On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

Mourinho's Inter Diamond

Recreating the diamond formation used to great effect by the special one. Compact system that relies on quick counterattacks. 100+ goals and a double.

By on Mar 05, 2023   17215 views   1 comments
Download Now
Downloads: 2963 / Added: 2023-03-05

Who is the Special one?

Jose Mourinho is a serial winner, widely recognized as an exceptional football manager, known for his meticulous attention to detail, strong work ethic, and his ability to motivate players to perform at their best.

During his time as manager of Porto, Mourinho gained a reputation as a skilled tactician, leading his team to victory in the 2004 Champions League final through a counter-attacking style of play. Porto was a physically strong and organized team that relied on swift transitions from defence to attack.

At Chelsea, Mourinho continued to refine his tactical approach, focusing on building a solid defence and a dominant midfield. Although his teams emphasized possession more than at Porto, he still prioritized organization and discipline. His Chelsea teams were renowned for their ability to control matches and achieve results, cementing his status as "The Special One".

During his tenure at Inter Milan, Mourinho won the Serie A title and the Champions League through a similar style of play to his Chelsea teams. His Inter team boasted a disciplined and well-organized defence, with a midfield that was able to dictate the tempo of matches.

In his recent managerial positions at Real Madrid and Manchester United, Mourinho's tactics have become more pragmatic, focusing on achieving results through a strong defence and counter-attacking football.

At Roma, Mourinho has continued to employ his trademark tactics, with an emphasis on a disciplined midfield and a solid defence. He has been successful in motivating his players to perform at their best seeing them in a battle for the champions league places as Napoli has run away with the league.


Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan side of the 2009-10 season is widely regarded as one of the best teams in recent European football history. Having won the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia, and the Champions League, completing a historic treble, and Mourinho was at the forefront of their success.


During his time in Milan Jose used two formations the classic 4-2-3-1 which was primarily used in tricky away games and European games, such as the infamous semi-final against Barcelona.

When employing the 4-2-3-1 formation, a strong and physical backline was anchored by the experienced Walter Samuel and Javier Zanetti. The team relied heavily on its defence and midfield to control games, often playing a conservative and cautious style that prioritized keeping a clean sheet over attacking flair. The midfield was composed of the tireless Esteban Cambiasso and the creative Dejan Stankovic, who played a key role in linking the defence to the attack. The front four was comprised of wingers Samuel Eto'o and Goran Pandev, and attacking midfielders Wesley Sneijder and Diego Milito. The team's attacking play was characterized by quick transitions, with Sneijder and Milito often combining to deadly effect in the final third.

The other formation Inter used was the diamond and this is the tactic we are recreating. The "Inter Diamond" The formation used a 4-1-2-1-2 system, with a diamond-shaped midfield. The idea behind the formation was to create a compact and balanced team that could control the midfield and dictate the tempo of the game.

The central midfield position was occupied by a holding player, usually Esteban Cambiasso, who sat just in front of the defence and was tasked with breaking up opposition attacks and starting Inter's own attacks. The two wide midfielders, usually Dejan Stankovic and Thiago Motta, provided the team with energy and creativity, linking the defence to the attack. The advanced central midfielder, Wesley Sneijder, was the creative hub of the team, playing behind the two forwards and looking to play incisive passes into the final third.

The formation was designed to create numerical superiority in the centre of the field, making it difficult for opponents to break Inter's defence. The wide midfielders were also given license to push forward, providing width and stretching the opposition, while the two forwards, usually Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito, were tasked with providing the team's goal threat.

Style of play

Inter's style of play was built on organization and discipline, with a focus on controlling the tempo of games and limiting the opposition's chances. The team was solid and compact, defending as a unit and soaking up pressure before unleashing quick counterattacks. When they had the ball, they looked to play quickly and directly, with Sneijder and Milito playing key roles in unlocking defences. The team's counter-attacking play was particularly effective, with Eto'o and Pandev providing pace and incision on the break.

FM 2023 Tactic

Under Jose, Inter set up with the intention of being solid and hard to beat first and foremost. The goalkeeper was there to make saves and collect crosses no need for a sweeper keeper here. In front of him were two out-and-out centre-backs again nothing fancy here they would tackle hard, win headers and take a no-nonsense approach clearing their lines rather than looking to play out from the back. They were flanked by different fullbacks Zanetti would play more of a support role on the left not advancing too far but providing options out wide where needed. Maicon on the opposite flank was given license to bomb forward and get involved high up the pitch. He would provide the width the team craved, he played a vital role in many goals by providing assists.

The midfield was compact and more workmanlike with the sole purpose to give creative freedom to the number 10 Wesley Sneijder. He was the heartbeat of the team often dropping deeper to find pockets of space before playing killer balls into the forwards or scoring from long range. The strikers were hardworking with Eto often tasked with playing for the team doing a job out wide in the 4-2-3-1 or making runs in behind in the diamond system. Milito was the presence upfront he was comfortable coming deeper to link up play with his back to the goal or going in behind if the opportunity arose.

Here is the perfect example of how compact the team is with 8 players behind the ball making it difficult for Milan to break through the lines. Ultimately the ball is given away allowing the centreback to launch a quick counter-attack which results in a goal.

Here you can see the left-back has provided the option out wide and the counter-movements of the AMC and Striker have created confusion in the backline allowing the AMC to break into the box. Allowing for an easy goal for the striker from the cutback.

Again here you can see how the Striker has pulled wider dragging a defender out of position and creating space for the other striker to run into and score. The number 10 has dropped deep into the pocket of space to pick the ball up and is able to turn and pick out the first striker.


The results were very good I played through the first season prior to the update and then simulated another season after the update. Both times the team was able to win the double winning the league comfortably.

Download Now
Downloads: 2963 / Added: 2023-03-05
Your content on FM Scout

We are always looking for quality content creators, capable of producing insightful articles. Being published here means more exposure and recognition for you.

Do YOU have what it takes?

Discussion: Mourinho's Inter Diamond

1 comments have been posted so far.

  • nightrider94's avatar
    I'm LOVING this!!
    Would you kindly post the team instructions for those who aren't on FM23 yet??
FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.