GREAT DIAMOND TACTIC| 101 GOALS| Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid 4-1-2-1-2 season 2023-24


Aug 15, 2011
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Hi guys this time I tried to emulate Ancelotti's Real Madrid season 2023-2024

To emulate Ancelotti’s Real Madrid, I created two different tactics, a 4-1-2-1-2 with a narrow-diamond midfielder and a 4-3-1-2 with a central midfielder’s trio.

Team instructions are the same for both tactics, only players roles and personal instructions may slightly variate.
In this analysis I will focus only on the first tactic.

Ancelotti’s Diamond Narrow


Mentality: positive

In possession instructions


Attacking width: fairly narrow to be more compact

Passing: shorter (that matches with the fairly narrow width)

Tempo: higher

Play out of defense

Focus play through the middle to overload the central area

Low crosses: we don’t have tall strikers in our Real Madrid squad, but very fast strikers like Vinicius Jr. and Rodrigo

Work the ball into the box

Be more expressive: this gives more freedom to our players, that’s what Ancelotti exactly wants, as I said in the analysis.

In transition


Counter-press: to instruct our players to win the ball as soon as possible applying pressing

Counter: launch fast counter-attacks after winning the ball

Distribute ball to center-backs and full-backs: this to help build the play from the back

Take short kicks: instruction that matches with the ball distribution

Out of possession


High pressing line and higher defensive line: to maintain our team compact

Pressing: more often

Step up more: apply off-side trap

Trap outside: force our opponents to play hugging the touchline

Stop crosses: this is how I tried to solve Real Madrid’s problem that I mentioned in the analysis above.

Player roles and instructions


Lunin (Courtouis) : sweeper-keeper in support, no instructions

Dani Carvajal: wing-back in support, no instructions

Antonio Rudiger: ball-playing defender in defense: dribble more, to instruct him to carry the ball forward and help the build-up

David Alaba: ball-playing defender in defense: stay wider: to cover Mendy when he pushes forward

Ferland Mendy: wing-back in attack, no instructions


Aurelien Tchouameni: ball-winning midfielder (deep position) in defense: no instructions,

Federico Valverde: mezzala in support: mark tighter, shoot more often: as said in the analysis, Valverde has a great shoot ability and often tries long range shots that hit the target

Luka Modric (Toni Kroos): deep-lying playmaker in support: no instructions. Here, one could say that, since both Kroos and Modric try to drop down left to find spaces without being pressed by the opponent, a carrilero role could be better, because this role has “stay wider” as preset player instruction. But I believe Modric and Kroos role is more that of a playmaker who builds up the play rather than a carrilero. I did not instruct him to stay wider in either of my two tactics because I want him to focus only on passing the ball, he will decide where to go according to the situation. Sometimes it’s better not to give too many personal instructions to our players because good players like Modric already know what to do.

Jude Bellingham: in both tactics, his role is an attacking midfielder in attack: roaming from position, because I want him to find spaces where he can create chances in and outside the box, move into channels because I want him to go inside the box and tackle harder because I want him to press the opponents and win the ball back.

Vinicius Jr: advanced forward-attack: stay wider because he often runs to the left side and plays from an inside forward position, roam from position to give him freedom to find spaces and tackle harder to instruct him to press and win the ball.

Same instructions for Rodrygo but he is a deep-lying forward in support, I want him to link the play more and drop down, so I instructed him to shoot less often and prefer passing.

In this tactic I used two forwards with different roles, one more attacking (Vinicius Jr.) and the other more focused to link the play. In the second tactic, the 4-3-1-2 I used both Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo as advanced forwards in attack with the same personal instructions or Rodrygo as a complete forward. I don’t like to use double roles especially the two advanced forwards combination because in past editions of Football Manager it “broke” the game and in Football Manager 2024 sometimes it does so. But, if we want to stick to reality and faithfully emulate Ancelotti’s tactic, we can use the two advanced forwards.


I used the first tactic in this season and I won the Spanish Liga with 95 points (30 won, 5 draw, 3 lost) and the best attack (101 goals) and playing beautiful football, dominating XG and possession.


That’s all for this tactic. I hope it works for you too.
You can see the tactic creation, stats and highlights in this video on Youtube. If you like the video and my tactic please subscribe to my channel and smash the like button. Thanks everyone!



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