Once upon a time, Barcelona were the driving force in the world’s football thanks to the Tiki-Taka tactic that was first implemented by the Barcelona legend – the late Johan Cruyff. Later, Pep Guardiola would manage Barcelona for four years between 2008-2012 where the style of play took new extremes and became popular worldwide.
For that reason, many FIFA 22 players, including yourself, would want to customize their team to mimic the playstyle of the vintage Barcelona from over 10 years ago.
Even though Pep Guardiola is at Man City in FIFA 22, Pep’s Barcelona team were arguably the best to ever play the game. And many people will want to replicate Pep Guardiola’s FIFA 22 Barcelona tactics.
In this article, I will show you the exact squad formation that you should be using, all of the FIFA 22 Tiki Taka custom tactics for Barcelona (for both defense and offense) as well as all starting XI individual player instructions.
Note: As much we’d all love to have that old Barca squad, the Tiki-Taka tactics that you’re looking for will be implemented based on the current FIFA 22 Barcelona starting XI. Feel free to alternate bits and pieces of my recommendations to suit your own needs better if necessary.
During the Tiki-Taka era, Barcelona were mostly using the False 9 formation variant of the 4-3-3. Messi, at the time, was playing a CF closely linking to the midfielders, creating a diamond-like shape with the CDM and the two CMs) while Pedro and David Villa were higher up on both sides of the pitch.
This allowed him the freedom to become the engine of the time by distributing play as he saw fit, which is partially the reason why Barcelona were so incredibly successful for many years.
In FIFA 22, many of the original players are long gone, but the False 9 4-3-3 formation can still be utilized just as effectively.
While Depay and Dembele dominate the wings high up the pitch, Aguero will act as the engine of the team and distribute play while Coutinho, de Jong, and Busquets build up the play.
The original reasoning behind the False 9 and the tight center midfield was to not only allow the midfield and the CF to play closely together with the possibility to open up the play with the wingers who are higher up the field but to also allow the full-backs to join the attack.
That’s two extra players that can be used to open up the play as opposed to just sitting back in defense.
Custom Barcelona Tiki Taka Tactics
To achieve the Barcelona Tiki Taka tactic in FIFA 22, you’ll need to break down the play into two segments – defense and offense. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
When it came to defense, Barcelona used their supreme understanding of positioning that stemmed from the Tiki-Taka tactic to defend as if the eleven players were one. Every player virtually knew where each and every one of his teammates are at all times, which allowed the whole team to press the opposing team very aggressively without opening up any gaps.
When the whole team moves together as one, counterattacks were a very rare occurrence. By effectively pressing up the opponent against their net, the opposition would have no choice but to either clear the ball or lose possession in dangerous areas that could then lead to a goal. We’ve seen similar and more recent results with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool tactics and how well those work against any team.
This exact defense strategy can be achieved by setting your FIFA 22 defensive style to “Press After Possession Loss”. Do note that for your defense efforts to work as closely as those to Barca’s, you’ll need to keep your width of play tight (at 40) and depth as high up the pitch as possible (at 100).
To mimic the Tiki-Taka play style that Barcelona are known for, you need to set your build up play to “Fast Build Up” and chance creation to “Possession”. As far as the width is concerned, keep that at 40 in order to ensure that the entire team is tightly positioned together. This allows for quick, short, and efficient passing that will leave the opposition confused.
Back in the day, Barcelona weren’t known for being super lethal from set-pieces. For that reason, they hardly tried to make something out of corners or crosses into the box from free-kicks. To mimic their set-pieces strategy, keep your players in the box to 3 bars, and corners and free-kicks to two bars.
Now, if you do happen to have quite a few tall players on your team, by all means, feel free to increase the number of players in the box. You don’t want to hamper your chances of success purely because you want to follow the vintage Barca Tiki-Taka strategy to the T.
Vintage Barcelona Player Roles
The original Barcelona team had a great player for every possible set-piece and scenario in football. In the 2010/11 season, Messi was responsible for left short free-kick, right short free-kick, and penalties. Xavi was responsible for long-free kicks, left and right corners. Puyol was team captain.
In case you have a more varied team than that of the vintage Barca, you can set whichever played you think is most suitable depending on the job.
Custom Player Instructions
Setting up the entire team to the Tiki Taka FIFA 22 tactics is not enough. Next up, you need to instruct every single player accordingly so that they all know what to do when attacking and defending. Here’s a breakdown for the starting XI using the 4-3-3 False 9 formation.
Center Fordward (False 9)
Messi, or in the current Barcelona team, Aguero will be responsible for netting in just as many goals as he is expected to create for both Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembele. To mimic the movement and responsibilities of Lionel Messi, set Aguero’s support runs to “Drift Wide”, attacking runs to “False 9”, interceptions to “Normal Interceptions”, and defensive support to “Stay Forward”.
If Depay or Dembele cut in to get closer to the goal, then Aguero is instructed to drift wide and take the position of the winger in possession of the ball for the potential passing combination or to spread out the play and drag players away from the ball.
While the CF is instructed to stay centrally during an attack unless one of the wingers makes a play, in Tiki-Taka, the wingers have the complete freedom to move around and even change position to create a goal-scoring opportunity.
In defense, when the ball is lost, everyone including the wingers with the exception of the CF are instructed to come back and help in defense.
For your wingers to adopt the Tiki-Taka playstyle, make sure to set their defensive support to “Come Back on Defence”, chance creation to “Free Roam”, support runs to “Balanced Support”, support on crosses to “Balanced Crossing Runs”, and interceptions to “Normal Interceptions”.
Xavi and Iniesta were the secret sauce and one of the main reasons why the Tiki-Taka tactics worked so well with Barcelona. In their place, today we have Frenkie de Jong and Philip Coutinho, which are nearly as good as the Barca legends – at least on FIFA 22.
Their responsibility was to be the engine of the team – to transition the ball from defense into attack and to help the team maintain possession of the ball even during the most aggressively pressing teams.
To mimic Iniesta and Xavi’s roles in the Barca squad, set your CMs attacking support to “Balanced Attack”, support on crosses to “Balanced Crossing Runs”, interceptions to “Normal Interceptions”, positioning freedom to “Stick To Position”, and defensive position to “Cover Wing”.
Note: Please note that you need to set your left midfielder’s (which would be Iniesta in the original Barca squad) attacking support to “Get Forward”.
As you can see, your right CM doesn’t have much positional freedom. The only time he would go out of position is during defense when the CMs would be responsible for covering the wings. As for the left CM, he can move out of position and get forward during an attack to help with distributing the ball.
Center Defensive Midfielder
Sergio Busquets is one of the few players left that still play for Barcelona from the Tiki-Taka era. His responsibility in the team was to smoothly transition the ball from defense to midfield. Though simple, he was crucial to the success of Barca so do make sure you have a solid CDM in your team if you wish to really replicate Barca’s success.
To mimic Busquet’s style of play, set his defensive behavior to “Cut Passing Lines”, attacking support to “Stay Back While Attacking”, interceptions to “Normal Interceptions”, and offensive position to “Cover Wing”.
The center-backs are crucial for the success of any team. In Tiki Taka, similarly to the CMs, one of the CB (in this case Pique – the right CB) is the one that joins the attack.
To mimic the Tiki-Taka movement of Pique back in the day, set your right center-backs attacking support to “Join The Attack”, interceptions to “Normal Interceptions”, and defensive position to “Stick To Position” As for the left CB, keep the attacking support to “Stay Back While Attacking”, interceptions to “Normal Interceptions”, and defensive position to “Stick To Position”.
As I mentioned above, under the Tiki-Taka, the full-backs were used for more than just defending the wings. They were used to run along the wing and help in attack, often being at the height of the attack while all the forwards and some of the midfield were free-roaming around the box looking for the next opportunity.
This tactic became so successful that many of the goals scored were in fact assisted by the full-backs and not the CMs as one could imagine. We’ve seen great goal combinations between full-backs and stickers like Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi as well as Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo.
To get a similar kind of support from your full-backs, you want to set their attacking runs to “Join The Attack, interceptions to “Normal Interceptions”, run type to “Overlap”, and defensive position to “Stick To Position”.
Though the keeper might not be seen as much of an asset to the typical team, in Tiki-Taka, the keeper plays a pretty crucial role. At Barca at least, Victor Valdes was very comfortable on his feet and distributing the play between the defenders and was often the one setting off the play for a counter-attack.
If you know how to play as a goalkeeper, you’d know the importance of being just as good with your feet as you’re with your hands.
To achieve this for your keeper, set the savings on crosses to “Balanced” and saving outside box to “Sweeper Keeper”.
It’s fair to say that Tiki-Taka completely transformed Barcelona and made it the team that it once was. With fast and effective passing, great positioning, and a starting XI like no other, Barca built something special.
The great thing about the Tiki-Taka is that it wasn’t working just for Barca. Many teams after them start to adopt the style and were successful. That means that you can do the very same thing too for your FIFA 22 team – be it in seasons playing with Barcelona or your Ultimate Team.
So use the Tiki Taka FIFA 22 tactics from above and go out and dominate like never before.