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Barcelona Tiki-Taka 4-3-2-1 | Football Manager Possession Tactic

Barcelona Tiki-Taka Domination v2 | FM13 Possession Tactics

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Estamos tocando tiki-taka tiki-taka!
Football Manager 2013 possession tactic Barcelona Tiki-Taka

“Estamos tocando tiki-taka tiki-taka”, was the phrase Andres Montes used in the World Cup 2006 to describe the playing style of Spain. Tiki-Taka or Tiqui-Taca has its origin from the Total football developed by Rinus Michel in the 1970’s and is a refinement of the attacking fluid football.

Since 2006 the Tiki-Taka playing style has become world famous, partially because of the success of Spain and FC Barcelona. The Tiki Taka can be described as the Spanish way of keeping possession by working the ball through various channels and play fluid football by taking advantage of brilliant short sharp passes (often in one or two touches), with the help of high degree of movement into open spaces.

The playing style of Tiki-Taka is equally loved as its hated by football fans throughout the world. What caught my attention and heart, was the accuracy in passing and movement both with and without the ball which overrun its opponents, no matter their playing style or formation. I loved how Spain and Barcelona passed the ball so quickly between each other that it wore out the opponents, both to do more mistakes and to weaken their attacking system.

One important part of the tiki-taka, is the collaboration of the defense and attacking, as the team is always in possession.
Former successful FC Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola, who invented the false nine, once said; “We want to emulate the amount of running players must do. When you win back the ball, there are 30 metres to goal rather than 80. I want Messi as far forward as possible.”

In this Football Manager 2013 Tactic, which you can download below, I’ve tried to summarize the key essence of the Total Football and Tiki-Taka, and tried to create my own version of the playing style with the focus of what I love about the playing style.

Barcelona Tiki-Taka Domination v2 4-3-2-1

FM13 Best Possession tactic Barcelona Tiki Taka

My Football Manager 2013 tactic Barcelona Tiki-Taka domination extreme is based on some of the aspects from the playing style of Tiki-Taka, and is one of the best possession tactics I’ve ever created for Football Manager. This fluid attacking tactic is developed as a possession based tactic, where I’ve put importance to the passing completion ratio, win possession back quickly and chance creation (half chances, clear cut chances and shots).

I would not be modest if I said you could easily have an average of over 65%(!) in possession through a season, and have a passing completed ratio of around 90%(!). Through my 61 matches I’ve scored 140 goals and conceded only 32, a win percentage of 70%, which is world class, compared to other managers in the world! These stats are improved further with the new version.

Passion for Football Manager profile & career stats

This tactic is custom-made for Barcelona, but will be well-suited for any team who favors a continental playing style similar to FC Barcelona. Of course, the team will need the required types of players and skills to make it successful. I will come back to the key elements and basic attributes required for this playing style in the next chapter.

With this Football Manager 2013 tactic you are able to change playing style or match strategy according to the different opponents, according to how the match progresses or if you’ll need to counter a specific threat in the opposition team, by employing touchline instructions or shouts throughout the match. You can read more about Football Manager 2013 Touchline instructions here, or see preferences of the preferred shouts below in this article.

German Miroslav Klose spoke openly about the tiki-taka style of play and dominance when encountering Spain in the World Cup semi-final of 2010; “When we eventually did get it, we were so exhausted from chasing that we couldn’t do anything with it.”

Barcelona Tiki-taka team instructions
Barcelona Tiki-taka passing analysis

Key changes to the new and improved tactic

- More shots = more goals = more wins!
- Decreased the space between midfield and attack
- More crosses which creates more chances
- Better defensive balance = few easy goals let in
- Increased amount of key passes from central midfielders and striker
- Better pressure on the opposition team with central midfielders who works along each other

Top 5 Important Key Attributes for the Tiki-Taka playing style

Decisions – able to make the correct decision a number of times despite fatigue
Anticipation – able to predict player movement of teammates and have the vision to do the right pass or move
Composure – able to don’t get stressed out so he can do the right thing and use his intelligent to the benefit of the team
Positioning – able to position himself at the right place at the right time both to make himself available for a pass and to be able to press and intercept opposition teams ball movement.
Creativity – able to make the vital key pass or use his vision to see the best opportunities

Tactical player roles, player attributes and key elements

This tactic is all about team spirit and team performance. My aim is to encourage assists, goals and key passes from all the players, not only one or two from the attacking line. By creating this tactic, I’ve tried to replicate the tiki-taka system of 2010/11 and make the team play around their opponents with a short passing system, much movement and create numerous situations of outnumbering the opposition team in the build up; 2v1, 3v2 and so on.

Tactical Player roles – Player attributes

Goalkeeper defend; I prefer to use a traditional goalkeeper defend despite the high defensive line. You can read our guide on how to choose goalkeeper player roles; Goalkeeper defend vs Sweeper keeper.
I’ve tried the sweeper keeper defend, but conceded some horrific goals. I also feels the counter-attacking balls would make you prone to loose possession. It is also easier to buy a suitable traditional shot-stopper, rather than finding a suitable sweeper-keeper.
Version 2: Sweeper Keeper to support the defenders better, and interpret long balls from the opposition team. Average position is almost identical.

Wingbacks Support (DL) / Attack (DR); As I want defensive safety when the team hasn’t possession of the ball I want one of the wingbacks to stay in line with the central defenders. He will also support the midfield by trying to win possession and close down opposition wingers. Both wingbacks has run from deep often, which makes them likely to overlap or aid the attacking line, if the opportunity arises and its safe. The wingbacks will cover large areas (between 11 to 15km per match). I’ve set the right wingback with attacking duty because of Daniel Alves’ excellent stamina, dribbling, good positioning, creativity and passing. You can change duty according to which of the player position who is best. The one wingback with attacking duty can be described as the third attacking threat, as his passing and overlaps gives width to the attacking line. The wingback attack will record a good amount of assists.
Version 2: Fullback Support (DL)

Central defenders; As compared to the style of Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol I’ve used ball playing defender and limited defender. As I put many players forward in attacking situations the ball playing defender player role is vital. He will aid the build-up with his creativity and passing. The limited defender will close down players before they enters the area. Both central defenders will need excellent positioning, marking, tackling, in additional to creativity, passing and anticipation for the ball playing defender.

Ball winning midfielder; One of the key players in this tactic is the ball winning midfielder.
He could be regarded as the third defender as he will stay back all the time, mark opposite player and close down opposition players to try to win possession. Since the defensive line is high I’ve discovered that the ball winning midfielder acts like a playmaker against some opponents, as he will have the most passes and uses his creativity to build up attacking play. He will travel a lot of distance and covers the whole midfield. See analysis of his style of play; passing ratio and tackling ratio.

The two different playmakers, deep-lying and advanced; is one of the important keys in the passing completion ratio. They will look to operate in the spaces between the defense and midfield. Both players would need good stamina and work rate. They will pass trough balls often and close down players often to win the ball high up in the field. The advanced playmaker has excellent creativity and anticipation and will move into channels. He will look to arrive late in the area, but also run with the ball often to disturb the opposition defensive line. The deep-lying playmaker will run forward when the right opportunity arises and gives depth in the attacking line when required. He will also need good tackling and positioning. In my save he is the one with the most assists (18 assists).

Inside forwards; are the key to the attacking line. The AMR will look to cut inside to make space for the wingback. The AML will try to unsettle the opposition defender by moving into channels, often between the centerbacks and fullbacks. Both players will close down often to win possession and will require excellent passing, creativity and off the ball, as they will be likely to roam. This way it would be harder for the opposition full backs to mark them out of the game, as they are in constant movement.

Trequartista; Since the early days of life I’ve always loved attacking players who win possession, comes deep to get the ball just to carve out some excellent passes. The trequartista in this tactic will need good work rate and stamina in additional to good anticipation and off the ball. As he will look to be the main attacking threat it could be advantageous to pick a player with good creativity, long shots, dribbling and flair. He will be the first player who will try to win possession. He will also make space for his fellow attacking players and is as deadly with his amount of goals as his amount of assists.
Even though he will have lower passing completion ratio, he recorded 76 key passes in my save!

Important player attributes for the whole team:

When in possession: Technique, passing, first touch, creativity and off the ball is equally important as the main position player attributes.

Win possession: good stamina, work rate, team work, positioning, aggression, concentration and tackling.

Basic Mental Player attributes: decisions, anticipation, composure and creativity

Important Player Preferred Moves:

Ball Winning midfielder:
1) Stays back at all time; as he never will make forward runs
2) Plays short simple passes; as his job is to pass the ball to a more creative player it’s okey if he passes the ball to the foot of the teammate.

Deep-lying playmaker:
1) Dictates tempo; as this will override the team instruction of tempo, and he will decide according to situation the required tempo.
2) Comes deep to get the ball; to open up space for the advanced playmaker and others around him as he will move into space and closer to possession – dragging his marker out of position.

Advanced playmaker (in combination with the PPM’s of deep-lying playmaker):
1) Tries killer balls often; as you want him to play direct passes (through balls) when the opportunity arises.
2) Arrives late in the area (if you’re fortune enough to have this sort of player, as it can only be learned by tutoring); the player will hold back when attacking and arrive late in the box which drags his marker out of position and can create majority in the box. If the player runs into correct spaces he will be a major goal scoring threat.
3) Plays one-twos; as you might want to aid the tempo of passing when trying to work the ball into box. for the opposition team it could be difficult to defend against, as one player will pass and run towards the goal. 4) Move into channels; as you want him to be playable and in position to receive the ball no matter opposition player positioning. He will look to run in the space between the opposition players.

Inside Forward Right:
1) Cuts inside; as you’d like to create space for your attacking wingback. The player will run towards the opposite player from wide positions against the middle of the pitch for then to either pass through balls to an open player or shoot from outside the box.
2)Places shots; as you want his chances to be dangerous every time he takes a shot, by making the shot more unreachable for the goalkeeper. Will look to place the ball in the corner of the net rather than just blasting it against the goal.

Inside Forward Left:
1) Move into channels; as you want him to stay closer to the striker – narrowing the play, and give the opposition team more players to be aware of.

1) Comes deep to get the ball; to open up space for the advanced playmaker and others around him as he will move into space and closer to possession – dragging his marker out of position.
2) Plays one-twos; (See description for advanced playmaker)

To summerize – PPM’s who should be learned:
- Play short simple passing
- Look to pass rather than shoot
- Moves into channels
- Play through balls
- Dictate tempo
- Comes deep to get the ball
- Play one-twos
- Plays his way out of trouble

PPM’s who should be unlearned;
- Runs with ball often should be tried to unlearned for most of your players except your striker, as you want your team to pass their way through the opposition team; not do any solo runs, which increases the chances of loosing possession.
- Shoots from distance; for your attacking line, but could be advantageous if you have an advanced playmaker with excellent long shots player attribute.

- plays long range passes
- switch ball to flanks

NOTE! There could also be other important PPM’s, but I’ve only listed the most important PPM’s to increase the success of this possession tactic.

My Tactical preferences:

My version of Tiki-taka tactics may differ from others, as I want more balance in the team. By using three midfielders instead of 1+2 I wish to provide more attacking depth, so the MC might be the one with the most pass attempts. If you got the right player (with better tackling and marking attribute than Xavi) you could use your deep-lying playmaker in this position. But by using my preferred tactical setup it gives more alternatives when facing different opponents. The MCL (advanced playmaker) can be positioned as AMC (advanced playmaker) to exploit the gaps of the opposition team even more (often used against weaker teams), or you can easily change position of the (Ball winning midfielder) MC as anchor man (DM) when facing tougher opponents who uses an attacking midfielder AMC (for example against Real Madrid).

If you’re struggling to have good possession in the midfield, you could change position of the Trequartista from forward to AMC. This may give you a better link between the defensive zone and attacking zone. But I prefer to use him as an trequartista striker to put pressure on the opposition centerbacks, so they can’t advance with the ball high upfield. Read more about how to win possession and pressurize the opponent in this post.

One certain element about my best possession tactic, is that your players will need excellent fitness and physical attributes. With an average of around 10km in covered distance per match it is important that they can cover a lot of ground (high degree of stamina).

Attacking fluidity and roaming players who runs into space:
Attacking Tactical structure
Defensive structure – pressure the opponents into the box:
Defensive Tactical structure

Team (General) Training – How to increase match performance

Barcelona Tiki-taka Training scheduling

After a successful pre-season and the tactical familiarity levels has reached 100/100, I approach training by setting the scheduling bar to 20%. This gives you one day before next match to prepare for a specific match training. The players will get a rest after each match.

To increase the match performance in regard to attacking situations I like to set the match training to Attacking Movement by default, and can be compared to general training attacking.
But depending on the next opposition it is important to switch to other important match preparations, such as defending set-pieces if playing with Barcelona, or attacking set-pieces if you think your team will get a lot of chances from set-pieces.
In my save I conceded many goals from set-pieces, so it could be important to focus on this match preparation.

When setting up general training I think of attacking general training as the main focus, as it develops Crossing, Finishing, Long Shots, Passing, Creativity and Off the ball. I tend to switch training category to ball control, as it develops Dribbling, First Touch, Heading, Technique and Flair.

If your playing with a team unfamiliar with the playing style and formation it could be important to set general training to tactics, as it increases Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions and Team Work. This training category is often set to the youth team or reserve teams, as you want to develop their tactical knowledge and be fully prepared.

Preferred Touchline Instructions / Shouts

When assigning touchline instructions I always split my shouts in two different shout instructions; Tiki-Taka with control strategy and Tiki-Taka Direct with attacking strategy;

Tiki Taka – Full Control
This touchline instructions is all about slowing the tempo down, keep possession and look to frustrate the opponents by high amount of passes and be more patient as it lowers the through ball setting to sometimes. I always tend to use this shout no matter opponent in the first minutes of the match to analyze the opposition teams defensive line, width and player instructions. Touchline instructions highlighted in blue is the preferred instructions to either create space or dominate space.

FM13 tactic shouts tiki taka

Tiki Taka – Attacking fluidity
This touchline instructions is all more about change of passing style – to be more directly. It will create more chances because of more space to roam and will also put more pressure on the opposition team by shorten the space to the opponent by pushing the team higher up. he playing style will be changed to higher tempo, more width and increased through ball settings, to get the ball in the final third.
I tend to use this shout instructions against better teams, but also against weaker teams when struggling to score goals. Of course the defensive line depends on the opposition team, but for shorter periods this has worked very well. Against stubborn defenses it may be advantageous to change the control third instructions from play through defense to run at defense, which might make your MCL to the man of match!

FM13 tactic shouts tiki taka attacking

You can see more examples of shouts and learn more about how to setup sets of touchline instructions in order to create a specific football philosophy in our Football Manager guide to touchline instructions.

How to win possession: Putting Pressure on the opponent

Barcelona Tiki-Taka defensive zones

As you can see from this image of defensive zones, the defensive part of play already begins with the striker and inside forwards. These three players, in additional to the attacking midfielder (MCL), will put pressure on the opponents defensive line and try to win the ball high up, which fits the words of Josep Guardiolas tactical preferences from the introduction to the tactic.

As the team will attack as a unity, it will equally defend as a unity. Behind the first defensive line you will have the wingbacks, ball winning midfielder and deep-lying playmaker with the help of the advanced playmaker to hunt the opposite players down, with the aim of winning the ball quickly back.

With this tactic, the players will need to cover a lot of distance. So with the help of the pitch size you can increase the chances of winning possession by setting the pitch dimension to minimum allowed; at Barcelona this would be 100 metres in length and 64 metres in width.

Read more about how to win possession in this Football Manager article about adapting your match tactics to regain possession quicker

Pressurizing opposition defense to make mistakes


The Barcelona Tiki-Taka Domination Extreme is a team tactic; it doesn’t always matter how good current ability the players have or their attributes and experience. In my latest match against Levante, I decided to let my most promising talents get a chance to improve their match experience. This was done partially because I’m 18 points ahead of Real Madrid in the league, and I wanted to rest my first team players ahead of the Champions League Semi-final against Manchester United three days later. Young players like Sergi Samper (18), Victor Brasil (19), Maximilian Meyer (17), Lucas Andersen (18), Anass Achahbar (19) and FM13 wonderkid Gerard Deulofeu got the chance to shine. And they DID!

This match also shows how excellent Martin Montoya can be in Football Manager 2013. See screenshot of him here.You can see video of match highlights in the video below.

I guess this match result can show some of the potential in this tactic, and encourage you to use your best talents in not-important matches.

FC Barcelona – Levante, 4 – 0
FC Barcelona Levante 4-0

Videoes of style of play and best achievements

FC Barcelona – At. Madrid, 6-1
FC Barcelona Best Talents – Levante, 4-0 (Excellent Goal from Gerard Deulofeu)

More Records and Achievements

Goal Analysis
Tactical analysis of goals

Team Performance
FC Barcelona Records

Overall League Records
FC Barcelona La Liga Overall Records

You can see screenshots of Home Records and Away Records in these links. It’s quite impressive, especially the away records compared to how many injuries I’ve experienced. Also check out amount of conceded goals at away matches.

Pass completion ratio – La Liga
La Liga Pass Completion Ratio

Competitions won:
2012-13: La Liga – 17 points before R.Madrid
2012-13: UEFA Champions League – 3-2 against FC Bayern
2012-13: Spanish super Cup winners – 2-1 R.Madrid

Manager Awards
2012-13: Manager of the year (without winning a single manager of the month award)

FC Barcelona AlcoyanoFC Barcelona At. MadridFC Barcelona At. Madrid 6-1FC Barcelona ChelseaFC Barcelona Real MadridFC Barcelona Real Madrid 1-1FC Barcelona Rayo 6-0FC Barcelona Rayo Passing analysisFC Barcelona ZaragozaFC Barcelona ValenciaFC Barcelona ZenitFC Barcelona Granada 7-0FC Barcelona Manchester United 4-1Passing analysis Manchester United

Final Notes!

I) As with the Total Football used at Ajax Amsterdam and Tiki-Taka at FC Barcelona, two clubs famous for their magnificent youth development, it is important to set focus on this playing style in the day to day team management. Setting the correct general training, take advantage of match preparations and to focus on individual training; preferred moves is as important as scouting and buying the “correct” players.

II) Finally I want to point out, that the foundation in this tactic is there to succeed, but it’s up to you to prove your managerial skills by employing “correct” touchline instructions and setup the “best” opposition instructions, to counter specific threats or opponents weaknesses. I’m also pretty sure there are other ways to take this tactic to another level, but with my knowledge of Football Manager, this is what I’ve come up with.

III) You should always play at least 10 to 15 competitive matches before you give your final judgement, as the players need to get familiar with the playing style.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have in my saves, and we at “My Passion for Football Manager” encourage you to share your feedback on this Football Manager tactic.

Download FM13 Tactic; Barcelona Tiki Taka Domination Extreme 4-3-2-1

DownloadBarcelona Tiki Taka Domination v2 4-3-2-1

A new version of my best possession tactic. Released 09.08.2013 and works for the latest match engine; 13.3.3.
Highly Recommended!

DownloadBarcelona Tiki-Taka Domination v1 4-3-2-1
60000 downloads since April! The original version of Passion4FM’s Tiki Taka tactic.

How to import the tactic to Football Manager 2013?

1) Import the tactic to the specific folder: “Your Documents” > Sports Interactive > Football Manager 2013 > Tactics

2) Go to the Overview Panel of Team Tactics – choose Add TacticOptionsManage Tactics – Choose to open Archive Tactics and add Barcelona Tiki Taka Domination Extreme 4-3-2-1 by Passion4FM

This tactic is tailored for Barcelona and their players with specific PPM’s. You may experience different results with players and teams that do not fit this playing philosophy. If you are trying our Tiki-Taka playing philosophy for other teams, you might change some player roles and do some adjustments to the player instructions to make it work. The amount of possession might decrease if you change player roles. To make the Barcelona Tiki Taka domination tactic work, you will need to spend time working on Player preferred moves that suit the short passing playing style.

No matter how much you like my work, please do not copy images, text or steal the download without asking for permission! THANKS!

  • Prem

    Thank you for the tactic. Just to check, what general training do you focus on? Tactics? And is the match preparation on attacking movement? This is assuming that the team is already familiar with the tactic.

  • Espen H

    At General Training I tend to use attacking and ball control. I use Tactics for my youth team, so they will get fully acquainted with the playing style. <br /><br />On match training i use 20% on attacking movement but also use def. set-pieces and attacking set-pieces as Barcelona often gets many faults and is weaker on def. set-pieces.<br /><br />You can read more about how I approach Pre-season

  • Prem

    Hi thank you for the reply. Anyway I have read the pre-season post. I&#39;m following the ideas on that post as well in my own game. Thank you for the tips.<br /><br />What i want to know is how frequently you rotate your schedules? For example, how long do you have general training at attacking before you change to ball control? Similarly how long do you keep match training on attacking movement

  • Espen H

    I don&#39;t keep track of it, as it depends on the fixture list ..but if you should have a schedule for it, i would check every two months, but I don&#39;t do that.<br /><br />Match training is set to default attacking movement, but changed to set-piece training depending on the opponent, but also according to what my assistant manager tells me during the previous match. By setting the scheduling

  • Joey Modano-Yakeera

    do shouts work when you manually set your individual instructions? for example if you fixed your passing to short on each player, would using play to feet reduce the passing further or reduce the tempo to slow pace??

  • Binh Nguyen

    Hi,<br />Thank you for your unbelievably awesome tactics. Though it&#39;s not really fit with my squads, it&#39;s still really good after I&#39;ve done some modification. Do you have the Total Football tactics of Ajax you mentioned above? I feel like it will be perfect fit with my current squads. Thanks again.

  • Joey Modano-Yakeera

    do you individual settings? <br />Individual changes you make, for eg if you tick a player and you <br />modify his mentality settings and say his passing, nullify any effect <br />shouts have on them. so the shouts you are using interms of pass to feet isnt going to have any effect on how your players play because you have ticked passing for all your players to short??

  • Joey Modano-Yakeera

    do you use individual settings? <br />Individual changes you make, for eg if you tick a player and you <br />modify his mentality settings and say his passing, nullify any effect <br />shouts<br /> have on them. so the shouts you are using in terms of pass to feet isn&#39;t <br />going to have any effect on how your players play because you have <br />ticked passing for all your players to short??

  • Espen H

    The tempo and passing style is set. You can untick passing instruction and tempo in the team instruction and player instruction for the most important players f.ex fullback and inside forward to take advantage of control passing shouts.<br /><br />I find it somehow unlogical that tempo and team strategy is so closely linked, as an counter attacking strategy should have higher tempo to<br />get

  • Espen H

    Hey=)<br /><br />Thanks for your kind words.<br />maybe I will create my version of Total Football for Ajax. Just need time to play around with tactic creation and spend some time to read up on this playing style.

  • Espen H

    First of, you can download the tactic and see individual instructions and team instructions, as this answers your first question.<br /><br />Second, I know some of the shouts have no effect, but it is both to show what preferred shouts for each playing style, then you can untick what you prefer according to the team you&#39;re managing.<br /><br />When using pass into space it changes the pass

  • Binh Nguyen

    btw, I don&#39;t know if it&#39;s because of my squad but I feel like this tactics is really good at controlling the game and defense (15 matchs and only concedes 2 goals) but not really good at attacking. I play Messi as T, Neymar and David Silva as IP. I usually get a hell lot of shots and pretty good amount of shots on target not the goal conversion from shot is really really low. Do you have

  • Espen H

    I really don&#39;t know if you take advantage of touchline instructions.<br /><br />As mention above, this tactic will also test your managerial skills during matches – see what you&#39;ll need to change during match as the match envolves – adapting your tactics according to the opponent.<br /><br />first of, you must also give your team a chance to blend, as like real life the players need to

  • Joey Modano-Yakeera

    I have downloaded and will give this ago with Palermo (i know i have got a long way to turn them world class) <br /><br /><br /><br />Can you please explain to me what you do when you want to use shout? do you work what that shout is supposed to use and unpick the settings? so if you use the tiki taka shout, do you unpick passing, tackling, though balls from each player? what about tempo in team

  • Espen H

    You pointed out some good things. And according to the post description I&#39;ve changed some elements which makes you able to take advantage of some shouts in regard to passing.<br /> <br />As you might have seen some players have the preferred settings from the tactic creator, others have ticked instructions.<br />Shouts will fine-tune some elements on every player.<br />mentality will be

  • Chris Hayes

    Hey, <br />Ive been using this tactic and i find it absolutely awesome personally. I use the V2 with shouts and i use the standard shout. Retain poss, stay on feet etc. The AP gets forward a lot and scores a few as well. Im only early in to a new game but the start ive made using Passion 4 football manager tactic tiki taka domination extreme is great. By far the best Barcelona tactic ive used.

  • Chris Hayes

    Here are few pics of some of my games using this tactic

  • Richie

    Hey,<br /><br />This is such a great tactic. This is the first tactic in like three different FM&#39;s, that really does let you play like Barcelona. Absolutly asthonosing. The only point that really bugs me is Messi, he misses the most clear cut chances (he has eight goals in thirteen matches, but two of those where trough penalties. BTW he also misses like 9/10 penalty&#39;s, but I read

  • Espen H

    Thanks a lot!<br />I experienced some problems when Lionel Messi was set on individual training specific attribute for a longer time!<br /><br />If you set him to train individual player role f.ex trequartista he will manage to get better performances… BUT I think there might be something wrong with the match engine in regard to what you&#39;re talking about, as I&#39;ve seen him miss obvious

  • Richard Duinmayer

    Hi,<br /><br />This looks like the best tactic ever. How ever i started using it in the Dutch Eredivise with Volendam and i lost my first 4 matches after that. I see some improvements in possession and shots-on / off target. More off target then on target b.t.w.<br /><br />I&#39;ve put my trainingimmediately to tactics only.<br /><br />Any hints on how to get a good run out of this tactic for my

  • Espen H

    First, morale is equally important as the tactic.<br />second, the tactical familiarity levels must be excellent – expect to see how the tactic works after 10 to 20 matches depending on the team.<br /><br />When you started the save with Volendam, your assistant manager give advices on the best formation, this will give you a clue.<br /><br />Third, you also need some of the right player

  • Fabo

    Hey,<br /><br />I came across this tactic just as I ended my 5th miserable year as Liverpool boss. So I thought I&#39;d give a try with the team I&#39;ve built so far. I must say this is thee best tactic Iv used ever. On Fm12 i used the same formation with Liverpool and I was successful but it had no real depth, it just suited my players. But this tactic I actually see the quality of football

  • Richie

    Hey Espen!<br /><br />Thanks for your fast feedback. I&#39;d already put him on the trequarista training since the start of the season. I think I already found out why he was missing so many shots. The tactic wasn&#39;t 100% fluid yet, and now that it has (november), he&#39;s actually doing better. Still missing some obvious chances, but I guess thats the match engine playing. <br /><br />Once

  • Richie

    Hey Richard,<br /><br />Sorry to interfere, because I know that Espen know his tactic best ofcourse. But even with Barcelona I had matches that I just lost like 2-0 to really small teams. I think the best you could do just like Espen said is just to give it time, let the players get used to it and wait untill it get&#39;s 100% fluid. It took me like November to get it 100% fluid (with players

  • Joey Modano-Yakeera

    nice, which version of the tactic did you use? the shout or standard one??

  • Thomas Lycett

    When hiring staff for a club playing this tactic should their preferred formation be 4-3-3?

  • Espen H

    Interesting question actually. <br />Normally I have not put too much consideration into this, as I want my staff to be professional or ambitious, in additional to have 4 or 5 star coaching stars<br /><br /><br />F.ex I&#39;ve bought Mauro Tassotti as assistant manager – 4-4-2 direct

  • Harrylad

    On the team instructions, do you use the DLP or AP as the playmaker? And do you supply the striker to his feet or mix it up? Your tactics and set up are very similar to mine, although you&#39;ve helped me tweak it a bit :) e.g, I don&#39;t normally have 2 types of playmakers in my team, but I&#39;m guna give it a go! P.s I&#39;m playing as reading not Barca haha

  • Espen H

    Hey, I use the DLP (Xavi) as he is positioned deeper – see the defensive position, while the AP will roam more.<br />The target man is set to supply to feet.

  • mdog

    This tactic doesn&#39;t work for me at all. I have most of the possession and the chances in a game but my strikers do not score or shoot on target. Every attack from my opponent is a goal. The trequirtista role for my striker doesnt work at all. I have top strikers who should be able to do it but it just doesn&#39;t work. Same goes for the shouts.

  • Dan

    Do you think this would work with NPower League 1 team to take them up the leagues? And if so could you reccomend any players who would suit the system at a cheap price or even free?

  • ParadoxTheory

    I&#39;ve been using this tactic for about half a season now, and while the possession is great, I can&#39;t seem to score enough of my chances to win a game. I&#39;ve attached my latest loss, just to illustrate my troubles. Dominating games (I had 20+ shots against Chelsea including 4 clear cut chances, scored none) and not winning them due to poor finishing. <br /><br />I know my defence is the

  • Espen H

    This tactic will work with every tactic who possess the suitable players. It will perhaps be a long process to get full results, but you&#39;ll see changes from the first months.<br /><br />You can download our player role search filter and look for the required PPM&#39;s and unlearn those PPM&#39;s who doesn&#39;t

  • ParadoxTheory

    I&#39;m having players shoot mostly from outside the box, but none of them have got &#39;Shoots often&#39; or &#39;Shoots from distance&#39; as a PPM, so why are they ignoring your settings? Any ideas?

  • Espen H

    I can&#39;t be to determine here, but I think it&#39;s an issue of low player attributes and minor bugs in match engine in addition to &quot;wrong player positioning&quot;.<br />Is decisions, anticipation, team work, creativity and/or composure fairly lower than 15? <br />Do you use touchline instructions work ball into box and play through defense?<br /><br />And yes, this issue has happened for

  • ParadoxTheory

    I think you might be onto something with the attributes, the main culprit is Bakary Sako, who as it turns out, has poor stats for the mental part of being an Inside Forward. Hmm…looks like I might need a replacement. <br /><br />Also, if my Trequartista has poor positioning, this might force my players to shoot from distance since he&#39;s not available for a pass?

  • Espen H

    Yes, that&#39;s true.<br />You can read more about the player attributes here<br /><br />But this statement on trequartista depends on many factors such as who are shooting from long and hot the other team is positioned, maybe they are man marking your players and you should try to drop deeper

  • ParadoxTheory

    Right, you&#39;ve given me a few more things to think about at least, thanks for your help :) <br /><br />It&#39;s a very good formation, it&#39;s just converting Wolves into a team capable of using it which is the tricky part!

  • Dan

    Tying to do the same with Barnsley its a ball ache!

  • JaseSIXX

    Just a question, I&#39;ve signed Mario Gotze and I was wondering how much of a negative effect moving one of the CM&#39;s to a CAM would have? I wanna get the best out of him.

  • Παναγιώτης Τσιρίδης

    First of all i want to congratulate you. You&#39;ve done a hell of a job with this tactic. You deserve the respect of all fm fans. I have some questions for you. I sold players like adriano mascherano villa pedro alves thiago and bought mata gotze hummels sandro azpilicueta ter stegen and i could&#39;nt resist to buy falcao ONLY after he was unhappy and made a trasfer request and bought him for

  • Panos

    First of all i want to congratulate you. You&#39;ve done a hell of a job with this tactic. You deserve the respect of all fm fans. I have some questions for you. I sold players like adriano mascherano villa pedro alves thiago and bought mata gotze hummels sandro azpilicueta ter stegen and i could&#39;nt resist to buy falcao ONLY after he was unhappy and made a trasfer request and bought him for

  • Espen H

    Thanks for your appreciation. Yes, you can buy all the players in the world, but not everyone will fit into the tactic. I&#39;ve left a screenshot of the comparison between Messi and Falcao. I would rather use Götze as a trequartista than Falcao. The choice you&#39;ve now got is to either adopt the tactic so it will fit the strength of Falcao – heading with more crosses into the box and change

  • Anthony Olbison

    Hi mate, great tactic. Ive been looking for a tactic that focuses on total football. Has this been tested with arsenal by any chance? im looking to do so but i dont know who to put in the Trequartista position. I tried the tactic but didnt have much success but i really want to implement this at arsenal.

  • xfer

    Does it only work best with Barcelona? Cos this is ripping my default Newcastle Squad.

  • Espen H

    It works with teams who has the right players like every playing style and tactic.

  • Espen H

    FootballManagerTube at Youtube uses a variant of this tactic in their Football Manager Stories about Arsenal. You can ask him at his Youtube page on which changes he did. I guess you need to do some adjustments<br /><br />

  • Jack

    Very interesting read, did you say you have an Ajax – Total Football tactic?

  • Espen H

    I don&#39;t have a tactic at the moment for you to download or try. Haven&#39;t had time to experiment or create new tactics for the last month. If you subscribe to us you will get notified when new tactics and articles are being released. hope that helps you

  • Jack

    yeah I&#39;ve just found this website and it looks very interesting! I have currently got my own version of Barcelona&#39;s tactic which involves us playing very fluid and attacking yet still dominating chances and possession home and away!

  • Dony LU

    I am unable to download the file from mediafire even thou i type in the correct words

  • Teddy

    Great Tactics! Just got it in the 14/15 season and my Barcelona was already somewhat different, hence, I had to make some adjustments. Nevertheless, it allowed me to create a different matrix for assessing the type of players I need and that helped the &quot;forever loanees&quot; Bartra and Montoya return to the squad, although, it showed the door for Deulofeu, who, although brilliant technically

  • Espen H

    If you just click on the download link you should not need to type in any words. Just hit download and the file should be downloaded to you computer.<br /><br />It&#39;s a green box with the file name and the size of the file. So I don&#39;t know what you&#39;ve hit

  • darren

    just a question i have tried this and changed players specific roles to what they should be does this work ? and also i am creating chances but not scoring enough ie 6 shots 2 on target ?

  • Dony LU

    Hi could you just sent both file to my email?

  • Dony LU

    Hi.. could you sent via my email address?

  • darren

    hey i just wanted to ask i have this tactic and have changed the individual roles of the players to the desired positions ie DLP to BWM and i am not sure that this working. I have been creating chances but not scoring so many ie shots 7 on target 2 is this the case?

  • Dony LU

    Hi Espen, would you mind to sent me through my email?

  • Teddy

    Hi darren, I would suggest adding Work ball in the box shout but that is very general. Check your match report to see where the shots come from, check those players&#39; composure and finishing and if that&#39;s cool, try setting the left-footed IF on the right side and vice-versa. Basically, check your report at half-time thoroughly and it will soon sort itself out. Also, players need some time

  • Tobi Hansson

    hey big fan from germany :) you mentioned in the preferred moves section that you should unlearn such PPM&#39;s like – runs with the ball often. <br />i have many players with that PPM but when i ask one of my coaches to unlearn this, they always say &quot;this isn&#39;t going to work&quot;. question now: is it really impossible to get rid of this behaviors or should i just try it no matter what

  • Espen H

    Thanks! Great to see a German fan! <br />In regard to this PPM you can have it fo example on one of your wingers and MCL IF they possess good dribbling, decision and flair. F.ex Iniesta or Messi often runs with the ball, but to create many short quick passes I recommended to remove this PPM.<br /><br /><br />If not you should not listen to your coaches and ty to unlearn them despite their

  • yoga1831

    rubbish… this is not working…

  • Espen H

    I would love to hear more about the issues instead of a short comment like this. How does it not work?

  • Fachri Ramadhan

    why should attacking ? why not team cohesion or teamwork ?<br />(training)

  • Fachri Ramadhan

    why should attacking ? why not teamwork or team cohesion ? (training)

  • Espen H

    sure, team cohesion is important – as earlier discussed in how I set up pre-season training I have the players set to team cohesion in the first weeks after fitness.<br /><br />You can read more about pre-season assignement s here<br /><br />When the team is fully blend I use the other

  • Chris

    I just can&#39;t seem to get this to work with Liverpool, not the tactics fault primarily mine i feel. Im struggling to keep possession and when i do im hardly creating any chances at all, then i will concede sloppy goals and lose to sides such as Hull. Any tips?

  • Espen H

    Hey,<br /><br />Thanks for trying out my tactic=)<br />I got an offer to you – like to try out the not yet released version of the new tiki taka tactic?<br /><br />I have loosened up the system a bit but still attacking movement and roaming is important

  • Espen H

    I know the edition out is very vulnerable for getting humiliated in defence because of the high defensive line. Drop deeper and play narrower might aid you=)<br /><br />Have you check my guide on how to use opposition instructions? In order to win possession you need players close enough and in order to keep possession you need the players &quot;far&quot; enough away and players in the correct

  • Chris

    If that&#39;s okay with you I would be more than happy to try out the tactic.

  • Cristian Pirola

    Hey, I seem to have few problems with the team around mid season. Till now I had a great start and after like 10 games into the season the team performance began to drop. Still I was getting narrow victories but after a while it is becoming harder and harder to snatch a draw… Sometimes I have a lot of occasion and fail to score, while the opposing team just come down one or twice and they

  • Espen H

    Hey, <br /><br />Thanks for the feedback. I can see you have purchased some new players..How are the team blend and morale which is some key areas.<br /><br />Trying to boost your morale and players behavior through team talks and even &quot;Talk to squad&quot; is very important!<br /><br />Next I would suggest to change role of Alvarez or use another player as inside forward as he is left footed

  • Cristian Pirola

    Hey, thanks for the reply.<br /><br />morale and team blend are good, I also use team talks and as for opposition instruction I always set it as close down and show on weaker foot for the whole opposition defence.<br /><br />As for Alvarez I normally tend to make him play on the right hand side, on the left is normally Cassano playing. I prefer too to play opposite side foot players on flanks.<br

  • Blancos

    I tried your tactics since that way of football is very close to what I had in mind for so long about &quot;beautiful football&quot;. I only ever manage El Real in FM, but I adore Barca&#39;s and Spain&#39;s way of football. And, judged from what I see on the field, it&#39;s a nice piece of work!<br /><br />Can you help me learn, what are your reasons when you override each player instruction

  • Espen H

    It surely looks like you play the game similar to me. 2 to 3 key passes in a game is quite good I think=)<br />The stats looks good according to how I wish the tactic should be – very good tackling won and passes succeeded.<br /><br /><br />I think you just need to look closer into whats happening when the opposition team scores and figure out how shouts can be used with best effect.<br /><br /><

  • Espen H

    I try to look at the players strength and how I can use their strength in the benefit of the tactic and playing style. I tend to look at some player positions as key positions for that player instructions. So I only want one (or a few players) to adjust their player instructions when I use shouts. I don&#39;t want all my players to play long ball or all my players to shoot from long.<br /><br />

  • Cristian Pirola

    Thanks a lot man!<br /><br />Waiting for the new tactic, but only after you get well :)<br /><br />Cheers!

  • Blancos

    Wait a minute… you mean you shout just for few players, and not for the whole team? <br /><br />This is new sight for me, since commonly I read that the manager shout commands to the team, and only tweak player instructions for a few/key players.

  • Espen H

    Yes, of course some shouts will only work for the team such as defensive line, width and so on..<br /><br /><br />But since some player instructions is ticked shouts will only work for those that are unticked.<br /><br /><br />The difficult part of this it to use the correct shouts to the advantages of the specific players<br /><br />But hope you understand that there would not be advantageous to

  • Blancos

    I see… You ticked most of your player&#39;s instruction and set them one by one when you start building your tactic, and leave couple key player&#39;s instruction unticked so you can change it on the fly. Is that what you mean?

  • cobrauk

    You uploaded 4 new tacs onto fm-base (of which I am VERY thankful for). Just a question – do I use the shouts from the original tactic with any of the new ones?

  • Espen H

    Yes, But of course this depends on opponents formation and style of play. But the tiki taka full control can be the basic shout settings which you use as the starting point.

  • Espen

    Hey. I&#39;am having trouble with the downloading. Can somebody help me?

  • Espen

    Hello! I&#39;am having problems With downloading the tactic. So could you please send it to me? Email:

  • Espen

    could someone send please send the tactic to

  • Mat

    Hi, first of all thank you for providing the community with this great tactic and philosophy, I used to be a plug and play tactic manager only but you have introduced me to the finer details of training and specific player instructions.<br /><br />The question I have is are there any specific PPM&#39;s you would recommend for the two wing backs and centre backs, there only seems to be PPM&#39;s

  • Espen H

    Hey, Thanks for your comment and trying my tiki taka tactic. I think you are very correct with the PPM&#39;s on the CB. For the WBR I would choose get forward whenever possible. The reason I have not mentioned too much about PPM&#39;s is that I really don&#39;t like them, as they often restricts the style of play too much. <br />Also the WB could have hug touchline to provide more width, but that

  • Jose Williams

    I am <br />using man city before your tactics I was getting 69% possession out of every game and an average shot total of 25, so in that sense I score a lot but I also concede too. and with your tactics i&#39;d say its a bit pointless, with your tactics I do keep hold of the ball but only in my own off of the pitch. Once start getting forward you see the backlash of your wideplayers and your

  • Espen H

    We have now released a beta version of our new Tiki Taka Tactic v2 – Download and try it out here – Everything above still counts<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Share your thoughts about the new tactic here

  • Banankutter

    Tried it and fell asleep. Realistic.

  • Christian Lebis

    This tactic is brilliant, it took some time to get my team to adjust to it and learn the ppm&#39;s but after 2 seasons RSC Anderlecht won the Champions league with this tactic :p<br /><br />I also learned a lot about football from this page, and find myself enjoying watching the real sport even more than I already did.<br /><br />You improved my life and general happiness my friend<br /><br />

  • rafael

    same situation. players are not hitting the target. strikers miss 1 vs 1 chances and defense lets in easy goals. i ve been struggling to win against small teams. this is my second season with man utd and i won the treble in my first season. now i lie in the 5th place in the league. any ideas? i ve tried different tactics but nothing seems to work.

  • Espen H

    It&#39;s very difficult to give you a precise answer as I don&#39;t know your save. I know this tactic sometimes struggles against tactics with many players running with the ball and use high pressure with the 4-2-3-1 tactic. <br /><br />Right now, I&#39;m not sure which version of this tactic you are using as I released a beta version of the new v2 some days ago. But as soon as I get the time, I

  • Espen H

    Thank you for the kind words! Please upload screenshots from your amazing career – would love to see!

  • Dukz

    Hi , i am using this and playing with Barcelona , but due to the amount of injuries , i need to look for a good striker incase Messi get effed up and also a good left winger. can u give me any advice also , i find it troubles when i use the direct tiki taka cause my defense will usually get pierced through. thanks<br /><br />btw gj on making this tatic i love how spain/barca play in real life

  • Ally Said

    can you recommend midfielders for this tactic…

  • Passion4FootballManager

    I would say midfielders with good creativity, deision, anticipation and first touch is vital.<br />Their composure, dribbling, off the ball, passing and technique must also be good.<br /><br />I really don&#39;t like to recommend specific players s it all depends on finances and transfer money available. And everything will depend on which year you&#39;re in and the development or decline of

  • Anonymous

    I&#39;m using the tactic with Valencia in my first season. Keeping the ball well and not conceding much, however I feel Soldado is not scoring enough as a trequartista and is not putting in good enough performances. The team as a whole is not scoring enough either, even against poorer sides. With Soldado I have tried playing him a a complete forward in the tactic so that he will link up play but

  • drinelfc

    this tactic is wonderful thanks u a lot

  • Incze Csongor

    I use this tactic with barca the shouts aswell.I beat easily evryone at <br />home with 3-4 to 0 but when i play away i barely can win with 1-0 and i <br />loose many times.Why on earth i cant win away like at home?I lost to <br />Mallorca with 1-0 same for Sevilla 1-1 with Betis 2-2 with <br />At,Madrid,Could any of you tell me why i cant win when i play away ?

  • Passion4FootballManager

    Hey, Whats happening in the matches is one of the key assets when assigning different Touchline instructions. You will need to analyse your formation according to your opponents. Perhaps in away matches the opposition team pressurize you more by having a higher defensive line. You will then need to counter that by employing touchline instructions which exploit the opposition teams weaknesses.<br

  • Hindra

    this tactic need a very very good player for each role

  • Knut-Jørgen

    The v2 sounds like a good tactic, just a shame we never get to try it due to difficult download options :(

  • Γαλάζιο Ξωτικό

    Hi mate,<br />firstly, thanks a lot for you overall;s amazing!<br /><br /><br />I NEED YOUR HELP!!<br /><br /><br />I am Head Coach at newcastle and surpisingly I won the Premier League from my first season. In almost all games I had the ball possesion (60%-40% at least) but I was struggling to score lots of goals. The majority of my wins was 1-0. I was creating a lot of chances (not

  • Γαλάζιο Ξωτικό

    Hi mate,<br />firstly, thanks a lot for you overall;s amazing!<br /><br /><br />I NEED YOUR HELP!!<br /><br /><br />I am Head Coach at newcastle and surpisingly I won the Premier League from my first season. In almost all games I had the ball possesion (60%-40% at least) but I was struggling to score lots of goals. The majority of my wins was 1-0. I was creating a lot of chances (not

  • Randika Jonan

    i&#39;ve been tryinng to find a good possession tactic for my barca team. i was using tactic made by raikan. and its not effective just yet. so i&#39;ll try to use yours. thanks for the very detail article!

  • Tobi Hansson

    Do you plan to transfer this tactic into FM 14 ? i have the FM 14 beta since yesterday and there were recent changes in costumizing your tactics. so you can&#39;t import the FM 13 tactic into FM 14. but i liked the playing style with this tactic very much and want to enjoy it in FM 14 as well :)

  • Siggi

    You should do a poll on your site, promise that you will get 20 a lot quicker because then everyone can see it ;) <br />If it is half as good as it is in FM13 it will still be the best tactic that you could use!

  • Tobi Hansson

    22 votes ! They&#39;ll make a FM 14 Possession Tiki-Taka tactic! Cheers ! :)

  • Helten

    Seems like u need to start editing now mate ;)

  • Passion4FootballManager

    Great to see so MANY request about a new version! And I thought people was bored of it!<br />I&#39;ve just started my preparations but can&#39;t promise any exact date. But of course, if people has subscribed to us by email, facebook or twitter – You will get quick access to it when it&#39;s released!<br /><br />One last thing! I won&#39;t publish a tactic which is 70% or 80% – it must work and

  • Syakir Zainol

    Hi there,<br /><br />Impressive tactics. I manager to get 5th place with my Newcastle team and the best devensive records with only 14 goals let in.<br /><br />The only thing i couldnt get to improve is the goalscoring rate. I didnt get to top 3 mainly because of this. Too many 0-0 or 1-1 draws. Very curious because strikers like Cisse and Remy always get me average of 15 goals per season with

  • Haris Mesiniotis

    so i tried the system with Real Madrid.I play 4-3-3 with 3 midfielders. The change i made was the 2 full backs. I play with Marcelo as left Wing Back and Karvajal as right wing back.Another change was the 2 center backs(Varane-Sergio Ramos) tha they play both as ball playing defenders. In the middle Xabi alonso as Ball winning Midfielder, Mezut Ozil as advnced playmaker and Luca Modrc as deep

  • Haris Mesiniotis

    Does anyone has the same problem with scoring only late in the game? I know that my team is winning and it doesnt matter how but i have problem with good teams(Manchester city, Juventus,).

  • Keith Fagan

    Do you play your wingers Left foot on Right Wing, and Right foot on Left Wing?

  • Kodiak

    I have a question about PPM.I Bought Neymar for barca i play him as AML and he has Runs WIth Ball Often,Runs WIth Ball Through Center,Runs With Ball Down Left.My question is what should i do try to unlearn all of these?Thx for ur answer

  • Anonymous

    when will u make a tiki taka possession tactic for fm14? i really love the one u did for fm13. keep up the good work ;)

  • Passion4FM

    Hey, to be honest – the tiki taka was 90% available some weeks ago, but wanted to wait until further patches was released so I dont have to tweak anything important. We will actually work on it now that the 14.2 patch has been released. Keep a look out in January for the Passion4FM version=)

  • Anonymous

    cant u post the tactic still? an then when it is finished u can post it again ;)

  • Passion4FM

    Hey, I understand, but I havent had time to look at it after 14.2 patch or had the time to write the article. Hope you understand

  • Anonymous

    ok man thanks i understand ;) keep up the good work

  • Anonymous

    so hows that tactic going mate? ;) cheers

  • Anonymous

    hey i heard you are going to do a fm14 tiki taka tactic, hoping its going good :)