Real Madrid possible formations: What option is better?

Real Madrid possible formations: What option is better?

real madrid football tactics

The change of manager has brought totally different habits at Real Madrid. With Carlo Ancelotti, players barely rotated and the formation was almost always the same. However, Rafa Benitez has decided to constantly change his starting eleven, and not only the players.

The Spanish coach has used at least three types of formation in this start of the season, depending of the needs of the moment. All of them have offered positive results, but which is the most appropriate for Real Madrid? Let’s analyse each of them:

  • 4-3-3: This was the most common formation used by Ancelotti, although the Italian would switch it to a 4-4-2 when defending. Benitez has used it to take advantage of his fast wingers, especially in the second halves, when giving minutes to youngsters Lucas Vazquez and Denis Cheryshev. With this formation, Ronaldo stays on the right or plays as number 9 when Benzema is not on the field. This weakens Los Blancos scoring strength, as the Portuguese is farther from goal and the forward line is down to three men, with Modric, Kroos and Kovacic or Casemiro staying in midfield. On the other hand, when Isco or James join that midfield line, Los Merengues gain possession and creativity.
  • 4-2-3-1: Benitez used this formation a lot during pre-season, with Gareth Bale playing as number 10. Los Blancos attack seems to work better this way, as there are four men almost completely focused in the offense. Ronaldo also remains on the right wing, but the triangle formed by Bale-Ronaldo-Benzema is quite dangerous, especially when joined by James or Isco in the other wing. This option offers less defensive security, as only two pure midfielders remain, but it is certainly a good option when playing against very defensive teams. Yet, with Bale injured, Kovacic has played in that position, and Los Blancos have been less threatening. So although the formation seems to work, it requires the right players to be in the field.
  • 4-4-2: In the last few games, Benitez has opted very frequently to leave Ronaldo and Benzema as pure strikers, with Isco and one of the youngsters –Jese or Vazquez– forming a four-man line in midfield. Defensively, this is clearly the best choice, as all midfielders collaborate when the opponent has the ball and they keep the lines tightly closed. This option leaves Ronaldo closer from goal, what in theory makes him more dangerous. Against Malaga, using this formation, Real shot 31 times on target. Yet, they failed to score a single goal and ended up dropping two points. Many Los Blancos fans have been critical with this formation, as they see it as too defensive and less attractive.

And what of these options benefits Real Madrid the most? Obviously it depends on the rival and the situation. In games that require a bigger defensive effort, such as a derby or a Clasico, a 4-4-2 system could seem like a less risky option. When playing at the Santiago Bernabeu, using a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 formation seems like a wiser choice and one that would please the fans most.

Benitez surely has very versatile players that can perform brilliantly in different positions, and that benefits his changes of formation. For now, he’s obtaining good results with his constant changes.


  1. The 4-3-3 system might be preferable for Los Blacos Against Athletico Madrid; with Bale returning frm injury, forming a triangle with Benzema and Ronaldo(BBC);Isco, Modric and Casimiro(IMC) forming the midfield; and Marcelo, Calvajah, Varane and Ramos forming the defensive line, with Marcelo and Calvajah Overlapping on opposite sides of the field toward the Rival…Hala Madrid To VICTORY

  2. Comment:l honestly prefer 4:2:3:1 because lt is the system that really brings good out of Bale based on the statistics observed. that is plying behind striker

  3. Comment:real will beat atletico no Strest,with Ronaldo everything is possible. Real madrid best team in the world’. I LOVE MADRID

  4. Comment: My formation Opinion on madrid rafa benitez wont format 4 4 2 Carvajal Varane Ramos Marcelo James Kovacic Modric Kroos Ronaldo Benzema

  5. Comment: with God all things are possible….I am really looking forward to today match of us winning the derby against atletico madrid…. May God help the players and cristiano ronaldo to score more goals….I want more than an hat trick today…#HALA MADRID#