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Football Manager 2022 - Joga Bonito Tactic Recreated

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Football Manager 2022 - Joga Bonito Tactic Recreated

This tactic is a faithful recreation of the incredible attacking football that launched the legend of Brazilian football to new heights—the Joga Bonito Tactic for Football Manager 2022.


This article is part of a series on famous tactical styles. While this tactic can work successfully as a plug-and-play tactic, it is recommended that players use this as a basic form of a certain style. Some slight adjustments may be necessary to play to your side’s strengths.

Approaching the 1970 World Cup, Brazil manager Mario Zagallo had a problem: how on earth was he supposed to fit so many technically gifted playmakers into one team? Gerson, Rivelino, Tostao, Jairzinho and, of course, Pele were all among the greatest players in the world at the time, but all of them were visionary playmakers, who liked to see a lot of the ball. With such similar playstyles, surely Zagallo would struggle to accommodate all these great players in a balanced side?

In the end, what Zagallo created was the perfect way to celebrate the individual brilliance of his players, while combining them into one of the best teams ever assembled. The exquisite movement and unselfishness of the front four of this Brazil team led to some incredible passing moves, and of course, their individual flair produced highlight after highlight. The point of this article is to explain how Joga Bonito came to be, and how your FM22 save could benefit from Zagallo’s genius.

What is Joga Bonito?


Translated as the beautiful game, Joga Bonito is simply that: beautiful football. Brazil has always had incredibly skilful and unpredictable attacking talents; the challenge has always been how best to harness these players. Basing the original tactic on a traditional 4-2-4, Joga Bonito now looks far more like a modern 4-2-3-1. While a traditional Brazilian 4-2-4 would have a ponta-de-lança as a focal point of the attack and a more creative forward beside him to support, Zagallo encouraged Pele and Tostao to both play like number 10s. This caused havoc for opposition defences, as they struggled to mark a striking partnership where neither was an outright striker. This also created plenty of space ahead of them for Jairzinho to attack as an inside forward.

What makes Joga Bonito different from many other systems is the allowance for individual brilliance. Rather than obsessing over attacking as a team unit, allowing the front four to take more individual responsibility for chance creation makes for an unpredictable attack, yet utilising roles that involve unorthodox off-ball movement means your players are constantly making themselves available for the pass. As such, your players need to have high-level decision-making, off the ball and anticipation, so as to adapt to situations as they develop on the pitch.

How does this look on FM22?


Football Manager 2022 Joga Bonito Tactic


I’ve chosen an asymmetrical 4-2-3-1 to implement this style for two reasons: firstly, putting the false 9 on the same side as the inside forward creates a very interesting dynamic, as the off-centre positioning means he can provide closer support to the inside forward when he cuts inside; and secondly I felt this was more faithful to the original 4-2-4 on which Zagallo based his tactic. Due to the nature of the tactic, you’re largely trusting your players’ decision-making, so player instructions and team instructions are pretty basic. What team instructions you have are geared towards ensuring your players feel empowered to dribble, showcasing their flair and putting pressure on individual defenders.

The result is some absolutely stunning football. While the instructions and roles encourage individualism, your players are also smart enough to recognise the opportunities created by clever movement, and work together for impressive results.

Final Thoughts


For more than 50 years, managers have tried to replicate the footballing genius of Brazil. Joga Bonito captured the hearts of millions across the globe as the 1970 world cup reached new audiences and brought new exposure to the Seleção Canarinho. 

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FM Blog: Football Manager 2022 - Joga Bonito Tactic Recreated
Football Manager 2022 - Joga Bonito Tactic Recreated
Faithful recreation of the Jogo Bonito tactic that launched the legend of Brazilian football. Plug and play Football Manager 2022 tactic.
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