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Total Football - Johan Cruyff's 3-4-3

When most of his opponents would play a 4-4-2 formation, Johan Cruyff would play a 3-4-3. Johan Cruyff believed a certain way was the best way to win a football match, and that was to dominate your opponents in all areas on the pitch, which led to some eye-catching offensive displays. He believed playing 4 at the back was a waste (against two strikers) and that the extra player could be used elsewhere, in a more advanced area. This then allowed his team to form more triangles further up the pitch, aiding the possession game and disrupting the opponent's shape to go on and play the beautiful football.

As a player, he played on a Dutch side, then coached by Rinus Michels. He adopted a football brand known today as "Total Football," and there shouldn't be any doubt that this had influenced Johan Cruyff. But 'influenced' is a keyword because he made it his own and introduced his 3-4-3 diamond formation known for its offensive play, but there was a disciplined approach.



Johan Cruyff wanted to make the pitch as small as possible when out of possession,