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FIFA study of World Cup teams' tactics says counterattacks in fashion

A FIFA study of tactics and technical trends at the World Cup says risk-taking and counterattacks are in fashion.

Teams now "play positively and do everything to win a game rather than merely 'not lose'," FIFA's panel of coaching experts working in Brazil reported Friday.

The best teams were rewarded for being "not afraid of losing their shape for brief moments," the 284-page document noted.

The most effective strategy was "outstanding fast transitions and counterattacking tactics."

Other successful trends included playing with at least two strikers, three central defenders and only one defensive midfielder.

Teams are rarely criticized, though Brazil is not spared after being outplayed by Germany and the Netherlands.

The report notes "an incomprehensibly poor performance against Germany" and "coordination problems obvious in defense."