1High Institute of Maia (Maia, Portugal), Centre for the Study of Education, Technologies and Health - Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (Viseu, Portugal), The Adaptation, Performance and Human Development: Research Group – APHD (Braga, Portugal) 2University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) 3UTAD (Vila Real, Portugal) 4Centre for the Study of Education, Technologies and Health - Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (Viseu, Portugal), The Adaptation, Performance and Human Development: Research Group – APHD (Braga, Portugal)
MANCHESTER UNITED, INTERNAZIONALE MILANO AND FC BARCELONA – WHAT´S DIFFERENT?
Sport Mont 2014, XII(40-41-42),
Introduction: Although football is considered a universal language, there are particularities that characterize the way it is practiced in several countries. Overall, the style of English football is known as “Kick and Rush”, the Italian as “Catenaccio”, and the Spanish as “Fúria Española”. This study aims to understand which aspects in the characterization of playing styles of the different teams (Manchester United, Internazionale Milano and Barcelona) are the most important for coaches. Methods: We chose 8 expert high-performance Portuguese first league football coaches (Coach 1 to 8) with a professional experience (as first coach) ranging from 2 to 30 years (14.9 ± 8.6 years). Semi-structured interviews were carried out and the data analyzed trough content analysis using the software QSR NVivo 9. Results and discussion: The data were grouped in four mainly categories: i) game culture/identity (n=18); ii) strategical-Tatical factors (n=17); iii) player characteristics (n=14); iv) coach philosophy (n=14). When analyzing the specific characteristics of the three teams, the coaches mainly referred to aspects related to a playing/identity culture of each team that is influenced by their history, their tradition and a set of values underlying the different clubs. Our coaches described each team’s differences based on strategic and tactical aspects. Overall, all coaches recognized the quality and merit with which Barcelona plays, basing their views on a ball possession that is very difficult to equal by any other team in the world. In contrast, Manchester United plays in a way where strong ball possession is primary, but also their ability to play quickly and offensively, through a more "direct" playing style. Finally, Inter Milan’s style is defined essentially by their defensive tactical rigor and the capacity to develop effective offensive sequences of quick attacks and counterattacks. The players that form these teams are only one element that can explain the different ways of playing. As described elsewhere (Kuper & Szymanski, 2010), our coaches feel that the strong and stable economic situation these teams have allows them to have players who are perfectly suited to the game’s model, whilst also contributing to an enrichment of the game shown through extremely high playing skills. The interviewees also mentioned the philosophy hat the coach possesses is another aspect that can also influence a team’s playing style. Understanding the factors that contribute to the different playing styles in different countries and teams may provide useful information for coaches who want to more efficiently. References: Kuper S, & Szymanski S (2010). Why England lose & other curious football phenomena explained. Fulham: HarperSport.
Sarmento, Hugo, Anguera, Teresa M., Campaniço, Jorge, Resende, Rui, and Leitão, José. "MANCHESTER UNITED, INTERNAZIONALE MILANO AND FC BARCELONA – WHAT´S DIFFERENT?." Sport Mont, vol. XII, no. 40-41-42, 2014, pp. 50-56.
Sarmento, Hugo, Anguera, Teresa M., Campaniço, Jorge, Resende, Rui, and Leitão, José. "MANCHESTER UNITED, INTERNAZIONALE MILANO AND FC BARCELONA – WHAT´S DIFFERENT?." Sport Mont XII, no. 40-41-42 (2014). 50-56.