Pozzo's method from the Roman legions

When football tactics are a mirror of war tactics.

It is Monday, November 4, 1918, three o'clock in the afternoon. Among the many joyful soldiers at the end of the war was a 32-year-old lieutenant in the 3rd Alpine Regiment. His name is Vittorio Pozzo, he is a sports enthusiast and in his youth he studied in England, where he learned the basics of football and the original game tactics. In war, he not only learned to be proud of his country and learned to lead his subordinates with severity and respect, but also that The right tactics at the right time make the difference between the survival or death of thousands of soldiers, between victory and defeat in a war.

Above all, he comes to the conclusion that the needs of the soldier and not the wishes of the commander must be satisfied through tactics. Overestimating or underestimating one's strength is deadly, and the easiest way to avoid this is to give fighters orders that best suit their skills, physique, experience, and even morale. As soon as the war is over, he returns to the football fields and is convinced Anglo-Saxon systems cannot be replicated in Italy. Here the legs are too short and the lungs are too small kicking and running Anglo-Saxon.

So he decides to make some adjustments to the expensive model 2-3-5 of the Cambridge Pyramida system designed to reward individual initiative to show that football is a business Men'sa game of individual skill and talent in which the attacker in turn approaches the goal with the same mental attitude with which the medieval knight plunges into a tournament.

Pozzo is not convinced. He thinks about it and decides to put two of the five attackers back in front of the midfield line. Expand the position of the two wingers slightly to include the center forward. It is the birth of method. It is the beginning of a journey that will bring Italy two international cups, an Olympic gold medal and two World Cups. The Italian attitude of perfecting the customs of others has existed for well over two thousand years. The Romans were masters at adopting enemy techniques. From the defeat of Cannae by Hannibal they learned the importance of development…

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