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Thiago Motta’s Tactical Analysis [Explained]

Thiago Motta tactical analysis

Introduction – Unveiling the Genius of Bologna’s Coach

Thiago Motta, the former Italian-Brazilian professional footballer, has made a seamless transition from player to coach. Known for his intelligent style of play during his playing days, Motta has brought his tactical acumen to the forefront as the head coach of Bologna. In this article, we will delve into Motta’s unique approach to coaching, his preferred style of play, and the tactical formations he employs to outwit his opponents.

Thiago Motta’s Style of Play as a Coach


Motta’s style of play as a coach can be best described as possession-oriented and proactive. He emphasizes the importance of dominating the midfield, controlling the tempo of the game, and building attacks from the back. Motta’s teams are known for their fluid passing, quick transitions, and intelligent movement off the ball.

One of the key aspects of Motta’s coaching philosophy is his belief in the importance of technical ability. He places a strong emphasis on players who are comfortable on the ball, capable of making quick decisions, and possess excellent passing skills. Motta’s teams are encouraged to play with confidence and take risks, always looking to create opportunities through intricate build-up play.

Thiago Motta’s Tactical Approach at Bologna

At Bologna, Motta has implemented a unique tactical approach that revolves around a flexible formation and positional fluidity. While he is known for experimenting with different formations, one of Motta’s notable tactical setups is the 2-7-2 formation.


The 2-7-2 formation, also referred to as the “Motta System,” is an unconventional formation that focuses on numerical superiority in key areas of the pitch. The two central defenders provide a solid defensive foundation, while the seven midfielders offer a variety of options for ball circulation and creative playmaking. The two forwards, positioned high up the pitch, are responsible for providing the cutting edge in the final third.

This formation allows Bologna to dominate possession, overload the midfield, and create numerical superiority in key areas. It also enables quick transitions, as the team can quickly shift from defense to attack or vice versa. Motta’s tactical approach demands intelligent movement and positional interchangeability, with players constantly interchanging positions to confuse the opposition and create space.

The Importance of Tactical Flexibility


While the 2-7-2 formation has been Motta’s go-to tactical setup, he understands the importance of tactical flexibility. Depending on the opposition and the specific game situation, Motta is not afraid to adapt his tactics and formations. He has been known to switch to a back three or a back four, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition.

Motta’s ability to analyze the opposition and make astute tactical adjustments has been crucial in Bologna’s success. His tactical flexibility allows the team to adapt to different game scenarios and exploit the weaknesses of their opponents.


Thiago Motta’s tactical analysis reveals a coach who is not afraid to think outside the box and experiment with unconventional formations. His possession-oriented style of play, emphasis on technical ability, and tactical flexibility have made him a rising star in the world of coaching. As Motta continues to evolve and refine his tactics, it will be fascinating to see how he further influences the game and leaves his mark on the footballing world.

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Happy Coaching 🙂