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Tactical Analysis: Spanish playstyle against Slovenia

FutsalFeed's in-house tactical analyst, Antun Bačić, head coach of the Croatian most successful futsal club FC Split, brings us yet another tactical analysis. After an interesting analysis of the Champions League Final Four tournament (Part 1 & Part 2) and the European playoffs for the Futsal World Cup, Mr. Bačić analyzed the tactical mentality and the playstyle of the Spanish national team in their EURO qualifier match against Slovenia.

In this article, you can find what kind of defensive and attacking mentality did the Spanish national team used in the match against Slovenia and learn something more about why is Spain one of the most dominant futsal teams in the history of our sport.

Without further ado, we'll let you dive right in it...

The Spanish national team once again confirmed its strength and dominance. They showed that they don't depend on one or even a few individual players, but that the thing that brings results is their top-quality league and their work system in the national team and clubs.

In their recent EURO qualifier match against a good Slovenia team, Spain played without a few very important players (Lozano, Ortiz, Chino, Solano, and others) and with few new names (Esteban, Eric Perez, Cecilio…), but they took a very deserved win nevertheless.

Slovenia was good, they were close, but it is my impression that most of these games will end with Spain taking the spoils. Spanish futsal league is by far the best in Europe and that quality transfers to the national team level.

I have to point out that, in most European countries, futsal has been developing exceptionally fast and we see less and less of those 'easy victories' (even when top national teams play against lower-ranked teams). Quality is coming to a rather equal level and all that work and progress is evident with almost all national teams.

On the other hand, I am under the impression that Spaniards, in the last couple of years, have fewer players who play with style in which they turn the match around with a single move – in other words, they have fewer players that are capable of beating their opponents alone and who play outside of the system. Therefore, once again I emphasize the importance of organization and discipline in the game, and the Spanish are at the top level when it comes to that.

If we analyze their style, starting from the defensive part, we can see that Spanish pressure on the ball with their front line is fantastic. That pressure often allows them to take over in the first and second line of defense and they play some sort of zonal pressure with takeovers. What makes this defense practically impenetrable is the unbelievable fanaticism and energy with which the Spanish generate pressure, but also an incredible run back to their part of the court when the opponent manages to break through a bit. Video below, from their earlier match against Brazil, depicts their zonal pressure in good fashion.

On the other hand, they attack with two different systems: with pivot (Esteban and Eric Perez in the match against Slovenia) and without pivot, with four players in line. Although these are two completely different systems, Spain bases their style of play on plenty of movements without the ball, plenty of blocks, always searching for the space behind the opponent's back (parallel and diagonal balls), but what is also very important – they shoot from almost all positions and almost all situations.

Because Slovenians waited for Spanish players at the center of the court, Spain circled around patiently, searching for a defensive mistake or a space behind defenders backs.

Spain also searched for a situation where one of their more „vertical“ players would be left alone on a wide space for 1on1 situations (seems to me that most of such situations were created by Adri), and they looked to create a surplus that way.



A very important segment in Spanish playstyle was set pieces (like for every other team as well). And in that particular segment – the Spanish are fantastic, very in tune, and dangerous no matter how far that set-piece is from the opponent's goal (unbelievably good habit and shot quality).

To conclude, and maybe the most important part of it all, Spanish play in the same or very similar style all 40 minutes. Very rarely they gift anything to their opponents, they are very determined, disciplined, and mentally strong. To create any chance or goal, one has to work incredibly hard (fantastic goal by Kristjan Čujec, video below), and that is why they are contenders for the biggest honors regardless of the team they field out!

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Antun Bačić


Antun Bačić


This article was written by Antun Bačić, emerging young futsal coach, head coach of FC Split from Croatia and UEFA Futsal B License coach.