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Barca Ball retention “El Rondo”

Jul 14, 10 Barca Ball retention “El Rondo”

Rondos are usually set up in a grid of varying size, which can be anything from 8×8 to a half pitch depending on the skill level of the players or the aspect of play you want to work on. There are always players “in the middle” with the team in possession usually having numerical superiority either though given number of players or with the use of neutral players/jokers.

There are often thought of as only a technical practice because the main aim is to keep possession away from the defenders and the technical aspects of rondos are there for all to see, but we can also set up rondos to work on many tactical and positional aspects of play; albeit in a condensed setting. There are popular set ups for rondos because of the relevance to in game situations. The most popular are: 3v1, 4v2, 5v2 & 6v3 and 5v5+2.

Passing – The Barcelona Way?

Following Barcelona’s amazing performances, I have been receiving a number of emails and questions asking about the Barca way. Coaches searching the web for Barca’s training plans but to no avail and you will do very well to find a Barcelona training plan on the net. So if you want some, you’ll have to come to Carton House in February 2011 and get your hands on these very special documents.

A great Spanish and Barca Warm Up drill:
Ball retentionEl Rondo

Players play 3v1 in a tight space (10 by 10) depending on players ability. The player in the middle has the job of getting the ball off of the other players by intercepting it as they attempt to pass it to each other. This is a pressure game, so no tackling. When the one of the central players wins the ball, the player who made the pass must become the man in the middle. This is a fast paced game, and 1 or 2 ouches only and this will make sure one person doesn’t spend too much time in the middle chasing after ball. This can also be progressed to 4v2 in a larger area and again start with two touch and then move to one touch.

Here is a video of Barca using what is called the “Rondo” warming up for the CL Final.

Fantastic ball retention: Champions League Final 2011 – Warm-Up Rondo

Rondo Presentation

Here is a 40 page rondospresentation by Kieran Smith @Kieransmith1


I always like to hear your opinions and views. If you feel you have something to say, please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. As always, thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

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