[The Fountain] The power of ‘build-up’ soccer

Home > National >

print dictionary print

[The Fountain] The power of ‘build-up’ soccer

The author is the political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.

The dictionary definition of “build up” is to assemble or accumulate by putting things together, as in an architectural structure.

In soccer, it is used differently as it refers to the basic stage of offense by accurately passing the ball from the rear end of the field to teammates to move the ball to the other side.

But, basically, it is similar to the original meaning as players advance the ball step by step. If you simply kick the ball far without the build-up process, it is hard to keep the ball in possession and impossible to dominate the game.

Therefore, it is a basic tactic by strong teams to build up from the back carefully. Not only Spain which is considered as the initiator of build-up soccer but also other football powerhouses like Germany and Brazil begin attacks based on stable build-up. Even the goalkeepers pass the ball to the nearby teammates instead of simply getting rid of the ball, even when pressed by an opponent striker just a few meters away.

“Build-up soccer” is not an official tactical term, as build-up is the basis of modern soccer strategy. Kim Pan-gon, former chair of the head coach selection committee of the Korea Football Association (KFA) and current head coach of Malaysia’s national soccer team, had brought Paulo Bento to Korea. In a recent interview, he asked, “How can we call an offensive advance a tactic of a head coach?” Branding build-up soccer as a strategy is underestimating the philosophy of the head coach, he said.

Nevertheless, many people praised Team Korea for playing “build-up soccer” in the Qatar World Cup as they hadn’t seen such plays in the past. It was especially shocking that Taeguk Warriors did not back down and fought for dominance against strong teams such as Brazil, Portugal and Uruguay instead of staying below the half-line and physically blocking opponents.

On the early morning of Tuesday, Korea lost to Brazil 4 to 1 in the final match of the round of 16. The Taeguk Warriors lowered their heads and said they were sorry, but many people applauded the players who focused on the game until the last minute.

That means more people are paying attention to the process than the results. “What is important is the unwavering spirit,” said a professional gamer. That became the catchphrase symbolizing the fighting spirit of Team Korea. I hope the sincerity of our football players toward the build-up tactic will not be discouraged.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)