The Five 10’s – A Brief Introduction

The majority of people who follow football all have a team or time period that they admire and for them is the best team ever, even if they weren’t born yet. For me this is Brazil in 1970 eleven years before I was born. The team was brilliant with so much attacking flair and creativity, for me there is no better team ever to grace the game and even though I wasn’t born at the time it doesn’t stop me admiring the quality that was on display at the time. Brazil is a nation that I’ve studied a lot of over the last 15 years or so as I find them fascinating and have fallen in love with their football not only internationally but also on a domestic level. I actually watch more Brazilian football than I do that from England or the European leagues in general and all of this came about due to the 1970’s national team.

I like studying old formations and research them a lot and then being the nerdy no lifer geek (or so people assume!) that I am I then try and develop these formations in Football Manager and see how realistic I can recreate the formation and to see if its possible to play a similar style of that in real life. Over the years I’ve done the W-M, Pyramid, 1-2-7, Il Metodo, Swiss Verrou and so on. I’ve made them all work to some extent and some of those were more challenging than others due to how the modern game has evolved. I’ve wrote about some of these in the past in great detail and others I’ve just mentioned in passing.

So what I’ve decided to do it create a new series where I write and talk about a classic formation of yesteryear and see if we can get it to work in Football Manager 15 without having to compromise too much of the original style. This won’t be easily and I don’t expect it to be plain sailing but I do think it’ll make an interesting discussion topic, so with this in mind what better way to start than a shape that I’m really fond of – The Brazilian national team of the 1970’s. This will likely be a detailed article that will be split into different ones as it’ll be far too big for one article so this is what I have in mind for the layout so far;

  • Introduction
  • Understanding what the players did in 1970 and how this translates into FM15
  • The shape
  • Tactical analysis focusing on how the above works inside the game
  • More analysis focused on making the tactic functional in the modern era without sacrificing the core principles of the style and general play

That’s where I’m at for now and the things I’ll be focusing on.

So why the five 10’s?

It’s no secret that around the late 60’s and early 70’s Brazil had an abundance of number 10’s and when Mario Zagallo took over as the Brazilian manager from Joao Saldanha it was clear he wasn’t afraid to pack as much flair and creativity into the side as possible despite his lack of managerial experience. The successful 1970 side consisted of five players who played the number 10 role at club level;

  • Pele
  • Gerson
  • Tostao
  • Rivellino
  • Jairzinho

The front five players were all essentially creators (Pele was all round, he could score and create plenty), and as such became known as the five 10s, in reference to the traditional number for an inside left.

And we all remember and enjoy one of the best team goals ever scored don’t we?!

Hopefully we’ll be seeing goals like that in FM soon! So, over the next few days and weeks expect to see a lot more posts and in depth detail about Brazil from the 1970’s as I try and recreate the tactic in FM. Hopefully a lot of people will be interested in this and it’ll generate a lot of interest. If you’ve experimented with this yourself then please leave comments below with any ideas or suggestions you might have. I already have it planned out in my head but I’m always willing to listen to the ideas you lot have as you might approach it from a different angle than me and have better suggestions especially as the actual shape used is very much open to interpretation but I’ll be talking about that in more depth really soon.

The next instalment should be up really soon, I just wanted to get the brief introduction of what I was planning out of the way and let people know I was actually working on new content for the blog 🙂

3 thoughts on “The Five 10’s – A Brief Introduction”

  1. Wow, good luck with this!

    I was very fortunate to do some coaching with Carlos Alberto back in about 2006 I think it was.

    I will never forget being in the lecture hall when he talked us through each step of that great goal, pulling people out and pushing them into the positions that different players took on the pitch, absolute classic experience.

    One I’d love to see is a recreation of the proper system, that would be great fun!

    Follow me on Twitter:  @comeontheoviedo
    FM15 Blog:
    Author of the “Johnny Cooper, Championship Manager” series available on Amazon here
    Read the first chapter of “The Second Season Syndrome” at

  2. I’m a lover of “Classic” tactic threads – too many seem to want to just beat the ME, whereas I like to see my simulation look the real life teams. I think FM has developed so much over recent years that such is easily possible and that actually succeeding in the game requires a good knowledge of what it takes to succeed in reality.

    Given Liverpool’s current fiasco, I yearn to see a return to simpler times and am currently looking for good analysis of the evolution of their 442/4411 through from the end of Shankly to Dalglish (Mk 1), however haven’t seen anything in the forums worth reading for c. 4 years 🙁

Leave a Reply