Coaching Tips & Analysis

Roberto de Zerbi Tactical Analysis PDF

Roberto de Zerbi, the Italian football manager, has gained recognition for his innovative and dynamic approach to tactics. His teams are known for their fluid style of play, characterized by a well-structured build-up, intricate combination play, and effective attacking in the final third. In this tactical analysis, we will delve into De Zerbi’s key principles and strategies that have made him successful.

Roberto de zerbi ENGLISH PDF

Build-up Structure

One of De Zerbi’s primary focuses is on building up play from the back. His teams prioritize keeping possession and creating numerical superiority in the defensive and midfield zones. To achieve this, De Zerbi emphasizes the importance of players positioning themselves intelligently to provide passing options for the player in possession.

The build-up structure often involves a three-man defensive line, with the full-backs pushing high up the pitch to provide width. The central defenders split wide, allowing the defensive midfielder to drop deep and act as a pivot. This creates passing triangles and passing lanes, enabling the team to progress the ball forward patiently and effectively.

Combination Play

De Zerbi’s teams excel in intricate combination play, which is key to breaking down organized defenses. Players are encouraged to constantly move and interchange positions, creating confusion among the opposition and opening up spaces for penetrating passes.

Midfielders play a crucial role in De Zerbi’s system, often acting as the link between defense and attack. They are responsible for quick one-touch passes, clever movement off the ball, and creating overloads in specific areas of the pitch. This allows the team to bypass the opposition’s midfield lines and launch attacks in the final third.

Attacking Third Area

De Zerbi’s teams are known for their attacking prowess and ability to create scoring opportunities. In the attacking third, players are given the freedom to express themselves and make intelligent runs to create space for their teammates.

The wide players, often the full-backs or wingers, are crucial in stretching the opposition’s defense and providing width. This allows the central attackers to find gaps and exploit them. De Zerbi’s teams also emphasize quick and incisive passing in and around the penalty area, with players making intelligent off-the-ball movements to create scoring chances.


Roberto de Zerbi’s tactical approach is characterized by a well-structured build-up, intricate combination play, and effective attacking in the final third. His teams prioritize possession, intelligent movement, and quick passing to break down opposition defenses and create scoring opportunities.

By focusing on building up from the back, players positioning themselves intelligently, and creating passing triangles, De Zerbi’s teams are able to progress the ball effectively. The emphasis on combination play and intelligent movement off the ball allows his teams to create numerical superiority and exploit spaces in the opposition’s defense.

De Zerbi’s approach in the attacking third is characterized by width, quick passing, and intelligent off-the-ball movements. This enables his teams to create scoring opportunities and pose a constant threat to the opposition’s defense.

Related Post: What is Position Game in Football or “Juego de Posicion” and how to work on it?

Overall, Roberto de Zerbi’s tactical acumen and innovative approach have made him one of the most exciting young managers in the game. His teams’ style of play is not only aesthetically pleasing but also tactically effective, making him a sought-after coach in the world of football.