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Diego Simeone 4-4-2 Atletico Tactics FM17

A very fluid control FM 2017 tactic inspired by Diego Simeone's 4-4-2 under Atletico Madrid. 2 variations included; strikerless with SS and with DLF strikers.

By on Apr 12, 2017   169269 views   1 comments
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Downloads: 32770 / Size: 80.0 kB / Added: 2017-04-12
Football Manager 2017 Tactics - Diego Simeone 4-4-2 Atletico Tactics FM17

Simeone, the football manager

Simeone has established Atletico as a Spanish giant as Real, Barcelona and Atleti challenge for the title every year, one of the most sought managers in Europe here is why Simeone has been so successful in transforming a mid table Atletico Madrid side into one of the most feared teams in Europe not only able to compete in the Champions League and domestically but Reach the final twice and become champions of La Liga.

Under Simeone Atlético Madrid play a unique style of football in comparison to the rest of the modern game, whilst teams like Barcelona prefer a 'Tiki Taka' philosophy dominating most matches with patient passing and keeping a large percentage of the ball or teams like Arsenal playing a vibrant attacking (4)-2-3-1 set up.

Diego Simeone prefers a classic 4-4-2 formation but is much more advanced and effective than the old target man and poacher set up. Simeone engrains cohesion, organisation and discipline into his side in order to try and achieve a result, set up with 2 banks of 4 and 2 front men every player on his team contributes to the defensive and pressing side of the game with a lot of ground to cover attacking and defending as a unit.

Simeone has his men set to press high up the field in an attempt to win the ball early on starting with his forwards and if the ball crosses into his teams territory his defensive line retreats much deeper and his team sit very narrow compressing the space in the centre of the pitch and forcing the opposition out wide where their wingers are pressed aggressively and a counter attack is quickly launched.

Against stronger opposition Atletico Madrid are known to sit deep and frustrate the opposition in an attempt to grind out a result.
Against weaker opposition Atletico sit with a higher defensive line in an attempt to compress the space in the opposition half with a high tempo to unsettle them and get a goal.

The Simeone inspired FM 2017 tactic

This FM17 tactic will attempt to:
  • Play a narrow 4-4-2 shape and use it to similar effect as Atletico Madrid.
  • Emulate Diego Simeone and Atletico's Pressing.
  • Remain disciplined in attack and defence.
  • Play high pressing high tempo counter attacking football.
  • Remain hard to break down and frustrate opponents.
  • Rely on teamwork, work rate and aggression rather than technical ability of individuals to win games.

Main Attributes for this style of play (DNA):
  • Team work: You want players to play together and work as a unit in attack and defence.
  • Work rate: Players will have to press all day long, there will be no room for players unwilling to press with a low work rate attribute
  • Aggression: Players will have to be aggressive in winning back the ball (Increases chance of successful pressing)
  • Off The Ball: Players will have a good understanding and make great off the ball runs.
  • Positioning: Players knowing where they should be in attacking and defensive situations is crucial.

Atletico Madrid Shape variety


Role Analysis

Goalkeeper: A good shot stopper as he will face a large amount of long shots when playing deep in ur own half ( Jan Oblak )

Wingbacks: Must be able to get up and down the field and contribute to attacking and defensive phases of the game - high stamina work rate and positioning ( Felipe Luis + Juanfran )

Centre backs: Must be able to keep shape in defense and intercept stray passes - Positioning and Marking must be high ( Godin + Gimenez )

Wide Midfielders: One is set as a winger and one is set as a wide playmaker but both appear as Wide Midfielders but with PI's they fulfill their role and helps ensure they don't neglect their defensive responsibilities, Must have High work rate, stamina and first touch. ( Koke + Carrasco )

DLP/S: Sit deep and keep shape in defense - Must be an all round player with good stamina work rate tackling passing and vision ( Gabi )

CM/S: A box to box midfielder without the free roam PI player will press high up the field hold team shape in defence and have good physical attributes to be able to contribute to fast counter attacking bursts up field - Must have high stamina work rate passing and dribbling (Tiago)

SS/DLF: Both strikers will have to defend deep in their own half and press high up the pitch whilst also linking up in attack with team mates - Must have good work rate dribbling passing vision and off the ball.

**Aggression is also an important attribute but not vital**

Team Instructions:

The team instructions are not set and stone and may be changed whatever your preference.

Higher Tempo: Increases chances of fast counter attacks and unsettles opponents

Narrow: Midfield and defence will sit narrow and compress the space the opposition has to work with Slightly Deeper Defensive line: ** Must be adjusted in game depending on opponent** Put to normal or slightly higher if you feel you need to attack.

Be More Disciplined: Must work as a team and follow tactical instructions no flashy passes or wasteful dribbles to disrupt the flow of play

Pass into space: Exploit the space in behind opposition defence

Play out of defence: Discourages long balls from the back and encourages players to either run or work the ball upfield

***Optional*** Look for overlap: To bring wing backs into play more often ( will already be involved in the game due to their attacking roles )

Work ball into box: Only to be used against weaker opposition Run at defence: Use if your team has good dribblers amongst its ranks it can be useful on the counter attack bypassing defenders and taking them out of the game.

Opposition Instructions

*VITAL* Absolutely crucial in emulating Atletico's pressing, set to press every player in defensive positions (High Press) and to stay solid in the centre until the ball is out wide (Wide Press)


Team Shape

Crucial in providing a solid basis in pressing and being defensively disciplined and hard to break down.

2 narrow banks of four in a solid team shape, forwards helping press the ball encouraging opposition to launch a long ball and give away possession, acts as an iron curtain making it difficult for opposition to break down and hurting opposition on the counter attack, all players must contribute to pressing and stay in shape.

High Press

In this screenshot both teams are situated high up the field in the oppositions half pressing aggressively in an attempt to win the ball back providing successful may lead to a goal scoring opportunity as team mates run forward in support, both sets of strikes are forcing opponents into making a mistake whilst the other is man marking or cutting passing lanes the other is aggressively closing down the ball.

Wide Pressing

Simeone's side are known to keep shape in the centre of the field whilst forcing opponents out wide with pressing from the strikers, once the opposition have the ball on the flank the team adjust and close the ball down with aggression whilst keeping team shape and launching a counter attack.

Bellow is an example that lead to a goal scoring chance. This time the ball was successfully won back and the team are set for a fast attack at goal to catch the opposition off guard.
- Defensive line pushes higher
- Players surge forward
- Disciplined shape and fast attack
- Passing options became available and players exploit the poor positioning of the opposition

Space Opens up behind the defence and a clear cut chance has appeared.
Wide midfielders display good off the ball runs that lead to a goal.

WM/A surges forward and finds himself in a good position.
Keeper makes a good save and the ball falls nicely for the open goal.


Included a variation with strikers as DLF's. The only difference is that DLF's are set to man mark opposition CM's to defend like the SS.

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Downloads: 32770 / Size: 80.0 kB / Added: 2017-04-12
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Discussion: Diego Simeone 4-4-2 Atletico Tactics FM17

1 comments have been posted so far.

  • rfcaldeiral's avatar
    Your midfield isn't narrow my friend. It's impossible to achieve such thing in fm2017 and without that there is no way you can emulate Diego Simeone atletico madrid
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