Futsal: Individual skills or tactical game

Futsal is almost a centennial sport, it was created in Uruguay in 1930. During all these years, the game was transformed in so many ways, that we lost track. Now a days, the game of futsal is faster than ever before, but maybe because of that, the game lost his essense.

Going back 20, 30 or maybe 40 years, a excellent futsal player was the most skilled one. Dribbling and doing fantastic tricks with the ball were the main caractheristics. But is futsal only that or the game has so much more to present?

Several clubs in Brazil uses futsal as a developing tool for building better youth football players. We can give inumerous exemples of world class football players, who played futsal in their younger ages. But futsal also have the ability to teach tactical elements, crucial for every player, in the grass or in the court.

With 5 players a side, and a small court to play, the futsal player has to have a fundamental skill, in order to be able to suceed in the game:Think fast!

Every action that takes place in a futsal court, will happen faster than in a football field. So the futsal player has to deal with several game situations, that requires a correct, fast and skilled answer. If the same player participates in a football match, 11v11 on a 100 meters grass field, he will deal with the same situations, but the time of the response will be slower, making a lot easier for this player.

If you consider futsal a development tool, that can improve a football player with technical and tactical aspects, this tool has to be the center piece of any youth football program. Working with 7,8, 9 years old kids, teaching them futsal and football, you will build a better player, who, in the near future, will be able to play both sports, with excellence.

Going back to the tactical part of the game, futsal gives opportunities for the players to develop tactical aspects such as cover lines, passing lanes, space occupation, game intelligence and set plays, crucial for a good futsal game and fundamental for a high quality football game , making a big difference during the match.

One major point in the discussion, is that some football coaches are adapting training drills and exercises, using less space, looking a lot like futsal. But that´s what the coach will get, similar, at most. Different floor, ball and the rules of the game, makes futsal impossible to be recreated in the grass. You can have 5v5, 7v7 in the pitch, but these are smaller football games, will never give what futsal delivers, which is speed of play.

The importance of futsal goes beyond the individual technique, playing in the court will help to create a better tactical player on the grass. Johan Cryuff, an awesome player and a fantastic football coach, has a great phase: “Coaches are wasting a lot of time to improve the muscles, the fitness of a player, but football is played with intelligence.”







Rodrigo Nunes
Sócio Fundador do Instituto Pensando Esporte

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