Much like going to a McDonalds in Paris, it’s the little differences that make the game of futsal unique, and a lot harder than the 5-a-side football we all know and love (certainly in the UK anyway). The main difference is the ball, which is much heavier than a standard football, making it significantly more difficult to run past players, or blast the ball from distance. The aim therefore is to use quick incisive passing, and close control to overcome your opponents.
The Portuguese and Spanish-speaking nations adore futsal and, considering many of Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and Spain’s young kids play it on a regular basis, it is easy to see why the likes of Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Robinho are a class apart. If Sir Trevor Brooking wants a good way of forcing English youngsters to develop similar technique, in an enjoyable and competitive environment, this game is the answer… if he can get them away from their Playstations that is.
Anyway, on to Falcao. Ok, I’ll admit it right now, I’d never heard of this guy before last week. ‘You heard of this dude Falcao?’ asked a colleague at work. I hadn’t, so I was summoned to view a clip on YouTube of this 31 year old Brazilian who’s never pulled up any trees in the 11-a-side game, but is dubbed ‘the best futsal player in the world’.
Flying scissor kicks, mazy dribbles, and pieces of skill almost as mind-boggling as the appeal of Hollyoaks, if you looked up ‘box of tricks’ in the English dictionary, Falcao’s picture would be plasted right next to the description (ok, maybe not, but it should be).
I’m not going to go on and on, just watch the clip below. Look out for the cheeky finish on 0:30 secs, the shoulder control on 0:50, and the outrageous flick he uses to round the goalkeeper and score (1 minute into the video).
Falcao, king of futsal, we salute you.