How Real Madrid Can Beat FC Barcelona
Real Madrid has perfected their ability to consistently lose to FC Barcelona. Real Madrid has become Barcelona’s regular punching bag. We get it, Barcelona is the best team in the world, their bench is amazing, their coach is amazing, and they have the best player on earth (little Messi), so how the hell do we beat these guys? Well, let me tell you how, Real Madrid can beat FC Barcelona!
Jose Mourinho Tactics
New Approach; Change or Die
We hear, “change or die,” a lot in the technology industry, but it’s also valid in other industries. Take Real Madrid for instance. Jose Mourinho consistently tries his counter attacking defensive minded soccer against Barcelona. Mourinho’s counter attacking game might win once, but the percentages are definitely against him. Barcelona’s style is effective 99% of the time. So at this point Mourinho has nothing to lose in trying something drastic and crazy!
Real Madrid is one of few teams in the world that can actually match Barcelona’s physicality and stamina. (Granted Real Madrid gets tired from running after the ball, but I will talk about that later on in the article, see Game Strategy below.) Real Madrid has some darn good players; players I believe can “almost” match Barcelona man-to-man. Mourinho should go with three controlling midfielders and one stopper. Mourinho should take the same approach that Barcelona takes. Start the game with a bunch of controlling midfielders, and see what happens. Keep in mind that changing your approach will not be enough, these midfielders will also need a plan!
Game Strategy – The Plan
Real Madrid needs to stop thinking about scoring because it doesn’t matter against Barcelona. If Real score’s 10 goals Barcelona will score 11 goals. Mourinho should mentally prepare his team not to go forward. When they steal the ball they should hold on to the ball for as long as they can, trying to tire out Barcelona as much as possible.
The idea with this strategy is to not run around like a chicken with his head cut off, over exerting yourself with crazy runs and long balls. During Wednesday’s game (Copa Del Rei Wed. 18, 2012) Cristiano Ronaldo was making 70-yard sprints back and forth diving and sliding like a maniac trying to make up for lost space. The three stoppers (Pepe, Alonso, Lass) were unable to make fluid passes, and I hardly saw any one-twos.
But having a plan won’t be enough, you will also need to practice your plan and teach the team new field orientation with a new mentality, cultivating cohesion and fluid passing/running style.
Field Orientation – Futsal Style
One thing I have consistently noticed with Real Madrid is their “bad” field positioning. Passes from the back especially from the keeper, is ridiculous (usually long balls which end up with Barcelona). So Real Madrid’s objective should be to steal the ball and keep the ball as long as possible, with good runs supporting one-another. To hold the ball I would implement some futsal tactics.
If you ever played futsal before you know there are rotations and runs that the players consistently do, until it’s time to improvise. Futsal is very similar to basketball and the players have set “plays.” If you watch Barcelona it looks like they are playing little futsal games all over the field. Well I would implement certain rotations, especially in the midfield and sides of the field so that we can hold the ball for long periods of time. I would also come up with a plan on coming out from the back or from the keeper. Real Madrid needs to do something other than kick ball.
Obviously “set plays” do not work in the real game (this is not American football for Gods sake!); however, there are certain runs, positioning on the field and field orientation that can be introduced to help change the style of Real Madrid’s play.
Mourinho has nothing to lose anymore, because he has already loss to Barcelona so many times. He needs to try something new. His counter attacking direct strategy works against most teams. But, not against FC Barcelona!
Roberto Avey is an ex-soccer player from Brazil. Club, Associação Atlética Ponte Preta in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 1995-1998 under coach, Francisco da Silva Júnior “Chiquinho." He has since graduated from Midwestern State University in Texas, with a bachelor degree in journalism and helps coach teams in Southern California. Read more