Catenaccio Tactic

Defend like a boss with our catenaccio tactic.

If you research Italian styles of football you’ll no doubt come across the word ‘catenaccio’, which translates to ‘door-bolt’ – a tactical system with a strong emphasis on defence. This is a defence-focused style that primarily looks to deny the opposition goalscoring opportunities. A libero is traditionally deployed to offer cover behind the defensive lines.

Key Features

  • Strictly defensive
  • Keep clean sheets
  • Low scoring games
  • Direct and structured counter-attacks
  • Score goals with few touches
  • Score placed shots from through balls

Notes from the Creator

The midfield is key to transitional phases. A deep-lying playmaker with a more offensive partner is a good pairing for this tactic – they need to have a high quality range of passing. A holding midfielder allows the wing-backs to ‘bomb on’ when counter attacking, adding further options for forward passes.

You won’t create too many chances, so, you’ll need set-piece experts and/or a very composed finisher up-front.


This tactic features in The Cornetto Series series.

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