The 4-3-3 is a Classic Formation

This is a classic soccer formation that was practiced by the winners of West Germany, the winners of the 1974 World Cup.

The Netherlands team, who founded Total Football, also adapted this formation successfully in the 1974 and 1978 World Cups where they reached the final, but lost to Germany and Argentina, respectively.

This formation was developed from the 4-2-4 and was first adapted on the big scene of soccer by the Brazilian national team during the 1962 World Cup.

The extra midfielder with the four defense line provides a compact defense. This will result in a midfield containing only three players but is compensated offensively by three players on the top.

These three midfielders will normally play tight with each other to help the defensive line and are moving like a coordinated squad on the field.

The 4-3-3 formation

Ideal for Younger Players

This formation consists of 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards (goalkeeper is not counted).

This formation is great for younger soccer players that have recently started to play soccer.

The formation is pretty easy to learn and understand, and that’s why it is so popular.


The defensive line consists of a right and left fullback, a stopper and a sweeper.

The left & right fullback will usually act in front of your team’s goalkeeper and behind your midfielder.

The sweeper will play between your left and right fullback together (will be the last defender) with your stopper.


The midfield will consist of three players. There is the right midfielder, the left midfielder, and a central midfielder.

These players are normally the nucleus of a team. Their position will always be in the middle of the field and they will also score very often.

The midfielders are among the most pivotal in thisĀ soccer formation. The midfielder must be able to play well in both defense and offense, which will require much more strength and stamina.

The extra player on the midfield will provide a stronger defense, while the midfield can be staggered for different effects.

The three top players split across the field to spread the attack, and one of their main tasks is to tackle back.

If you are one of the top three players you must also keep in mind to work in defense.


Remember also that the game without the ball is very important. Not many teams start their matches with this formation but if your team needs to score (ex: the opponents have a 1-0 lead with 10 minutes left of the match) it will be a good practice to change formation and try to score.