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The importance of vertical zones within the context of positional play

“Juego de Posición”, translated to “Positional Play”, is a well-known possessional philosophy currently utilised by many of the top coaches. This concept has been adopted and adapted by the likes of Pep Guardiola and Julian Nagelsmann; however, certain fundamental principles remain constant. Positional play is centered on the efficiency of spacing between players in order to maximise the potential of the team in possession to progress the ball. To do so, predetermined zones are created by the coach followed by a set of “rules” that the players must follow when positioning themselves on the field. This article will explore the importance and reasoning behind the vertical zones, using Guardiola’s five zone set-up as the focus.

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