A common football (soccer) formation typically used by teams known for their attacking football. The numbers stand for 4 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 3 attackers, which gives the team more players in the attacking area than in the 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 formation. Teams playing with the 4-3-3 formation are often entertaining to watch, as more chances are created in both sides of the field.

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.

In club football, the team that brought this formation to the forefront was the Ajax team of the early 1970s. Most teams using this formation now use the specialist defensive midfielder. FC Barcelona is the most famous recent example.
American: Hey, what formation is that soccer team playing? Is that 4-4-2?
European: No, it's clearly a 4-3-3, you can see they've got three strikers. And no, it's not soccer, it's football. As you can see, they use their feet to kick the ball. While your "football" players mainly use their hands.
American: So maybe we should call our game handball then?
European: Yes, that would be great. But it's already taken.
American: So what should we call it?
European: Maybe you should call it "some kind of rugby, but with massive protection"
by Howardinho July 29, 2010
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Part of the 1-2-3-4 Study Technique, repeating the 3-4-3 which is to beat off, take a nap, beat off again and go to class.
Dude,I'm gunna 3-4-3 then go to class.
Alright, have a good time man.
by Griff Geehan April 29, 2008
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Get the 3-4-3 neck gaiter and mug.