Since I was a kid I have always loved playing football however it was not until I went to University that I was introduced to futsal.
At UEL, futsal quickly became my main sport because of the fast pace, technicality and tactical side of the game.
I recently joined Sussex Futsal Club who play in the second tier of English futsal. I hope to break into the squad this season and help them get promoted into the Super League.
Importance of Futsal
Futsal is much like 5-a-side football, but played indoors with a smaller and heavier ball. There are many skills that you can learn from playing futsal which can be translated onto the football pitch. It improves your close control, technical skills and tactical side to the game. I believe that playing futsal from a younger age would have helped me and other English players develop into better football players.
In my personal experience playing futsal has definitely improved my overall football game. When you play on an 11-a-side pitch you instantly realise how much space you have to move and pass compared to the small futsal court. The heavy ball also helps you to improve your close ball control.
Many world class footballers such as Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Xavi, Cristiano Ronaldo and the greatest ever, Pele all started off playing futsal. They all believe that it made them the players that they are.
Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed the value Futsal has had on his development as a player. In an interview with FIFA he said, “During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was Futsal. The small playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever I played Futsal I felt free. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”
Futsal in England
Former England player and current Sussex player-coach Jimmy Elford told Rising East, “I believe the sport is progressing in this country but in order to accelerate I think there needs to be a TV deal to attract funding to the National League and to the clubs themselves.”
I believe that futsal would be very beneficial to the English game just like it has been in countries in South America and parts of Europe. I hope that futsal continues to grow in this country with more kids taking up the sport.