Secrets of FIFA 09 - Defensive Tactics - by John Sinitsky

Secrets of FIFA 09 - Defensive Tactics - by John Sinitsky
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In the FIFA 09 game, introduced by EA Sports in the late 2008, the tactics have been as always given special attention. Not only has the offense

improved tactically – the defence also has been researched deeply.

Due to these improvements, the gameplay is a real pleasure – imitating the “real” football in almost every aspect of the game. It is not surprising, though, that even PES fans are enjoying it very much.

Once you have mastered the defensive play of FIFA ‘09 check out these offensive tactics!


This time, the defensive tactics of several of the most popular teams have been designed to match their style of play, meaning the teams that have their own unique formation designed (the likes of Real Madrid, Lyon, Barcelona, Arsenal etc.) now have an improved defense as well.

Of course, even without those “special” tactics, you can always go to 5-4-1 or 5-3-2 and defend to perfection, then enjoy looking at your frustrated opponent.

Practice those 2 formations (combining it with counter-attacks) and see how tactics becomes a powerful weapon even (or should I say especially) when facing stronger team.

Defensive Tactics

The developers of FIFA have kept the “defensive tactics” options – those that were used in the previous versions.

These tactics can be viewed within Tactics Help section of the main menu. Accessing the defensive tactics is done by pressing the Trigger Run (default – Q) key on your keyboard simultaneously with 1, 2, 3, or 4 key. This will lead to switching on/off one of the 4 defensive tactics

  • Pressing
  • Offside Trap
  • Zonal Defence
  • Flat Back

Tactics Overview


Pressing will position your defenders very close to the opponent’s forwards/midfielders.

This may lead to more pass interceptions, but beware when strikers have good control of the ball they can beat you on receiving and have a clear path to goal.

Offside Trap is a famous tactic invented in the start of the century.

This will bring your defensemen forward slightly before the pass is made by the opponent’s offence. Generally, the defenders will occupy positions closer to midfield.

When using the Zonal Defence, your defenders will leave their position only briefly allowing the opponent to pass the ball away from the goal and returning to their respective positions immediately when the attacker has left their “zone of defending”.

Flat back is an add-on to the offside trap, when the defenders are holding the flat line. This will usually result in centre-backs pushing forward to form a line with the full backs.

This post is part of the series: FFIA 2009 Tips & Tricks

Useful offensive and defensive tips and tricks for playing FIFA 2009.

  1. FIFA 09 Useful Tips – Defensive Tactics
  2. FIFA 09 Useful Tips – Offensive Tactics
  3. FIFA 09 – Team Mentality Tool