1. Contain the attacker.
As in real life soccer, a good defender is someone who sits back and waits for the right moment to confront the attacker. If the attacker has the ball directly at his feet, it's a good idea for you to give him space, because he'll be able to quickly push the ball in any direction. Wait until there is a gap between the ball and his foot. This should give you enough time to push forward and intercept his ball.
2. Know when what type of tackle to use.
This is especially important for winning teams. There are two types of tackle; hard and weak. Only use hard tackle as a last ditch effort to prevent a goal. This is because if you slide for a tackle and get beat, by the time your player gets up, the attacker will be way out of reach for that defender and you'll have to call in extra help. Use soft tackle for most of your challenges. This will give you more of a chance to miss the tackle and still recover without having the attacker blow by you. Also, when holding down the soft tackle button, you can use the right thumb stick to jostle the attacker off of the ball. Soft tackle isn't a sure way of getting the ball away, as sometimes the attacker can get past you, but it’s your best option 98% of the time.
3. Force the attacker to get rid of the ball.
The most frustrating thing to happen to you as an attacker is to be forced to get rid of the ball before you'd like. Frustrating an opponent (especially useful for online play) is critical in FIFA ‘06. To do this, try to cut off your opponent’s passing lanes, while being close enough to prevent him from running past you. Since most of the passes in FIFA are short balls, this is quite do-able. This way, he'll have to get rid of the ball and if you have the passing lane closed, he'll put the ball directly at your defender’s feet. Another way to shut down the pass is by having your defender mark the nearest passing target, then holding down the 'L Trigger' will cause your next available defender to put pressure on the attacking player. This is great against human opponents because they will most likely have their eye on your player, while the AI defender sneaks in and forces a turnover. Force an early shot if at all possible. Any time you make the opponent have to adjust the better chance you have at getting the ball back.
1. Maintain ball possession.
It is our first instinct, in any sports game, to try to push the ball down the field as fast as possible and start blasting at the goal. This used to work for previous versions of FIFA, but in ‘06 holding the ball and working down the field slowly is the best method to dominate the game. Use your space wisely and think before each pass or dribble. Use the 'White' button to square up on the ball and set the midfield. The defender will give you some room and if not, make him pay by quickly pushing the ball around him after releasing 'White'.
2. Short passes.
Make short and calculated passes ('A' button) to the rest of your players. Try not to do through balls ('Y' button) while in the midfield, unless you are really sure that the receiving player is open with space in front of him. Call your players to make runs into open space by pulling the 'L' trigger. When he is open, press 'A' for a short pass and repeat. This is a good way to get the ball up the field without making any mistakes. Using short passes minimizes the chance of your players (even Zidane) making passing errors and unnecessarily giving the ball up.
3. Pass back and use the wings.
When nothing is opening up in front of you, don't try to force a pass. Do not be afraid to pass the ball to your back defenders or even your keeper. This will reset your midfield and will spread out your opponent’s midfield. It will give you another chance to work your way back up the field. A lot of times, one of your midfield teammates will be open on the opposite side of the field. In the default camera view, you will most likely not be able to see him on screen. Every now and then, glance at the radar on bottom middle of the main screen. If you see someone open, hold down 'X' longer than normal and find the open man. This will cause the opponent to shift his entire defense to that side, when meanwhile you are sprinting down the pitch. This is very effective when done correctly. I love using this online because there is no way to defend this.
1. Shoot the ball!
When I first started playing FIFA ‘06, the initial crucial mistake that I made was waiting for the perfect shot opportunity. I would only shoot the ball when I was in a good goal scoring position, but quickly realized that those are far a few between. Defenses are a lot harder to crack in ’06 than in previous versions so you mustn’t wait to shoot the ball. If you are in reach of the goal and are about to be tackled, but don't have a goal scoring position, JUST SHOOT! If you put enough power on it, the goalie will have trouble holding it which makes a chance for a rebound goal very likely. This is the preferred way to score when you're playing with a team who doesn't have high class strikers. If you can have the ball rebound off of the keeper and into the box, one of your players can be there to tap it in for an easy goal.
2. Aim for the corners.
You will hardly ever beat the keeper by kicking it down the middle. This is another beginner mistake. Not only will you always get blocked by the keeper, but you won't get a quality rebound off of him either. Get used to shooting on an angle. To start getting good at this technique exaggerate the angle and aim extremely wide. Sure you'll miss the goal a bunch at first, but once you get the feel of how to aim the stick, you'll be slotting it home with efficient grace. Also the better the striker the more likely you'll be able to find the side of the net. Quality strikers like Robinho and Shevchenko will naturally put the appropriate spin on the ball to get it by the keeper.
3. Play the wings.
It's natural for a player to attack the goal straight on. Also, it's natural for the defender to want to defend the middle of the field. Use that to your advantage by pushing the ball to the players on the wings of the field. This space is usually open, and when it is, you can run for a long time. When getting to the opponents outside box, hold the 'X' button down for a medium amount of time and he will chip the ball into the box, where hopefully your central striker and midfielders are waiting to head the ball in. This is effective while playing online because it doesn't require a lot of possession to get your winger down the field. If you're getting dominated in possession by your opponent, try this the next time you get the ball and get a quick shocker for a goal!
1. Get used to holding down 'R' trigger (sprint). I am almost always sprinting while playing. Only when setting up a play in the midfield am I not.
2. If a player is open but there isn't an open lane on the ground to get the ball to him, hold down 'L' trigger while pushing 'Y' which will chip a through ball ahead of him into space.
3. When your attackers are slightly behind the last defender, pull the 'L' trigger to have him make a run and press 'Y' to put a through ball to his feet. This is a great way to get past the defense.
4. Never use 'Y' on defense to bring the keeper out. As soon as you tap 'Y' the AI on your keeper becomes terrible and he'll screw up any shot or cross put in his direction.
Follow these tips and you'll be well on your way to being the next Ronaldinho... well, at least in the world of video games!