What is Park the Bus in Soccer (Fully Explained)

Welcome to Sportschunk, we have brought you an article on “Park the bus in soccer”. In this article, we will discuss this phrase which is widely gaining popularity.

The Objective of football is to score more goals in the opponent’s net.

But to make that you have to make some strategies. Some teams are good at attacks and some are good at defense.

But the most important aspect of any team is their ‘defense’.

Parking the bus” in soccer is used for primarily playing soccer defensively. Even there is a movie made on this where they portrayed park the bus in ted lasso .But what actually it means let’s find out.

Meaning of Park the bus

Meaning of Park the bus

The term Park the bus in soccer is used when the players switch from attack to defense and when the ball is out of possession.

This tactic supports minimal attack so that the opponent can’t with the ball easily and score.

This tactic is a huge obstacle for opponents as they have no room for error, and chances of shooting from long range is difficult.

It also increases the chances for mistakes as they didn’t have room for scoring goals.

Park the bus by Jose Mourinho

Credit- Youtube

Park the bus in soccer is introduced by Jose Mourinho when he first lead Chelsea between 2004-2007.

It is a phrase related to Jose Mourinho, he first used this tactic against Tottenham followed by a 0-0 draw against north London in 2004.

Mourinho explained ‘Park the bus’ by as we say in Portugal, they brought the bus in front of the goal.

Jose Mourinho takes his team back to back premier league titles, two League Cups, and one FA Cup.

The Mourinho strategy was most successful in 2004- 2005 as they broke records for maximum clean sheets in a single season and won the title with only one defeat.

Park the bus formation

Park the bus formation

When a team is using the “park the bus” tactic in soccer, it is usually 4-5-1 in defense.

This means that there will be 2 rows, and at least 4 players that will stay on defense. So in a row of 4 players in defense, there will be 2 wingbacks and one defensive midfielder.

Two midfielders are in center and should be brought for helping them to fall back and so that the defensive wall becomes thicker only one attacker should be forward.

There is also another formation of parking the bus that is 6-4 formation. It is applied when the opponent’s teams are chasing toward defense.

In this formation wingers fall back closer to defenders, while the lone striker moves to become a midfielder.

What is Park the bus in Spanish ?

As we know that popularity of soccer in Spain is quite high, so there is also an question of what is this term known in Spanish language ?

So when we have to say park the bus in Spanish we say “aparcar el autobus”.

Which teams have used park the bus in the game?

Credit- Youtube

Mourinho said that the first time park the bus in soccer was used was at Saantini’s

Spur team in 2004. But parking the bus was mostly claimed by Chelsea FC as their coach was Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho also used this tactic with Italian giants Inter Milan in 2009-10. After winning against Barcelona in the semifinals of the champions league he used the phrase as a metaphor and said he “parked the plane” to beat Barcelona.

He said “we won against Barcelona but everyone was saying that we parked the bus instead we parked the plane in front of the goal“.

There were many other coaches who followed park the bus.

Juventus and AC Milan are strong defensive sides, while Athletico Madrid is known for “parking the bus”.

Sean Dyche’s Burney is also famous for using park the bus tactics against opponents.

What is Park the bus ted lasso ?

Credit- Youtube

There is a sports web series known as ted lasso in which characters of Tommy Winchester and Paul Reynold are used to showcase park the bus defensive strategy. Park the bus strategy is brilliantly shown in ted lasso movie.


This strategy has faced immense criticism for overly but in the end, it is for the teams and coaches to use this strategy. However, it is clear that this strategy will be continued in the modern era. Now, these upcoming movies like ted lasso shows the brilliance of this park the bus strategy.

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When did Mourinho say park the bus?

Mourinho said this in 2004.

Who invented park the bus in football?

Jose Mourinho has invented park the bus.

Why is it called park the bus?

Park the bus means to play very defensive and to offer no attacking play.

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