Tactics Tested | The Libero Diamond Tactic

It was a majestic sight. Go back 30 or 40 years and watch teams defend. The majority of them will feature a type of player that seems to have been lost from the modern game. You’ll see an elegant defender sitting behind the defensive line, picking up a stray through balls from an attacker. As he effortlessly brings it under his control, he marches forward with it, stepping past the other defenders and moving into the midfield zone. From there he acts as a modern-day deep-lying playmaker, initiating the play and spreading it out to the flanks, or playing it forward into midfield or attack. This is the Libero.

That passage could have been about any number of great players; the late Gaetano Scirea, Velibor Vasović, Ruud Krol, Matthias Sammer or the archetypal libero, Franz Beckenbauer.

In trying to create a tactic that showcased the Libero, I wanted to accomplish a few things:

  • Give the Libero room to work
  • Create diamonds to enable passing options
  • Make sure we have enough possession that the Libero can work his magic
The Diamond Libero

This is a possession based tactic a high line and compact width. This helps us keep the ball and gives us the support of teammates to act as passing outlets. We always have a few different options for a pass. How do we ensure this? Diamonds.

This way our Libero (or really any player on the field) has at least two options for a pass at any time and sometimes, three.

As you can see from this average positioning map, the Libero in possession steps INTO the DM strata and creates our diamond. The TI of distribute to the centre backs enables the Libero to gather the ball and do his work. But there is not JUST one diamond here, but many.

This clever use of creating diamonds with the Libero from the back will help us further achieve our objectives of keeping possession to let the Libero work.

In selecting a team, I wanted to find a team that had a true Libero to work with:

As you can see from his stats and player traits, Bonucci will more than as our man to create our diamond magic.

How did we do?

This is a review from a pretty typical match. You can see we were defensively solid (using a back 3), we had a lot of possession and did something with it scoring three goals. Not only that, but we frustrated our opponent into 17 fouls. We all know in FM19, fouls = set pieces and set pieces = goals.

Through 11 games we’re in first place with 23 or 33 points and looking to carry our diamond magic through the rest of the season.

If you enjoy these types of replications and would like to see us take a crack at another, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Find me @ericstpeterFM on Twitter

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