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Thread: Helenio Herrera and Catenaccio

  1. #1

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    Helenio Herrera and Catenaccio

    I am interested in learning more about the system of catenaccio, developed but not created, by former Inter coach Helenio Herrera, as it changed the nature of football and led to the first success for Italian teams in the European Cup, AC Milan in 62/63, 68/69 and Inter 63/64 and 64/65.

    By searching the Internet it has been discovered that there are 3 conflicting views as to the creation of the formation and style of catenaccio.

    According to NSCAA it was Nereo Rocco in 1947 while at Triestina who created the formation and style known as catenaccio, he succeeded in taking them from bottom of the league to 2nd the next season. This is contradicted by sourced from wikipedia and Sport in a nutshell, Catenaccio, Sunday November 2, 2003
    , who state that it was created in the 1950's by Nereo Rocco but at Padova, which he later utilized while at AC Milan, winning the European Cup with it in 1963 and 1969.
    The final version by nobok states that a defensive strategy was devised by Inter coach Alfredo Foni in 1952-53, resulting in Inter scoring only 46 goals that season but conceding few, so they won the title. This can be implied as Foni having some part in originating the idea and Herrera developing it.

    Question 1
    Who originated it and when? please provide an authoritive reference.

    This catenaccio consisted of a "diamond-shaped defence, in which a midfield 'libero' (free man) is accommodated." Sport in a nutshell, Catenaccio, Sunday November 2, 2003 .
    This is different to how Herrera implemented catenaccio.

    It was Helenio Herrera while at Inter Milan, who has been thought of as perfecting catenaccio, that perfected the system with 4 man marking defenders and a sweeper. sourced from wikipedia.

    According to think quest there are 3 possible formations in catenaccio:
    1. Most offensive - 1-3-3-3
    2. 1-4-3-2
    3. Most defensive - 1-4-4-1

    In which the game was "..spent with long balls probing the defence, or sending only the forward line to attack, so that there would be enough players left to defend if a counterattack from the opposition developed."
    think quest.

    When Inter Milan first won Serie A under Herrera, his squad according to Football Italia was as follows:

    "Inter: Buffon (20), Bugatti (10), Ferretti (4), Burgnich (31), Facchetti (31), Masiero (9), Zaglio (21), Bolchi (12), Guarneri (34), Picchi (30), Dellagiovanna (1), Tagnin (1); Jair (27), Mazzola A. (23), Di Giacomo (24), Suarez (29), Corso (30), Maschio (15), Bicicli (11), Hitchens (5), Morbello (4), Bettini (2). Coach: Helenio Herrera."

    It was found that Facchetti was an attacking left back scoring somewhere in the region of 60-80 goals, that I can remember from memory, and Picchi was the sweeper.

    Question 2
    Considering the fact that Faccetti was an attacking leftback, did he still have man marking duties?

    Question 3
    From that squad:

    a) What would the 1st team line up be

    b) The formation

    c) Roles and responsibilites of each player (i.e who is man marking?, what do the midfielders do? did the sweeper attack or always stay behind the back 4 or 3?)

    d) Game plan (i.e start with 1-3-3-1 looking for a goal, revert to
    1-4-4-1 when scored to defend the lead)

    e) What are the characteristics of each player that makes him suitable to catenaccio?

    Any answers are appreciated, and I would appreciate it if anyone could refer me to any other resources such as books and web sites and also video footage of Inter under Herrera, to help me understand this system more.


  2. #2
    Pani's Avatar
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    The only I know is that Greece used a kind of this tactics during 2004.


  3. #3

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    Yeah and I enjoyed watching them throughout the tournament, I was entertained by the defensive qualities of the team and the odd attack that resulted in a goal. I must have been the only one, apart from Greek fans, that was pleased Greece won it, not becuase they were the underdog, but becuase I enjoyed watching them.

    It's pretty amazing and shows the importance of what a manager and tactics can do to improve on the poor individual players available.

    I think Hector Cuper was also similar both at Valencia and Inter, in that his teams defended well, as a team, and went for the counter attack.

  4. #4
    Ari's Avatar
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    Pani I was in Greece in the final day. Firstly in Athens but later night in smaller town. I don't remember the town but our boat was in Olympic Marina. You know the place? In that kinda small town, celebrations were crazy as hell - I just wonder what they were in Athens.

    Nice country you have.

  5. #5

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    I'd like to understand this system as well. Anyone with more in-depth knowledge about this system?

  6. #6
    rockball's Avatar
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    Herrera and Catenaccio. How is this not present in LGI?

  7. #7
    DIN011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festy View Post
    I'd like to understand this system as well. Anyone with more in-depth knowledge about this system?

  8. Thanks (2): KevinB, Raul Duke

  9. #8
    achilles's Avatar
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    LOL, this thread is from 2005. Buddy never came back, he was so let down

  10. #9
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