The fastest growing sport in the world

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Futsal is a great platform to improve a footballer’s technique and skill. The game requires a lot of short passing and movement off the ball, a requirement in modern day football. A good futsal player needs to be creative and a master of improvisation. Since the players are playing in reduced dimensions, skills such as close control and first touches are also developed. Apart from this, futsal is a much safer game to play, with fewer injuries as opposed to it’s elder brother.

Some of the eternal greats such as Pele, Ronaldo and Zico, grew up playing futsal on the streets. These days, football clubs and nations realize the need to incorporate futsal into their systems in order to produce technically astute players.

Futsal legend Falcao retiers at the age of 39.

He was named Best Futsal Player in the World a record four times and won the Golden Ball twice in the 2004 and 2008 World Cups.

Futsal: The fastest growing sport in the world

Many people say futsal is a young, exciting and intensive sport. The attribute young is may be not that correct as Futsal date back nearly 100 years, but for sure it is exciting and intensive and can be played all year around.

Futsal’s growth across the world has been enormous. Let’s have a look on a few countries:

  • Brazil declares that around 37 million people play Futsal regularly there, that is the population of Canada.
  • In Iran there are 16 million registered Futsal players, 16 from a population of 77.45 million!
  • then we have Japan with 3.5 million registered Futsal players and just over 40,000 registered referees.
  • 20% of the Spanish population play Futsal, that’s 9 million and
  • in Italy, there are 1.5 million registered Football players, yet there are 4.5 million registered Futsal players.
    If we add these numbers up, that is 69.5 million in only 5 from the 122 associations under FIFA’s umbrella who are developing the sport across the world.

The game got so so popular that the owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, has taken a principal ownership stake in the Professional Futsal League ans is betting on a boom for this sport.

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What are the benefits of playing Futsal?

Although Futsal is very much a game in its own right, there are also a number of benefits for the football world by encouraging young people to play Futsal as part of a balanced training program to improve their overall technical development. The game of Futsal creates an environment that allows young people to simulate and develop many skills and proficiency that are transferable to the 11-a-side game.

An individual playing Futsal receive the ball six times more often than they would do when they are playing 11-a-side football, what allows players to perform more individual techniques such as passes, controls, fakes, feints and dribbles. They have more ball contact and will often receive the ball under pressure from opponents what helps to develop their confidence in pressurized environments. Futsal as a game naturally brings players into regular 1-on-1 situations with their opponent, encouraging players into quick decision making; through beating the opponent with a skill or through clever passing to a team-mate. But most important Futsal teaches young players the importance of ball retention as the threat of an immediate counter-attack is constant present.

In football, confidence on the ball, receiving a pass under pressure, decision-making in 1-on-1 situations and ball retention are important fundamental skills and these skills are practiced regularly within a Futsal game.

The speed and fluidity of Futsal develops in players are deep understanding of the counter-attack phase and teams are often either defending an attack or launching one after breaking down their opponents. This is recognized in modern football as a vital component for young players to understand and apply. Due to the limited space on a Futsal court, the game intrinsically encourages movement and rotation from players as well as a sense of innovation and creativity to unlock defenses and to create some space for yourself or team-mates.

Futsal is by no means the magic cure for developing a more technically competent football player, but it can support and play an important role in improving the technical qualities of the future generation of 11-a-side players.

But Futsal is not just a great instrument to develop skill for later football players it is also considered as the perfect opportunity for retired professional football players. Just have see what Cirian Donaghy recently said at a press conference: “Developing Futsal in your community is a huge opportunity for retired players. Unfortunately, not every retired player can stay involved in Football but these players have a good understanding of what is demanded of a player, what is expected at the highest levels and their experience is vital for young ambitious players.

Furthermore, they understand the heart break, the mental strength needed and the passion. All this experience should not be wasted and if Football is not an option then Futsal definitely is.” “Futsal is an opportunity that should be considered by former players because their profile can help develop the game further. You have Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes playing in the Premier Futsal in India, if they developed Futsal as part of Salford City FC then their profile would do wonders for the sport, its awareness and development in the UK as would other retired players getting involved and promoting it.”

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Futsal is a great platform to improve a footballer’s technique and skill. The game requires a lot of short passing and movement off the ball, a requirement in modern day football.