WHAT IS FUTSAL?
Find out more about this exciting format of the game
Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided football game that is widely played across the world and is officially recognised by both UEFA and FIFA.
The nature of the game places a large emphasis on technical skill and ability in situations of high pressure, and is subsequently an excellent breeding ground for football competencies that can be translated into the 11-a-side format of the game.
“Futsal is an extremely important way for kids to develop their skills and understanding of the game.”
– Ronaldinho – FIFA World Footballer of the Year 2004 and 2005
Many of the top world class footballers played Futsal in their youth and credit it with supporting their footballing development; players of the calibre of Pele, Zico, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Lionel Messi to name but a few of the South American legends all played and enjoyed Futsal.
“Futsal was important in helping to develop my ball control, quick thinking, passing….also for dribbling, balance, concentration…. Futsal was very, very important, no doubt.”
– Pele – FIFA World Cup Winner: 1958, 1962 & 1970
But Futsal has not just helped produce South American football stars. On the European stage Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco, Xavi and Cesc Fabregas, amongst many others, have played Futsal to develop their skills.
“Perhaps in regular football you cannot appreciate the talent. Everything is more physical. But in Futsal you have small details of quality, class and tactical aspects.”
– Xavi – FIFA World Cup Winner: 2010 and UEFA Champions League Winner
Futsal is a five-a-side game, normally played on a flat indoor pitch with hockey sized goals and a size four ball with a reduced bounce. It is played to touchlines and all players are free to enter the penalty area and play the ball over head-height. Games are 20 minutes per half, played to a stopping clock (similar to basketball) with time-outs permitted.
There are a number of differences to our traditional version of small sided football, but the dominant elements are the absence of rebound boards and amendments in the laws that encourage and foster skilful, creative play above the physical contact that tends to be a feature of English five-a-side.
The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces
“Futsal….it makes you more composed on the ball and makes you want the ball more, so you can do something with it.”
– Micah Richards – England International
Futsal exists as a sport in it’s own right in many countries around the world with England developing slowly. Countries such as Spain & Portugal offer futsal as a specific pathway that players actively choose over football. Futsal is said to be the most participated game in Brazil and having originated in that part of the world in the 1930s (Uruguay), it plays a huge part in their lifestyle.
When taking into account the Technical & Tactical characteristics needed for the game of futsal, it fits perfectly with the development of children and being an indoor sport means that we can make the most of the English climate!