david De Gea
His world-famous fast reactions and feet-first approach are archetypal traits of a futsal goalkeeper. With more shot-stopping opportunities from a shorter range, the skillset required in futsal is hugely beneficial for football goalkeepers.
Whisper it, he might not be quite as good as the rest of the players in this team, but he’s one of our own. Max Kilman has had a brilliant season for Wolves in the Premier League, but he started his career in Futsal. After impressing for the England national team, he quickly made the move to professional football.
A huge part of his early development and his return from a horrid spell with tuberculosis in Russia. After contracting the disease in 2005, his return from injury involved futsal to slowly bring him back to full fitness and the football field.
Like many of Brazil’s international legends, Dani Alves developed his brilliant footballing ability on the futsal court. He’s even gotten involved in some of FC Barcelona Futsal’s friendly games.
Similarly to Dani Alves, Roberto Carlos has never forgotten his futsal routes and shifted back to futsal in Japan after he ended his footballing career. He scored a few stunners too.
“At the beginning, I was more interested in playing futsal than football.”
It wasn’t just the Brazilians that grew up with futsal. The brilliant Belgian, Axel Witsel, said “I grew up playing futsal more than football”. A perfect example of a player that balances his strong stature with outstanding technical abilities, which he believes were developed on the futsal court.
Futsal is major part of FC Barcelona’s culture and Xavi is a perfect example of how it can develop exceptional tactical awareness. In his words:
“Perhaps in regular football you cannot appreciate the talent. Everything is more physical. But in futsal you have small details of quality, class and tactical aspects.”
The iconic futsal to football player. Iniesta sees them as two separate sports, but is a huge advocate of futsal as a development tool for football. In his words, it’s the best way to learn “mastering the ball, combining and making quick decisions”
“I love futsal. I personally enjoy it a lot. As a professional footballer, perhaps the tactical elements and movement in the game gets lost on you. But what I love is their skill with the ball, the intensity of the moves“
Arguably the best football player of all time is the iconic product of futsal, above all with his phenomenal close control and ability to wriggle out of tight spaces.
Also arguably the best football player of all time, similarly grew up playing on a court as well as a pitch, mastering the skills that have become synonymous with the Portugese legend.
“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.”
Another football superstar speaks in superlatives when talking about Futsal as a development tool for aspiring footballers.
“Futsal had a massive influence on me when I was growing up. It’s a very demanding game and it really helped to develop my technique, speed of thought, and ability to perform moves in tight spaces. I think futsal is a fundamental part of a footballer’s life.”