Bringing Quique Setién Tiki-Taka Tactic at Real Betis to FM19

Creative Team FM19 Tactics, Tactics 6 Comments

Quique Setién has been one of those managers who adopt the beautiful positional tiki taka style. It has been an incredible journey for him at Real Betis, although he has left the club after the 2018/2019 campaign. However, he really made a great impact at Real Betis with his amazing tactics. We, at FMtrendGames, became so much interested in Setién’s tactic since one of our readers shared a captivating video about his style in a comment. So, here, I am going to share the Quique Setién tiki-taka tactic we came up with in FM19 using Real Betis.

This article sheds light on Setien’s 3-5-2 tactic. The 3-5-2 setup is mostly what the Spanish gaffer used in the 2018/2019 season with Real Betis Balompié, SAD. Notably, he used this setup to beat Barcelona at Camp Nou in a thrilling encounter. However, in FM19, this tactic gave us some great results with the Betis squad. Besides, the team played an attractive possession football, which Quique Setién’s team also displays in real life.

Quique Setién 3-5-2 Setup

Build Up

Being patient is part of Quique’s style of play. They build up patiently from the back before advancing. When the goalkeeper is starting the build-up, the right and left centre-backs spread wide while the third central defender offers a vertical option by staying just outside the box. Then, the wingbacks push up and hug the touchline, providing diagonal passing options. The holding midfielder and central midfielders will drop a bit to provide numerical superiority against the opponent.

This positioning enhances the flow of shorter passing directness, knocking the ball around, while maintain a lower tempo. This is just how Setién’s men build up their play – the same is applicable in FM19.

Quique Setién’s style is more of tiki-taka. As a result, he employs ball-carrying defenders. These type of defenders can play with the ball and are good in breaking opposition’s high press with their ball carrying.

Creating close diamonds and triangles is part Real Betis tiki taka style under Setien

Moreover, Real Betis focus their play through the middle, as their main aim is to dominate the midfield and use it to outplay the opponent. With the quality of midfielders they have, this strategy has been working for them. But if the midfielders get an off day, problems arise – the connection with the defence and attack will be in jeopardy.

Above all, Quique gives his men the freedom to express themselves on the pitch and enjoy their game. This is why I enabled Be More Expressive. 


Just like in Ten Hag’s tactic at Ajax, Real Betis attack as a single unit. As they attack, the wingbacks push very high as wingers to offer width. However, Quique’s men attack in a patient way. They usually retain their shape as they move the ball into channels, waiting patiently for an opening. This is why I enabled “Work ball into Box” and “Hold Shape” in FM19.

Defensive Animation

Setién applies the close-unit strategy in his team. Just like in Sarriball and most positional tactics, the close unit aims to get the lines to support each other in attacking and defensive phases. For instance, the line of engagement and midfield line come close to support the defensive line when it comes to defending. Alternatively, the defensive line supports the other lines in pressing the opposition, with the aim of compressing their play. This helps in preventing the opening of space in between the lines, which the opposition can use as an advantage.

Furthermore, Setién uses the counter pressing system. Once they lose the ball, they immediately press for the ball. As you can see in the in-transition part of this tactic, I enabled counter press.

Defensive Shape

Real Betis frequently defend in a 5-3-2 shape – sometimes in a 5-4-1 shape when one of the strikers drops to help defend. Moreover, Setién uses the high defensive line setting. This is in order to support his counter pressing system. However, to get that required close unit, a higher line of engagement (LOE) is used in this tactic instead of a much higher LOE.

In other words, since Setién’s defensive line is touchline oriented, the defensive width of this tactic is set wide. This influences the wingback to close down an opponent in the wide area much more, preventing him from making a deadly cross.

Setién’s Role Selection with R. Betis

Keeper: Sweeper Keeper (Attack)

The sweeper keeper role has been the role of Pau López and Joel Robles at R. Betis under Quique Setién. Therefore, I kept it this way in FM19.

Centre Backs: 3 Ball Playing Defenders (2 on Defend and 1 on Cover)

Just like in Tuchel’s 3-5-2 setup, the 3 centre-backs in Quique Setién’s system are all ball playing defenders. They have the ability to play with the ball. In build-up, they have the composure to carry the ball forward to break opposition’s first line of defence and look for shorter passing options.

However, as the side centre-backs have the defend duty, the middle DC is given the cover duty. The middle defender stays deeper to create an inverted triangle with the other CDs.

In FM19. I usually play Marc Bartra in the centre, while Sídnei and Zouhair Feddal respectively play in the right and left positions. I even brought in Gianluca Mancini (on loan from Atalanta) to strengthen the defence – Mancini is superb.

Side Wing Backs: 2 Complete Wingbacks (both on Support)

Betis’ wingbacks act more as complete wingbacks under the Spanish manager. They are more offensive. When the team has the ball, they push up high to enhance the attacking phase. In FM19, the support duty is perfect because it keeps the team shape fluid. Also, it influences the wingbacks to balance their attacking and defensive mentalities.

Cristian Tello usually plays in the right WB position. But in FM19, he’s more dangerous when I play him in the left WB position while I feature Emersons on the right.

Defensive Midfield: Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend)

Just like in most 3-5-2 formations, one midfielder stays deeper. In Setién’s setup, there’s a holding midfielder. William Carvalho performs excellently well in this position as a DLP in Betis’ games.  As a defensive deep lying playmaker, he contributes immensely by intercepting passes, maintaining possession, recycling forward play, and dictating the tempo of the game. With Carvalho’s strength and balance, he can be overwhelming for the opponents in the midfield.


Central Midfield: 2 Advanced Playmaker (both on Support)

When Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Canales are in play, they both get the AP role. With both having this role, they dictate tempo, drop deep, make themselves available for teammates’ passes, distribute the ball to all areas, and get into the opposition box to score. They also have the freedom to switch positions. However, if Andrés Guardado is in play, he acts more as a supporting deep lying playmaker.

Defensively, both central midfielders, since on support duty, drop to help the defensive line. In addition, when it comes to pressing, they intensively press the opponent with the ball, forcing him to retreat or lose the ball.

Centre Forward: Deep Lying Forward (Support) and Complete Forward (Support)

In front, Joaquín is more like a supporting deep lying forward. He comes deep to receive the ball. And frequently, because of the fluidity of this tactic, he drops to help defensively too. Sometimes, he drops and acts as an advanced playmaker, joining the midfielders to overload and control the advanced midfield in the final third.

On the other hand, Sergio León is more advanced in the frontline. Though, I think he’s more of a complete forward under Setién. You can play him as an advanced forward, but it will affect the team’s fluidity.

In my Real Betis save, Loren wasn’t effective generally as a striker. So, I also brought in Divock Origi (on loan from Liverpool) – And he was really amazing as a CF.    


In this tactic, just like how Setién uses the zonal marking system, I employed zonal marking too.

You can view the Results, Stats, and Formation Analysis, and Goal Analysis on our Twitter handle. Just click the respective links. And follow us too ☺.

Click Button Below to Download


Comments 6

  1. Hey I have noticed that sometimes lo Celso plays behind the striker per example against sevilla. What role does he perform in that case maybe an advanced playmaker like Joaquin?

    1. Post

      Yes, he performs as an Advanced playmaker too. Generally, he’s a playmaker who’s given the freedom to roam and push forward to support attack.

        1. Post

          You can use the attack duty, but that will change the team fluidity.

          I don’t actually use a particular mentality because of Real Betis’ stature as a club. Sometimes, i even switch mentalities during the match. But at home, I usually use positive. At away, I can even use defensive. It all depends on the situation. You need to read the game.

          1. Post

Have Something to Say?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.