Attracting a massive audience around the world, the final of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 between Barcelona and Estudiantes was also closely monitored by FIFA’s Technical Study Group. Its fascinating conclusions on the game can be found in the March issue of the magazine FIFA World, prompting FIFA.com to invite you to have your say on this week’s big question: A rapid counter-attacking game or possession football: which style of play do you prefer?
The article, which you can read by clicking on the link on the right-hand side of this page, begins with an appraisal of modern tactics by the TSG’s Christofer Clemens. “In recent years, the fast, direct and highly physical style of English teams became synonymous with success. Then, all of a sudden, Spanish teams such as the national side and Barcelona started to win trophies with a totally different approach, reigniting the debate as to which is the best way to play the game.”
Clemens illustrates the point with statistics on key aspects of the match, such as touches of the ball, possession time and the number of dribbles and passes (complete and incomplete, short and long, and dribbles and passes made in the team’s own half and in the opponent’s half). The figures from the final were then compared with those collated from other tournaments, including this season’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA EURO 2008.
Clemens then widens his analysis to include aesthetic aspects. “My aim is not to praise a certain style of play to the extent that it becomes an ideal for everyone to follow or to suggest that other teams should adopt it. Nevertheless, I think it's valid to discuss how “beautiful” a style of play may be.” The TSG member also refers to other key variables such as the technical abilities of the players.
The author does not express a preference for either approach, and argues, like many people, that the ideal thing is to combine the best aspects of both styles.
What FIFA.com wants to know is if you agree with him and if you like your football fast and furious or measured and cultured. To help you make up your mind, why not read the article at FIFA World before clicking on ‘Add your comment’ and sharing your views with fans from around the world? Remember to keep your comments clean, respectful, on-topic and in English.