FIFA 12: UEFA Euro 2012 Strategy Guide

FIFA 12: UEFA Euro 2012 Strategy Guide


UEFA Euro 2012, a grand tournament of Europe where 52 nations from European continent participates to play against each other and fight for the ultimate title being champion of Europe. On 8th June 2012, the tournament kicks off with hosts Poland playing against Greece. Hosted in Poland and Ukraine this year, it will attract many people from the host country as well as from the world to cheer for the teams participating in it. 
To bring the action to the people before it actually starts, EA Sports has launched a new extension pack which will work along with FIFA 12 to give its fan an on field experience of real tournament in virtual Form. FIFA 12: UEFA Euro 2012 is the game which will provide you all the fun and matches that are part of Euro 2012. But to play this game efficiently and skillfully, one needs to know basics about this game.
To begin with the basics, one will need to know how to tackle, shoot, defend, attack, position players properly and many more things.

Movement : In this game, the basic movements of the player vary from normal running from one point to another to basic control over the ball. 
  • The LS keys on the Xbox 360 controller can be used to move a player on the field in the desired direction. 
  • On pressing the RS button and the direction key, it will decide the direction in which ball has to be first touched when dribbling or while shooting. With this control one can keep the ball in specific position along the foot of  player which helps in better dribbling, shooting or managing the ball in required way. 
  • On pressing RT, one can stop a moving ball instantly. When not in possession of ball, pressing RT along with direction key will allow player to run with higher speed in designated direction. It helps in chasing some other player as well as to cover the field faster. 
  • On pressing LT and direction key, it will help player to dribble the ball slowly with ball kept near the feet. 
  • By pressing LT & RT along with direction, the player can dribble the ball in skillful way. 
  • When receiving a ball, one can press LT+LS along with direction key to receive the ball and turn in a specific direction.


Tackling : The tackling feature in this game has been very well detailed. One can tackle the opposing player with ball’s possession directly head-on or one can also seek help from other team mate. Proper placement of players according to the formation of opponent’s team, speed of opponent and the defending players of one’s team are very efficient in this game. A small mistake can cost a big loss if the opponent has players like Theo Walcott or Cristiano Ronaldo who have good speed. 
  • The basic control for tackling is B on Xbox 360 controller. You can reach near an opponent’s player and press B to do a basic standing tackle. This tackle isn’t much risky as in less cases opponent player would get hurt or fall. 
  • By pressing X, you can use sliding tackle on the opponent. This is dangerous move if it is not used properly or not timed properly. It can give the player using this kind of tackle a normal penalty or can get him yellow or red card. This can also result in making team of one player short and leave your team vulnerable.
  • By holding A, one can contain an oncoming Attacker using a defender. The defender who will be containing the attacker will go face to face against the attacker and create an obstruction between goal and ball. Also the attacker will slow down to find out an way from side of the defender.
  • By pressing RB + A, one can use the team mate contain. In this method, one defender will create an obstruction by facing the attacker and moving along with him in front of him. While the attacker is concentrating on way to make way from side of defender, another teammate can come and tackle away the ball from attacker.
Tackling is not just about making opponent player lose ball or disturb the flow opponent’s gameplay. It means that you have to gain the position and also retain it for as much time as you can. For this, one should notice the formation in which the opponent is playing and also the positions of the players in opponent’s team who can be dangerous on field. For Example, if your opponent is playing in formation like 4-3-3, then it is obvious that he will be strengthening performance in the middle and might not have enough strength at the wings. So you can use formation like 4-4-2 which will provide ability to have wingers. When tackling a player, don’t just concentrate on one player who is containing or trying to tackle the attacker, you have to think of the whole team. When you are containing or chasing an attacker to tackle, it is obvious that place where the defender originally belongs is vacant. It can be utilized by the opponent to attack on your goal. A skilled opponent would let your defenders contain his attacker while opponent’s another player might hold a position appropriate for creating a shot on goal. A simple pass can get your team defeated. So you need to constantly keep lookout on positions of players in your team as well as in opponent’s team. If you detect constant threat form opponent due to constant attack, don’t go on constant tackling. Instead contain him and send him back. When a tackle is used and it misses, it takes time for the player to get up and recover position. At this point, the place of the player who has tackled remains open. So instead of using another player to tackle and create multiple open spaces in defense, you can just contain the attacker until the previous player who tried tackling gets up.
Watching matches of Real Madrid, one thing I have learned from Jose Mourinho’s strategy is that a perfectly timed tackled from a perfect direction can get you possession of the ball and that too without getting any kind of foul even if that tackle proves to be most violent. Using the proper techniques and proper players, one can use the strength of player’s body to use as battering Ram and completely break the balance of the opponent’s team while tackling. You can go shoulder to shoulder with opponent’s player who has possession of ball and while keeping him busy from one side, you can smash a strong player into him making him lose the ball. To use this technique, I prefer using physically strong players like Carlos Tevez or Andy Carroll.

Passing and Possession : One major factor that a team must have to dominate an opponent is by having good possession and proper passing of ball between players. A pass isn’t just simple passing of ball from one player to another but it also involves many things like direction of passing, speed of the ball, the way ball is received , direction in which the player needs to move after receiving the ball and many more such things. 
  • For the basic pass, you can press A which will help you pass the ball towards the nearest player. This too gives you option to set the amount of strength needed to create a successful pass. A pass with high level of strength to a player standing nearby can deflect the ball from his leg and make it go in some unwanted direction. A low strength pass to a player at distance won’t be completed as the ball might stop in mid-way. Thus, strength should be properly applied to avoid the ball from going away or not properly reaching the designated player.
  • You can use X button on your Xbox 360 controller to do a lob pass. You can pass the ball around at a height, which is over the opponent player’s head. It is useful for long passes or to pass ball to such a player where there are many opponents standing in between.
  • By pressing Y, you can do the through ball. This means that player with possession of ball will simply push the ball in the direction he is facing. This is useful to create chances for goal. When attacking, you enter the penalty box with an attacker, when the goal keeper is facing in you direction, instead of shooting, you can just through ball, that is ball will lie between the field and any other player can shoot it. 
Using the first touch on the ball while passing as well as receiving the pass is important. It decides the orientation of the ball and its direction. When receiving the ball using the proper direction for first touch, can decide the direction in which the player can turn around quickly. This can be very useful to create chances and opening gaps in the opponent’s team. Players like Mesut Oezil who can burst with speed through the defense can make advantage of this move. A proper direction and he won’t need to stop the ball but can continue to run along with the ball. This can be very useful to give the strikers an push through against a tough defense.
Passing should be used often as I have seen many people just sprinting towards the goal as soon as they receive the possession of the ball. But if you notice the way how Barcelona plays, then you will notice that they try to keep the possession of the ball more than just shooting or breaking the defense of the opponent. If you have an unknown opponent, mostly on online mode, then you should keep possession to see what possible ways he tries to win back the ball. It also provides you time to think what step has to be taken next to break the opponent’s game and other such factors.

Shooting : When it comes to scoring goal the main action that takes place is the shooting of ball. Shooting is not just for scoring goals, but also can be used to pass to ball around the field at large distance in short period of time. A shoot can be simple in a linear way, where it can be shot from one point to another method is used to use the finesse shot where the ball can be curved at an angle to confuse the players who are expecting a shot.
  • The basic key for shooting the ball is B, the ball will be shot by the player with selected amount of strength and will directly reach the point designated. If the ball is coming from a height where feet cannot be reached, then the player will head the ball instead of shooting.
  • Another kind of shot that can be achieved by pressing LB + B is the Chip shot. The ball will be shot in upward direction and then will land at a certain distance. It is used by the players to clear the ball in the goal from above the goal keeper. It is useful when the goal keeper is facing the attacking player and you know he won’t fail to hold your shot.
  • To perform a Finesse Shot, you can press RB + B; this will curve the ball in appropriate direction depending on the player and his playing style. It depends on many factors like rating of players, feet used by players, strength that can be applied and many more factors. Such shots can be played by many players, but the angle of deflection and amount of deflection will vary from player to player. For Example, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can curve the ball in better way than Fernando Torres.
As mentioned, shooting requires proper amount of strength to execute and also accuracy. Shooting skills vary from player’s ability, rating, feet in use, position he plays in and many other factors. A player playing at defensive position is less likely to have accuracy as that of an attacking player. But that doesn’t mean that defenders cannot shoot, they can depending on the opponent’s position, their position or the position of the goal corresponding to the position of player. The power of the shot should be decided according to the strength of the player, the distance to the goal and positions of opponent’s players. If the shoot is overpowered, the ball will go over the goal or if it is less powered, than it will be easily blocked by the goalkeeper. The goal shouldn’t just be shot because you have clear field towards the goal or you are near the goal. You have to notice, which area of the goal will be hard for the goal keeper to reach or which area is unprotected. Just shooting because you are near the goal isn’t practical. It might work on lower difficulty levels. But on higher difficulty levels, it won’t work. 
When shooting during free kicks, the distance between the player and the goal will be relatively more. So highly skillful players like Steven Gerrard or Charlie Adam will be needed to shoot the ball in the goal. Also while taking penalty shots, remember that goal keeper won’t easily reach the corners of the goal, you can easily get goals by shooting there. But shooting ball at corners might get the ball outside the goal if more strength is applied. Remember what happened with Sergio Ramos in Champions League semi-finals of year 2012 when shooting against Bayern Munich. If you aren’t confident about getting the ball in goal when shooting at the top corners, then you can shoot at the lower corners as the ball is bound to bounce towards the goal. When shooting during a free kick, remember to get the height and angle right as you may have wall of players standing between the goal and you.

Positions of Players : Getting the players in right is another factor that describes your winning rate in a match. A player can be played in any position you want, goal keeper in striker’s position, a striker in Goal keeper’s position or any left footed player in right side of field, anything is possible. But remember, every player will perform perfectly when played only in their specific position. In player’s details, it will be shown that the selected player can play in which possible positions. If a player is meant to play as right mid field, than he should only be played at that position. Many players can play at multiple positions, but these positions are close to each other. If the player is played at any other position other that specified ones, he will underperform and might not perform certain activities. So when selecting a team, remember what positions a player is fit at. Also while substituting a player, don’t substitute a player’s of different positions. What I mean to say it’s that, substitute a centre back only with a position who is fit to play at that position. There is no such rule of putting player in a specific position, but is needed for best performance from the team. 
Sometimes it happens that you have used two substitutes and have only one substitute remaining. But suddenly some of your player gets injured and needs replacement. At that time, if you don’t have any appropriate player to be played at that position, don’t hesitate to substitute a player from different position. Many times while playing in multiplayer mode, opponent knows that player has been substituted in wrong position. It can be used to create an illusion that he will keep the position open for play. Some players can play at positions that are completely different from each other. For Example, David Villa is right footed but can play on right side of field very well.
The positions in this game are, 
1) Goal Keeper: Goal Keeper is one of the most important players in a team. He is the person who has best grip and hold over the ball. This firm handed person is useful for saving the ball from going into the net of the goal. He is the only person who can handle the ball using hands when inside the penalty box. He also wears a different colored jersey from rest of the team. In very less cases a goal keeper is substituted. A strong goalkeeper can change the course of match by blocking the shots of opposing teams successfully. First Class goal keepers like Iker Cassilas from Spain, Manuel Neuer from Germany, Hugo LLoris from France or Joe Hart from England rarely allow the ball to get inside the goal.
2) Defender: These players from the defensive wall of a team. They are positioned after the goal keeper and they are responsible to stop the attackers to reach near goal keeper or to control the attack. These players don’t attack much, they just try to gain possession of the ball from opponent’s player and pass it to the appropriate player as the strategy demands. There five types of defenders who can be played in a team, 
a] Left Back defender: These defenders are positioned on the left side of the field and usually are left-footed. They are meant to control the attacks that take place on the left side of the field. In today’s game, many managers like to place right footed defenders at left back position as they find it easy to fight right footed attackers using right footed defenders.
b] Right back defenders: They are similar to left back defenders; the only difference is that they are placed on the right side of the field.
c] Centre back defenders: Most of the strong defenders are placed in this position as they control the most area near the goal. They are the players who can dominate the attackers and also gain the position of the ball back. They are capable of having the sight of whole field and can easily change the direction of the game. Mostly physically strong and muscular players are placed at this position as they are required to tackle the attackers the hard way. 
d] Wing back defender: They can be of two types depending on the side they are placed, left or right. Their duty is to play along the extreme borders of the field. They are also referred as Sweepers by some people. This is because they can do a surprise attack form the border. They will run with ball along the border and when he and attackers position themselves in right position, they can give an beautiful assist. Advantage of having them is that even if tackled, there are more chances of ball going out of the field providing a second chance via throw in. The players who are positioned at this position must be good at cross passes, creating opportunities in form of assists, dribbling past multiple players and good at chip shots.
3) Mid fielders: They are another vital part of the team who can change the strategy of the game any time between the play. They can decide if game should be played in defensive way or attacking way. They are the players who need to do most of the running and also create every possible opportunity. Again there are various types of mid fielders, 
a] Centre Mid Fielder: They are the players who can easily dictate the game. They are mostly the best players in the team and are responsible for the way game should be placed. They need to be good at almost everything required in the game; shooting, tackling, dribbling, assisting, defending and other activities. They are responsible for covering up mistakes done by misfiring shots made by the strikers. Players like Steven Gerrard, Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso and Wesly Sneijdar are best played in this position. 
They can be again classified as Centre Defensive Mid fielder and Centre Attacking Mid fielders. Centre Defensive Mid fielder are those who provide an extra support to the defensive players when under pressure. They are responsible to retain the non-possessed ball or to thwart a planned attacked by the opponent. They also are helpful if the game’s strategy demands more of possession. Centre Attacking Mid fielders are those who backup the strikers. They are responsible to provide an appropriate push during an attack and movement of ball towards the opponent’s penalty box. They need to have good tackling ability as they often need to steal the ball that a striker loses to opponent player.
Depending on the position they are made to play or foot they use, left or right, they are further classified as Left attacking mid fielder, Right attacking midfielder, Left defensive mid fielder and right defensive mid fielder.
b] Wingers: They are the mid-fielders who play along the borders of field and create chances for the strikers by providing excellent assists. Players playing at this position must have good speed and excellent accuracy. They again are classified as Left Winger and Right Winger depending on side they play. Cristiano Ronaldo, Frank Lampard and Mesut Oezil are some good players that play at this position. Many times, strikers too are played at this position as they can attack for the sides.
4) Forward Attacker: They are the players who are accurate at shooting and good at scoring given a slightest opportunity. They mostly remain in the area towards the opponent’s defense and position themselves in opponent’s penalty box when opportunity arises. They don’t have to perform much of defensive duties and only concentrate on attacking the opponent. They are able to convert any smallest opportunity where the ball comes near their feet into a shot at goal. Wayne Rooney, Thomas Mueller, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robin Van Persie are some of the best forward attacking players. They too are classified as Centre Forward attacker, Left Forward Attacker, Right Forward Attacker and Striker based on their game style and position they are placed at.
The players playing at centre forward play from the centre part of the field and must be creative when it comes to get a goal from penalty box. They have least of defensive duties except for when team is under pressure of continuous attacks from opposing team. Strikers are the attacking players who don’t have to play from specific side, left, right or centre. They can be at any comfortable position according to position of the ball. They are born scorers like Lucas Podolski, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Wayne Rooney. 


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