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Football glossary: Gegenpress


The German word gegenpress is often used in English when talking about football. It means to counter press, which is to immediately try to get the ball back after losing possession, but also trying to pressure the opponents into making a mistake in their half. If the opponent is forced into a bad pass or giving away possession in dangerous areas, you can launch a counter attack.

It is often associated with German coach, Jurgen Klopp who said: Gegenpressing lets you win back the ball nearer to the goal. It’s only one pass away from a really good opportunity. No playmaker in the world can be as good as a good gegenpressing situation, and that’s why it’s so important.’ (, April 2020)

    • Example: ‘Atletico did not mind playing keepaway from Liverpool, who are known for their suffocating gegenpress style of play, which puts emphasis on pressing the opposition immediately after losing possession of the ball.’ (The Spire, February 2020)

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