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Replicating Real Madrid's Championship-Winning Tactic on FM23: Play the Ancelotti Way

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Playing the Ancelotti Way: Replicating Real Madrid's Championship-Winning Tactic on FM23
Real Madrid's Championship-Winning Tactic on FM23: Play the Ancelotti Way

Playing the Ancelotti Way: Replicating Real Madrid's Championship-Winning Tactic on FM23



Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid seem like a match made in heaven: one of the greatest managers of all time paired with one of the most successful clubs on the face of the earth. At the end of the 21-22 season, it would’ve been almost impossible to disagree as Real won La Liga at a canter and nullified the electric attack of Liverpool to claim their record 14th Champions League title. The purpose of this article is to explain how Ancelotti sets up his Madrid side, and how to replicate their playstyle on FM23.

The Tactic


With a talent like Vinicius Jr on your squad, it would be short-sighted to build your tactic around anyone else. Preferring to cut inside from the left, Ancelotti takes advantage of his pace and dribbling ability to create opportunities for others or to create his own shots. He links up really well with both Mendy and Benzema on that left flank, causing an overload against the opposition full back. This numerical advantage often allows Vinicius to escape unmarked to receive a pass, or even to beat a man and find space in the box for a shot. On the other side, both Asensio and Valverde are excellent at occupying the opposition defence to ensure they can’t provide support. Whether that’s Asensio occupying a more central role, or Valverde preferring to stay wide and stretch the full-back, Real’s front three all require constant attention and have the ability to punish any lapses in concentration.

It’s impossible to talk about Real Madrid without considering their world class midfield. Kroos and Modric have been strolling through La Liga’s best midfields for the better part of a decade, and show no sign of slowing down this season. Both tend to drop deep to support their build up from the back, but Modric’s astonishing stamina allows him to get forward to support the attacking phase as well, whereas Kroos tends to sit a little deeper to support Mendy’s forward runs. Behind them, Camavinga has stepped into the defensive role exceptionally since taking over from Casemiro, using his lower position to read opposition attacks before they’ve even begun.

Defensively, Real buck the trend across Europe of gegenpressing the opposition, preferring instead to use a mid-block and allow opposition teams to retain possession in their own half, before swarming the opposition once they enter Real’s half. This is also mainly in the central areas, as they’re happy to let opposition wide players hold the ball when far from their goal.

How does this look on FM?


Carlo Ancelotti Real Madrid FM23 Tactic

This tactic takes on a 4-3-3 shape, with an attacking mentality to reflect that Real expect to be the favourites in almost every match they play. Naturally, Vini will be utilised as an inside forward on the left wing. I don’t expect him to take up as much defensive responsibility as other players, and this has the advantage of pinning back the opposition full-back to defend the counter. Benzema is encouraged to roam from his position as a largely supporting player, which also clears the central space for Vinicius to attack. The right winger is asked to stay wider without the ball, providing an out-ball for a switch from Kroos, and ensuring the defence can’t collapse towards Vinicius. Kroos, as a DLP, operates almost as a double pivot and is encouraged to make the most of his incredible passing ability.

Team instructions ask the team to be fairly wide, and to exploit the flanks as much as possible. We’re also asking the team to adopt a low block and to regroup when they lose possession. This encourages the team to collapse into more of a 4-5-1 shape without the ball, making it incredibly difficult for the opposition to break down. Once possession has been won, counter quickly and effectively to ensure Real get their best players forward before the opposition has a chance to recover.

Conclusion


I hope this has inspired you to follow Ancelotti’s success. Real Madrid have always been one of the most exciting clubs in Europe to watch, and this year’s side are no exception. Whether you’re hoping to guide Los Blancos to an incredible 15th European title, or simply get the best out of one of the most exciting wingers on the planet, this tactic will help you on your way to play the Ancelotti way.

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FM Blog | FM24: Replicating Real Madrid's Championship-Winning Tactic on FM23: Play the Ancelotti Way
Replicating Real Madrid's Championship-Winning Tactic on FM23: Play the Ancelotti Way
Playing the Ancelotti Way: Replicating Real Madrid's Championship-Winning Tactic on FM23
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