Dani Alves: Suffocate the opposition

Swarm your rivals and win back possession with these tips from Barcelona’s pressing machine

“I’ve been trying to get my Sunday league team to play a Barcelona-style pressing game. What’s the key to getting it right?”
Oliver Ward, via Twitter

More after the break

Dani Alves says: 

"The most important thing is your attitude – it’s the key to the whole system. What sets Barça apart from other teams? It’s our philosophy: what we see with our eyes, we replicate with our feet.

Pressing is difficult to pull off, but when the team manages it well, there is no better way to win games.

You must see where the ball is likely to go, then react immediately to press the opponent or intercept any pass. When we lose the ball, we want to win it back immediately, which is when this tactic is so good and works so effectively.

If you can predict where the ball is going, all the better for you. Sometimes you will see from a player’s body shape or position whether they’re going to pass or take on their marker.

Once you see that, go straight in for the kill to win the ball back. If everyone doesn’t subscribe to the philosophy, then it becomes very difficult to execute it.

Everybody must buy into the system, and when that happens you can suffocate the opposition anywhere on the pitch."

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