No Hiding Place

June 17, 2021

"Futsal will always be what I enjoy most. All players should learn to play soccer by playing futsal"

Cristiano Ronaldo

If you haven't already watched it, it is well worth taking the time to watch Cristiano Ronaldo: Impossible to Ignore on BBC iPlayer. The Programme tells the story of Ronaldo's life and career and shows the futsal court that he practiced and played on as a kid. Like many of the top players in world football, the futsal court was their playground and where they developed as players and grew to love the game.

Despite a history of players coming from a futsal background, there's still a feeling in the UK and Scotland in particular that 5 a sides and futsal in particular cannot help players in their 11 a side football. When you consider that Kevin De Bruyne, Ronaldo, Messi, Ederson and many more world class players came from futsal and that most of the French team grew up playing cage football the stats would show differently. But what makes futsal special?

For me the biggest factor is that on a futsal court there is no hiding place. On or off the ball, in or out of possession EVERY player is involved in the game.

The ball, the hard court surface, the court dimensions and the laws of the game create a fast and exciting game that challenges the players technically, physically, tactically and mentally.

If you have read any of our previous blogs you will have read about the importance of speed in modern day football and futsal challenges and improves all aspects of speed.

Physical Speed - Futsal is end to end and with the rotation of players all over the court and constant attack/defence transitions it helps develop players physical speed, importantly over a short distance and their anaerobic fitness.

Technical Speed - In futsal studies show that you will touch the ball 600% more than in 11 a side football. With limited space and constant opponent pressure, players rapidly improve their ball control skills and technique.

Mental Speed - With only 5 players involved futsal ensures that every player involved is involved in the game and that automatically challenges players mentally. Players adapt to the speed of the game and learn to play and think faster than they would on a football pitch. Futsal creates more 1v1 situations, overloads and underloads and enhances players games awareness, tactical understanding and decision making skills. With the rotation of players and an emphasis on attacking and defending as a team futsal takes players out their comfort zone.

In 7, 9 or 11 a side grassroots football you can get away with passengers in your team but in futsal there is no hiding place. If 1 player in your team isn't working hard that is 25% of your outfield players and the other 75% are trying to cover for that player. Against good players and a good team, they will identify that weakness and capitalise on it. If you have 2 players not working hard, unless your opponent is the same, you have no chance.

At our coaching sessions and within our teams we promote that irrespective of their level of ability, hard work and good attitude is non negotiable and although it doesn't work with every child, those that are doing so are reaping the rewards. We encourage players to be brave, to demand the ball and play with freedom. An environment where you are not afraid to make mistakes but also learn from them. An atmosphere that is not win at all costs and player development is a priority.

If you are willing to work hard at your game and want to improve...why not try futsal and Futsal Escocia?

Check out our session availability at venues across Fife here:

"In futsal you see whether a player is really talented. You notice the small details in quality, class and tactical understanding".

Xavi (ex FC Barcelona and Spain)