FIFA 09-Defending Controls

Defending Controls

Your best offence is a great defence! Since the only way to win is to prevent more goals from going in your own net than your opponent’s, a great defensive understanding is crucial. Discipline is the key to great defence; don’t panic and use common sense. Knowing your attackers and their tendencies is very helpful in planning your defence.

The defending controls work a lot like the sport in real life, so get to know when to “jockey” and not “stab in” and you will find your keeper getting a lot of “clean sheets.” Once possession is lost, all team members are now defenders, starting with the forwards to do their best to prevent the ball even getting into their own half. The first line of defence are not the stoppers; they are the forwards and midfielders. Listed in this section are nine types of basic defending controls as well as how to best use them.


The jockey is a technique of “containment” rather than actually taking the ball back. This works well when the attacker is especially good with his feet. Usually, the jockey is used to allow you to size up your opponent’s skill and allow reinforcements to arrive if need be. This can be done running right next to the attacker, corralling him where you want him to go or running backwards (or back pedaling) with the attacker coming right at you. Like in other aspects of this game, timing is everything. You cannot wait too long to step in or your opponent might get a look at goal or shake you loose; likewise, you cannot go in too early or he will leave you in the dust. A good tip is to watch the ball and see if it gets slightly ahead of your opponent and go in then. You will get a good feel for this the more you play.

Running Jockey

Much like the jockey, only performed at high speeds. Rather than just sizing him up, this technique allows you to stay on the attacker and contain him at a full sprint if need be. This can be very effective to slow down a quick counter attack and give your team time to get back into position.

Switch Players

This is a very basic part of the game but really makes you successful if you learn when to switch to the right player. It is usually helpful to leave the “automatic switching” in the game set up just a couple notches, since it really assists you in taking control of the right player at the right time. It is also useful if you like to play a very quick possession game. It does some of the thinking for you and allows you to focus on other tasks at hand.

Switch Players Manual

Unlike the simple “switch players” function above, this tool allows you to press the right stick in the direction of the player you want to take over. The best time to use it is when you see a player on a run that is unmarked. For example, you are covering out on the wing when you see a striker move into the box and look for a cross. My performing a manual switch, you can take control of a defender in the box and move in better position to defend the cross.


A press is a very aggressive attempt at getting the ball back ASAP. Usually done in very close proximity, it involves your players using every tool at their disposal to dispossess the opponent. Your player will only perform a standing tackle with the press, not a sliding tackle. The goal is to restrict the opponent from any further threat to your half of the field and try to regain possession for your team.

Because it is so aggressive, failure can result in your player getting beaten if you make a mistake or are up against a stronger jostling player. FIFA 09 is very specific in using the player’s strength and balnce ratings to determine who would comes out on the winning end of the battle. If you commit to a hard challenge and come away without the ball, the opposing team suddenly has the advantage in the attack. Because of this it is best that the hard press is performed with your midfield if at all possible so the next layer (the defenders) can be used as a back up. Remember to use layers of players when defending. If the opponent gets by one of your guys, quickly survey the next closest man and start again!

Jockey Press

This move will allow you to contain your opponent and then quickly transition into a tackle. Release the LT/L2 button to initiate the challenge. This tool is a great diversion to prevent your opponent from getting the ball into an even more threatening position. Be careful, because as we all know, the referee can lose his mind at any minute and call you for too strong a challenge if you end up tackling the opponent.

Teammate Press

Very simply, “Secondary Pressing” will call a nearby teammate in assist your player in dispossessing an attacker. Now two players work in tandem to box in the attacker by both watching him and performing standing tackles to really get his attention. Usually this is done on a player who is a serious threat for creating opportunities for his team, so watch the game and look for your opponent’s playmaker. When you are able to pick him out, use the teammate press to help shut him down.

Slide Tackle

A very dynamic aspect to defending that can either send you to the showers early or put you on a highlight reel. The two keys you need to remember with slide tackles are to make sure you do not attempt it from behind and make sure you touch the ball as much as possible. If you get the player and the ball, you will more than likely get a yellow card. If you miss the ball and just get the player, we hope you enjoyed your game, because your day is done!

Try to watch the player you are coming in to attack and time it so the ball is out in front of him on a sprint as much as possible. Try to avoid a slide tackle on a player in a jog or moving slowly, as it will be seen as aggressive by the referee and can very quickly get you a card. However, when performed correctly and cleanly, it can win you the ball, stop the attacker, and just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside as you see your player sprints away in possession.


This one pretty much speaks for itself. Sometimes you just have to hit the panic button and get the ball out of any immediate danger, no matter what. A good tip for this is to glance at your radar right before you clear the ball and see if there happens to be a teammate further up field that you might be able to target, rather than just potentially giving the ball away. If time is of the essence, then just knock it into next week and regroup! If you have a lot of players out of position, then a good solution sometimes is to clear the ball out of bounds and let the game reset your players for a throw in.

Author: Nick2930

I am a 33 year old librarian, part time writer, all time gamer, and what my cousin refers to as an intellectual badasss. Normally I wouldn't brag, but I like that so much I feel compelled to.