FIFA101: “It may punish you for having a lot of possession”

Brazilian FIFA pro Pedro ‘Resende’ Henrique Soares is fresh off becoming Xbox CONMEBOL eLibertadores champion.

Representing Inter eSports, Resende claimed a 5-3 win in the final to earn the title of South American FIFA champion.

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RealSport caught up with the Brazilian champion as he shared his top tips on competing in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team.

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FUT 21 Stars

We all have our favourite players to use in the game, and Resende is no different.

“One of my favourite players is ‘Ronaldo o Fenomeno’ (Brazilian Ronaldo) due to his finishing abilities and agility,” said Resende.

“He is very important in my team, even though sometimes I do not use him, but he is one of the most important players for me.”

ronaldo fifa 21 ultimate team
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O FENOMENO - Ronaldo is one of the great strikers ever

However, Resende is not solely reliant on Ronaldo and he is far from a one-man team.

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“It is not only ONE player that is a “must-have” on my team,” said Resende.

“I think that the players that are in your midfield must be in a high level of quality, like Patrick Vieira, and in front, I believe that you must have players on a higher level than the rest, like the Brazilian Ronaldo, so I think that those two are very important for me.”

Perfect Set-Up

We often see the same formation cropping up among the FIFA pros, with the 4-4-2 a popular choice.

“Lately, the formation that I have been using is 4-4-2 with 2 attackers and a midfield with complete players and a good defence that also knows how to attack, with good passing and shooting,” said Resende.

“4-4-2 delivers good quality all around and fits my style of play. That is why I have been able to win several games with that formation.”

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STAR-STUDDED - There are some quality players in Resende's winning XI

It is important to be able to adjust though, and Resende says he reverts to five at the back if his opponent begins to get the better of him.

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“When an opponent is able to dominate me in a game, I do change my formation and my style of play,” said Resende.

“If I have more possession I try to be more aggressive, but I tend to change my formation to 5-3-2, with the full backs free to reach the attack, so that is my favourite formation if the opponent has an advantage over me.”

Keep the Ball

Unlike a lot of players you will face on Ultimate Team this year, Resende focuses on retaining possession rather than fast-paced counter-attacks.

“My style of play is with possession of the ball,” he said.

“I like to think a lot about the plays that I’m going to do. I don’t like to attack without a plan.

“I like to be calm, think, and elaborate a play that could be as dangerous as possible, instead of relying on luck. I would rather be a bit more calm and wary creating a play.”

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LINK UP - Resende represents Inter eSports who are affiliated with Inter Milan

It is not always easy though to dominate whilst trying to play a possession-based style.

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“FIFA 21 is a bit complicated because it changed completely in the last 2 years, because it may punish you for having a lot of possession,” Resende explained.

“With the latest updates, that changed a bit, but we still feel that, so this FIFA is very attacking, you have to take more chances and more risk instead of managing the ball.

“That hurt me a bit in the beginning because my style of play is around thinking about creating some play.”

Samba Skills

When it comes to skill moves, Resende likes to keep things simple and focus on just two tricks he thinks are most effective.

“I try to use two skill moves during my games,” he said.

“My favourites at the moment, are the Elastico where you move the right analogic 160º or simply putting the ball a bit ahead of the player, using L1 and L2 and the analogic into the direction you want to go.

Just a touch on the analogic in the right direction should be enough.

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FIVE-STAR SKILLS - These Brazilians were recently released on FUT 21

Those are the two skill moves that I use the most and, to me, are very effective when you are closer to the opposition box.”

If you understand what you don’t like to face, it will likely be the same for your opponent too.

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“I don’t believe there is any skill move that I hate to defend. Obviously, there are some that are more OP than others, but we have to be ready for that situation,” said Resende.

“Those two that I mentioned are the ones more used at the moment in the new game Meta, so you need to be ready to defend them.”

Improve Your Performance

One of the key aspects to understand how to improve your game is to acknowledge your weaknesses.

“My biggest weakness is when I can’t create a lot while attacking,” begins Resende.

“Sometimes, if I am not very prepared for the game, there are some games that I may have some opportunities with dribbling, but I can’t do it in that moment, so I would say that when that happens, that is my weakness.

I believe that in my game, there is not a specific weakness, defending or attacking, but when I get nervous, what I want to do does not come out as well.

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It may be from me being nervous or my opponent being able to defend very well.”

Resende’s understanding of nerves allows him to control them so it does not impact his game in a negative way.

“I think there is always going to be some pressure, and nerves, that is normal,” he said.

“I try to remain calm before the games, finals, during tournaments.

For me, the pressure is something normal, I used to feel it more before the games, but while the game is in progress, I tend to adapt myself calmly.

To play against a strong opponent, I study his style of play, how does he tend to attack, to try to come up with a plan to give me an advantage over him.”