"In association football, the formation describes how the players in a team are positioned on the pitch. Different formations can be used depending on whether a team wishes to play more attacking or defensive football. ...
The 4–3–3 was a development of the 4–2–4, and was played by the Brazilian national team in the 1962 World Cup. The extra player in midfield allows a stronger defence, and the midfield could be staggered for different effects. The three midfielders normally play closely together to protect the defence, and move laterally across the field as a coordinated unit. The three forwards split across the field to spread the attack, and may be expected to mark the opposition full-backs as opposed to doubling back to assist their own full-backs, as do the wide midfielders in a 4–4–2. When used from the start of a game, this formation is widely regarded as encouraging expansive play, and should not be confused with the practice of modifying a 4–4–2 by bringing on an extra forward to replace a midfield player when behind in the latter stages of a game. This formation is suited for a short passing game and useful for ball retention.
A staggered 4–3–3 involving a defensive midfielder (usually numbered four or six) and two attacking midfielders (numbered eight and ten) was commonplace in Italy, Argentina, and Uruguay during the 1960s and 1970s. The Italian variety of 4–3–3 was simply a modification of WM, by converting one of the two wing-halves to a libero (sweeper), whereas the Argentine and Uruguayan formations were derived from 2–3–5 and retained the notional attacking centre-half. The national team which made this famous was the Dutch team of the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, even though the team won neither." [Formation (association football). Wikipedia]
The diagram example "Association football (soccer) formation 4-3-3" was created using the ConceptDraw PRO diagramming and vector drawing software extended with the Football solution from the Sport area of ConceptDraw Solution Park.