsa.Sony VAIO VPCW115XGP Battery

There are various individual skills and team tactics needed to play effective association football (soccer). Football is in theory a very simple game, as illustrated by Kevin Keegan's famous assertion that his tactics for winning a match were to "score more goals than the opposition". Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/P Battery

However, well-organised and well-prepared teams are often seen beating teams with supposedly more skillful players, even over time. Coaching manuals and books  generally cover not only individual skills but tactics as well.

Formations in football are a method of positioning players on the pitch to allow a team to play according to their pre-set tactics.Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/T Battery

Different formations can be used depending on whether a team wishes to play more attacking or defensive football. Usually if the team has the ball more in a game and they have already scored more than once they just keep the ball and not risk taking passes that will give the ball away. Sony VAIO VPCW115XW/W Battery

Formations can be altered during a game, but this requires adaptation by the players to fit in to the new system.

Formations count the number of players in each area, beginning with the defensive line (not including the goalkeeper). It is by convention counted when the team is defending and being properly organised. The most common formations are variations of 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 3-5-2 and 4-2-2-2.Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/P Battery

Association football used to have formations with more attackers, but gradually formations have been shifted towards increased defensive security. Old formations included the 2-3-5, the 2-2-6 and the4-2-4.

The aim of this type of football is to catch the opponent on the "break". Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/T Battery

When they give away possession in midfield or attack, opposing players will tend to be further up the field than usual and may not be able to quickly adjust to a defensive mindset. Counter-attacking football may involve leaving one or two strikers near the half-way line in the hope that a through ball can be played to catch the opponent off guard. Sony VAIO VPCW117XC/W Battery

This parallels the long through ball tactic explained below. In the example, an attack by the black team has broken down and ended up in the hands of the white goalie. By kicking a long through ball for the furthermost white player (left up there in the hope of this situation - this is the "break" mentioned above),Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ Battery

the player has a chance of scoring as he should have evaded the defence if he is fast enough.

In other cases, defenders and midfielders may join in the counter-attack, trying to outnumber or otherwise overtake the opposition by quick and intelligent movement and fast passes. Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/P Battery

Speed is an important factor both in offence and defence, as the probability of scoring decreases sharply when the opponent has managed to organise their defence. This type of game was displayed well by the quick, counter-attacking play of Germany in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.Sony VAIO VPCW119XJ/W Battery

Possession football

Teams that aim to retain control of the ball over longer periods of time, in the process making a large percentage of passes that give low risk of losing the ball, are said to play possession football. Utilizing this tactic demands players skillful in ball control and precise passing. Sony VAIO VPCW11AXJ Battery

If successful, it will tire opposing players because they have to run and tackle more. A style of possession football originating from Spain is "tiki-taka", where a large number of primarily short passes are deployed by multiple players of the team before culminating in a definitive strike on the opposing team's goal. Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/P Battery

It was effectively employed by the UEFA Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup champions Spain, managed by Luis Aragonés and Vicente del Bosque respectively, and the sextuple-winning 2008-09 FC Barcelona side managed by Josep Guardiola.Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/T Battery

Direct football

More often associated with counter-attacking football than with possession football, direct football means that players spend little time with the ball before passing. In order to achieve this, each player frequently uses only one or two touches. The direct attack is sometimes associated with the long-ball style. Sony VAIO VPCW11S1E/W Battery

Long ball is the term used in association football to describe an attempt, often speculative, to distribute the ball a long distance down the field via a cross, without the intention to pass it to the feet of the receiving player. It is a technique that can be especially effective for a team with a tallstriker to get in the box.Sony VAIO VPCW121AX Battery


In competitive 11-a-side matches, teams are allowed to bring on up to three substitutes. The rules of the competition must state the maximum number of players allowed to be named as a substitute, which may be anywhere between three and seven. Sony VAIO VPCW126AG Battery

In non-competitive matches, the use of substitutes must be determined before the match begins, except in friendly international matches, where no more than six substitutes may be brought on.

The most tired players are generally substituted, but only if their substitutes are well trained to fill in the same role, or if the formation is transformed at the same time to accommodate for the substitution.Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/P Battery

Coaches often refrain from substituting defensive players in order not to disrupt the defensive posture of the team. Instead, they often replace ineffective attackers or unimaginative midfielders in order to freshen up the attacking posture and increase their chances of scoring.Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/T Battery

For a team that is losing a game, a fresh striker can bring more benefit in circumventing an opposed defense line composed of relatively tired players. For a team that is winning a game, a fresh midfielder or a defender can bring more benefit in strengthening the defense against the opposition's attackers (who may be fresh substitutes themselves).Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/W Battery

In this situation, it is usually imaginative attacking flair players who are replaced by tough-tackling defensive midfielders or defenders.

Injured players may also need to be substituted. For each injured player who must be substituted, the team loses one more oppor

tunity to influence things later in the game in their favor.Sony VAIO VPCW127JC/WZ Battery

Substitutions can also be used as a time consuming tactic to hold a one goal lead in the last minutes.

Offensive tactics: attacking

  • 'Pass and move': This is the most basic team tactic — as soon as the ball has come into possession of the player, they need to be quick to decide whether to pass it or not. Sony VAIO VPCW12AAJ Battery
  • If they don't pass it immediately, they need to move with it; if they do pass it, they again need to move along, following the general ball movement.

This can also be used to mean that once a player has passed the ball he does not remain stationary but moves into a position where he can receive the ball again and give more options to the player in possession.Sony VAIO VPCW12AKJ Battery

  • 'Give and go'[or 'combination passing']: This is a basic tactic which is essentially the same as 'pass and move', and is an essential part of the 'target man' style of play (see below). The player in possession of the ball plays a pass to a teammate and then immediately seeks to move into space. Sony VAIO VPCW12AVJ Battery
  • If the player who passed the ball can 'lose' his defensive marker (either through pace, movement, superior fitness or a lack of awareness on the part of the defender) he could then be free to receive a return pass and advance towards and possibly threaten the goal. Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/P Battery
  • When the ball is played by the receiving player immediately back to the first player this is known as a 'One-Two' (in British parlance)
  • Switching the attack: Using a 'square' or 'cross' pass across the whole width of the pitch to a player in plenty of space is a very effective way of both relieving pressure and building a fresh attack.Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/T Battery
  • The defending team will be required to adjust its positions and this usually creates spaces which can be exploited. In this example, the player numbered 1 has moved out of position, allowing more space for the opposing player. By playing the ball to the other side (the curved line represents an aerial pass),Sony VAIO VPCW12S1E/W Battery
  • the recipient of the pass finds themselves in space which can be exploited.
  • The 'through ball': Using the space behind the opponent's defensive line: Passes into this area have a number of pros: If an attacking player reaches the pass, taking care to avoid offside, he may get a 1-on-1 challenge with the goalkeeper, or be in an excellent position for a flank attack.Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/L Battery
  • Even if a defender reaches the pass first, the outcome could still be good for the attacking team. The defender will face his own goal, which could prompt him to give away a corner kick or a throw-in, make a risky pass to his team's goalkeeper, or being put under heavy pressure near the corner flag. Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/P Battery
  • Typically, teams with faster attackers than the opponent's defenders will try challenging this space, while the defending team in these cases will want to keep their defenders low when defending in order to give away as little space as possible between the defenders and the goalkeeper.Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/T Battery
  • The long through ball: This is a long, and usually high, pass from a teams' own half, over the heads of the other team's defence. It is intended for the attacking players to chase and it is important that they remain in an onside position until the ball is kicked.Sony VAIO VPCW213AG/W Battery
  • The tactic works best with strong and fast forwards who will have a good chance of winning back the ball, taking control over it, and eventually getting a shot on goal. In the diagram, the ball (red line) is played in front of the furthermost forward, the dotted blue line showing their run. Sony VAIO VPCW215AG/L Battery
  • In this example, a through-ball pass along the ground would be picked up by one of the defenders (black team) because the gap between the two central defenders is too small.
  • Using the space between the opponent's defensive line and midfielder line ('the hole'): A common build-up of attacks is to pass the ball into the space between the opponent's defenders and midfielders. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC Battery
  • Normally, an attacker with his back to the goal will receive the pass. He will seek to turn with the ball, or distribute it to a player facing the goal, who optimally also is in front of the opponent's midfielders - or even on the move into the space behind the opponent's defenders.Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/L Battery
  • Triangular movement: This is a movement tactic that allows a safe and quick shifting of the offensive flanks while maintaining control of the ball. In a triangular play the ball is passed between three players to form a triangle. The triangle is then shifted to a different position when a new player is added. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/P Battery
  • Many triangles can be created with various combinations of players with the intention of slowly moving the ball forward and never really compromising possession. This tactic works well when trying to gain control in the midfield. However, it can also be used for pure attacking purposes. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/T Battery
  • The effectiveness of this tactic lies in the fact that defenders are unable to quickly 'adapt' to the other attacker's style of play.
  • Swapping of the wing men: Sometimes, a team with two flexible (position wise) wide men will allow them to interchange as the game progresses. Sony VAIO VPCW217JC/W Battery
  • The aim of this is to confuse the defenders who are assigned to mark them, thus maybe leading to opportunities as the defender tries to find their man in set pieces (corners, free kicks etc., where the man may be in a totally different position and thus evade his grasp). Sony VAIO VPCW218JC Battery
  • Also, if the wingers are different types of player (one favouring crossing from deep positions whilst the other is prone to trying to dribble past their marker for example), then it might be to exploit a weakness in the opposing defender.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/L Battery
  • Strong Side Overloads: An offensive attack can pressure the defense on to one side of the pitch by running most of its attackers and midfielders to one side letting a wing player or defender come to the opposite side with little or no coverage. The ball is then crossed or passed to that unmarked player for a free or near free shot.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/P Battery
  • Using a target man: This tactic is useful when the team possesses a quality striker who has the ability of taking on the whole defence on his own. He will usually occupy two defenders, thus making the defence more vulnerable. Combined with two fast wingers, this tactic may give the 4-man defence potential problems. Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/T Battery
  • The team may also benefit from a target man at set pieces. The target man, can use give/go tactics described earlier, can attempt to "knock down" high passes to teammates or can simply try to outpower and outmuscle opposition defenders to create scoring opportunities for himself.Sony VAIO VPCW218JC/W Battery
  • Alan Shearer, Duncan Ferguson, Chris Sutton, Emmanuel Adebayor, Luca Toni, Emile Heskey, Jan Koller, Nikola Žigi?, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Peter Crouch, Didier Drogbaand Miroslav Klose are all examples of strikers adept at playing this role.Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/L Battery

Free kicks and dead-ball restarts come into play following a foul or other infractions. Indirect free kicks must be touched by another player before any shot is taken. Direct free kicks can be made directly on goal. Offensive players attempt numerous tricks to beat the defenders, who often form a solid wall of players directly in front of the goal. Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/P Battery

Attackers may attempt to blast the ball through the defensive wall, or curl it over or around using spin. David Beckham, Juninho, Andrea Pirlo, Roberto Carlos, Alessandro Del Piero, Wesley Sneijder, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rogério Ceni are considered[by whom?] some of the best in the business.Sony VAIO VPCW219AJ/W Battery


How throw-ins are best handled depends on where it is:

  • In one's own half the aim of a throw-in may be to retain possession in order to build up the next attack. The throw may not go forward, and the most unmarked player may be a full-back who is behind the ball. Sony VAIO VPCW21AAJ Battery
  • Such a throw followed by a quickly taken 'switch' pass could be an effective tactic. Under pressure, however, the ball is often thrown up the line to gain as much ground as possible.
  • If the thrower is unmarked a simple tactic is to take a short throw to the feet or chest of a marked player who immediately returns the ball to the thrower.Sony VAIO VPCW21AKJ Battery
  • In the last third of the pitch a player with a long throw can put pressure onto the defenders by throwing the ball deep into the penalty area, resulting in somewhat similar tactics to a corner kick situation, but with the added advantage of avoiding the offside trap, as an attacking player cannot be offside from a throw in.Sony VAIO VPCW21AVJ Battery

Goal kicks

A goal kick is an important 'set piece' that will occur many times in a game and yet few teams practice it. If taken quickly the kick may be taken short to a full-back who has run into a wide position. Although this may gain little ground it retains the all-important possession of the ball. Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery

A longer kick to the midfield is more common and it is vital that the midfield unit are in a position to receive it. It is the only set piece that can be taken whilst the ball is moving.


A corner is a real goal scoring opportunity and it is essential to know who is the best at taking a good corner from both the left and right side of the pitch. Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery

A good corner will be aimed high across the goal and may be 'bent' towards or away from the goal. At least one of the forwards should be on or close to the goal line when the kick is taken.

Another tactic on a corner is to let the best shooter stay in the back "trash" position and have the defense worried about those up front. Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery

The player taking the corner kick makes a small pass back to the trash shooter who has time and space to take a good shot.

General defensive tactics

All eleven players on the pitch have a defensive role. Which roles they are assigned, depends on tactics. In principle, there are two ways of defending, zone defense and man-to-man defense. Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery

In a zone defense, defensive players mainly move in relation to each other, whereas a man-to-man defense mainly moves in relation to opposing players. Whenever defensive players are given, or give themselves, a larger degree of freedom, hybrids of the two are seen.Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery

First, second and third defender

The first defender has the main responsibility for what the opponent in possession does, seeking to obstruct dangerous passes. The first seconds after the team has lost the ball are important, as the defending team in these seconds will be poorly organised defensively. Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery

Wise first defending will contribute to the defending team managing to organise before the opponents may attack.

The first defender should usually be the player closest to the opponent holding possession, but needs to be at the defending side of him in order to do an effective job. Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery

He should keep a distance of about 2 metres, although the ideal distance will vary with each situation. The point is to pressure the opponent as much as possible without giving him a large possibility of a dribble. As a dribble isn't as dangerous when the defending team is well organised, the distance may be shorter in these cases. Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery

Analogously, the distance should be increased if the defense is poorly organised.

In certain cases, the first defender should attempt a tackle. Often, however, this will increase the probability of being dribbled and passed.Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery

The direction in which to move towards the opponent with possession of the ball may be the shortest direction. However, it may be of value to curve the defensive run, in order to channel the opponent in a certain direction. If the defensive team is well organised, he should be channeled towards the centre of the pitch. Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery

In the case of temporarily poor defensive organisation, however, he should be channeled towards the line.

The second defender is for security if the first defender is passed. In that case, he takes over as first defender, and ideally one of the third defenders takes over as second defender. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery

The team should be organised in a manner to make this transition as fast as possible. The typical ideal distance between the second and first defender is about six metres, but this will vary strongly from situation to situation. The most important factor is the opponent's speed. If he's moving fast, the distance should be longer.Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery

If he's standing still, the second and first defender may in some cases join forces and work as two first defenders.

The job of the third defender is to provide deep cover. He is generally in a stand-off position relative to the first and second defenders and tries to view the "big picture",Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery

keeping watch for new opponents moving up, and covering vulnerable gaps if the first and second defenders are bypassed. The sweeper role is sometimes conceived as that of a third defender, but every defensive player not immediately engaging the ball has the obligation to adjust his positioning to guard against dangerous situations and to plug vulnerable gaps. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery

While the role of first and second defenders are rather similar, the third defenders' role is very different in zone defense and man-to-man defense. Also, their organisation will vary with formation.

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