Building-up centrally (Guardiola at Bayern)

This is a drill from Pep Guardiola from his time at Bayern München.


  • improve finding the attacking midfielders with a pass through the center of the field


  • the field where it all takes place is approximately 60 meters in width and 60 meters in length
  • the team that builds up, is playing with 6+1 players
  • 2 central defenders, 1 behind ('goalkeeper'), 2 full backs, 2 attacking midfielders
  • the defending team is playing with 4 midfielders in a row and one player in front of them
  • the attacking midfielders of the offensive team are in a section behind the opponent's midfield

How to play

  • red builds up and tries to reach 8 and 10 with a pass through the center of the field
  • if that happens, the 8 or 10 turns and starts dribbling towards the goal
  • if the 8 or 10 receives the ball from a 2 or 5, they play the ball back and the build-up continues

Coaching remarks

  • 'Move sideways as an attacking midfielder to open up passing lanes.'
  • 'Control the ball in a forward direction if possible.'
  • 'If you can not pass forward, play sideways or play backwards.'
  • 'Move the ball quickly across the width to play defenders apart.'
  • 'Make eye-contact with the attacking midfielders when you have the ball.'
  • 'Fullbacks, keep the field as wide as possible to create options in the center.'


  • remove the defensive midfielder to make it easier to find the free man
  • shorten the space to increase the speed of action under pressure


  • add small goals on which the yellow team can score after capturing the ball
  • add a 9/10 (yellow) and a 6 (red), making it 8v6
  • add a goalkeeper (plus defender) on which 8 and 10 can score
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Types of drills
Tactical games
Building up
Age group
Under 19 Under 17 Adults Under 16 Under 18
13-16 9-12