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15 April 2013

Arrigo Sacchi: "Bayern Munich: A Lesson of Total Football to Juventus."



Mandzukic segna a Buffon. Reuters
Mandzukic scoring on Buffon in the return leg.
Photo credit: Reuters.

Former AC Milan, Parma, Atletico Madrid and Azzurri manager, Arrigo Sacchi, wrote an intriguing and detailed analysis about the recent Bayern Munich elimination of Juventus in the Champions League (aggregate of 4-0 for the Germans).

Mr. Sacchi made incisive comments not only about this particular Champions League tie, but also, how Italian football needed to change. He felt that the Germans presented Juventus individually, and Italian football collectively, with a much-needed lesson in total football. 


Let's see what Mr. Sacchi had to say.


Discussion Items

* On a lesson of total football that focuses on the collective.
* On how Bayern Munich had 11 who play total football; Juventus, six or seven.
* On how the first line of defense for the Germans was their attackers.
* On the defensive shortcomings of Juventus.
* On how Bayern Munich exploited both the offensive and defensive phases.
* On the common thread of the great teams from the last 30 to 40 years (Ajax, Liverpool, Milan and Barcelona).

Vince il Bayern, vince la squadra migliore. I tedeschi danno una lezione di calcio totale, e come trent’anni fa verrà sottolineata da pochi: in generale si dirà che hanno fisicità e qualità individuali superiori, disconoscendo il lavoro per raggiungere queste eccellenze. 
Mercoledì ha vinto innanzitutto il collettivo interpretato da undici calciatori tutti funzionali al sistema di gioco a prescindere dal loro valore, in un contesto tanto collaborativo ben disposto. Il Bayern ha incontrato la Juventus, forse l’unica squadra italiana che con le nazionali di Prandelli e Mangia e poche altre, sta tentando di uscire dal nostro conservatorismo. Conte sta facendo un ottimo lavoro e questa lezione servirà ai suoi ragazzi per crescere ulteriormente.

"Bayern Munich won. The best team won. The Germans gave a lesson in total football and like 30 years ago, it will be highlighted by few. Generally, it will be said that they have physicality and superior individual qualities without taking into account the work to obtain these feats.

On Wednesday (10 April), the collective interpretation of 11 players all functioning in a system of play based on their value won out. In a collaborative effort so well inclined. Bayern faced Juventus, perhaps the only Italian team with the national team players of Cesare Prandelli and Devis Mangia (U-21 manager) and few others, who are trying to escape our conservatism. Antonio Conte is doing a great job and this lesson will help his players to grow ultimately."
First Leg Highlights




Dicono che sarà fondamentale migliorare la qualità individuale, io penso che prima di tutto sarà importante trovare undici calciatori funzionali al calcio totale. Oggi i bianconeri non ne hanno più di sei-sette. Questi sono sufficienti per primeggiare in Italia dove il calcio è prevalentemente interpretato in un modo specialistico individuale prudente e che coinvolge non più di 4-5 giocatori. 
La differenza tra bavaresi e juventini è stata la coscienza della collettività: valore difficile in un Paese come il nostro prevalentemente individualista. Poi i calciatori che per caratteristiche giocano con e per la squadra, sanno gestire la fase offensiva e difensiva (Mandžukic costava 10/12 milioni non era uno specialista, però in Italia si cercano calciatori che facciano magie, non che interpretino il gioco).

"They say that it will be fundamental to improve individual qualities. I think that ahead of everything, it will be important to find 11 functioning footballers in total football. Today, Juventus doesn't have more than six or seven. These are sufficient enough to win in Italy where football is mostly interpreted in a individualized, prudent, specialist way and doesn't involve more than four or five players.

The difference between the Bavarians and Juventus was the conscious of the collective. A difficult value in a country such as ours that is primarily individualistic. Then, players who are characterized as team players, know how to manage an offensive and defensive phase. (Mandzukic cost 10 to 12 million euro and wasn't a specialist, but in Italy they look for players who make magical plays. Not those who interpret the play.)"
Gli attaccanti del Bayern in non possesso palla erano i primi difensori: si può dire altrettanto dei bianconeri? Pensate quanto ciò ha limitato il gioco juventino ed esaltato gli avversari. La differenza sta che nel calcio totale si difende correndo in avanti imponendo i propri ritmi e personalità, mentre nel calcio italiano si corre indietro facendo densità difensiva e lasciando iniziativa e gioco agli altri. Il pressing e la collaborazione hanno fatto la differenza e amplificato soluzioni e qualità individuali afflosciando quelle avversarie. Ma per attuare tutto ciò occorre una organizzazione che coinvolga tutti undici gli atleti.

"The attackers of Bayern, when they didn't have the ball, were their first defenders. Can you say the same of the Juventus players? Think how much that limited the play of Juventus and exalted their opponents. The difference is that in total football, you defend by running ahead applying your own rhythms and personality. While in Italian football, you run behind creating a defensive density and leave the initiative and play to others. Pressing and collaboration have made the difference and amplified solutions and individual qualities by withering those of your rivals. But to carry out all that can happen in a set-up that involves all 11 athletes."
In zona palla bisogna attaccare l’avversario con tempi giusti e contemporaneità mentre la copertura deve avvenire dai compagni lontani. La Juve ha giocato in difesa a sistema puro, ma le marcature a scalare, il collassamento (troppo distanti e non compatti), i tempi del pressing e il coinvolgimento di tutti non sono stati ottimali. 
In possesso palla gli uomini di Heynckes erano vicini al pallone con giocatori sempre in movimento che coprivano, altri che si facevano vedere in avanti e altri in appoggio laterale: questo aumentava le soluzioni e facilitava la tecnica. Pochi lanci, molti passaggi rasoterra, una squadra corta, organica, armoniosa che sfruttava tutto il campo in larghezza in fase offensiva mentre in fase difensiva tutti corti e stretti.

Second Leg Highlights



"In areas with the ball, you need to attack the opponent at the right time and at the same time while coverage must come from your teammates who are farther away. Juventus played a pure defensive style but used double teaming, collapsing down (too far away and not compact), and the times of pressing and  involvement of everyone was not optimal.

During ball possession, Heynckes' men were close to the football with players who were always moving and covering up. Others you saw up front and some were supporting on the flanks. This helped out the solutions and facilitated the technical aspect. Very few long passes into space, many very-low passes (grass cutters), a compact side, organic, harmonious, who took advantage of the whole width of the pitch during the offensive phase while in the defensive phase, everyone was compact and close together." 
Organizzazione, e compattezza che sono frutto di un grande lavoro e una conoscenza di tutto lo scibile calcistico. E’ evidente che in situazioni così positive e propositive tutti si esprimessero e si esaltassero. Le grandi squadre che hanno fatto la storia degli ultimi 30-40 anni sono state quelle che hanno interpretato questo splendido sport sfruttando al massimo i concetti del calcio totale (Ajax, Liverpool, Milan e Barcellona). Noi, purtroppo, in generale siamo rimasti a un calcetto episodico prudente e specialistico, un calcio che disconosce le tecniche ed il protagonismo. La Juve è la nostra speranza per un futuro migliore.

"Organization and compactness are the fruits of a great effort and a conscious of everything that is footballing knowledge. It's evident that in positive and prospective situations such as these, everyone expressed and exalted themselves. 

The great teams who made history in the last 30 to 40 years were those who interpreted this splendid sport by taking full advantage of the concepts of total football (Ajax, Liverpool, AC Milan and Barcelona). We, unfortunately, mostly have remained an episodic, prudent and specialized small kick: A football that does not appreciate techniques and being a protagonist. Juventus is our hope for a better future."










































































































































































Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator from Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries and The Soccer Translator. You can follow Steve @worldfootballcm on Twitter.

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