What Is Futsal and Is It Worth It?
In Brazil, Futsal (Futebol de Salao) was always very popular. Since in Brazil you see pick-up games all over the place (pavement, dirt, grass, turf, beach etc), it was more than natural that awesome players who came from Futsal would move on to the pitch, but this transition isn't always that easy.
One of the most famous players in Brazil that came from Futsal was Rivelino. Rivelino is the player who took the fantastic "Elastic" dribble to a whole new level of effectiveness. Somehow players who came from Futsal and became top players on the field had a little "something" of a special spice incorporated to their soccer technique.
Note: Rivelino is considered the creator of the "Elastic" dribble but as he said: "I learned this dribble from Sergio Ashiga", I only perfected it.
Roberto Rivelino is one of the most impressive players Brazil ever had, his left kick was incredible. He kicked with both feet and had a tremendous accuracy on his kicks. Watch this video and see for yourself what a incredible player he was.
He scored from a free kick during the 1974 World Cup an amazing goal. He asked his teammate to stand in the middle of the wall and move out of the way right before his kick. How many players in the world today can strike a soccer ball that hard and put it right there where he wants it. (first video below at 3:10mins).
THE FOOTBALL LEGEND RIVELINO
FREE STYLE vs. EFFECTIVENESS
We see many great soccer free style today and amazing ball control almost like a "Cirque du Soleil" act. But to take these tricks and apply against professional level opponents is a totally different story. However, one player proved to the world that it is possible:
The most impressive thing about Falcao is that he is able to use his amazing free style soccer skills and use it against professional players during international games, which features the top Futsal players in the world. Nothing seems to stop him. Falcao once scored a goal from his defensive line on a bicycle kick in an official pro level game.
This guy is truly a gifted player.
What about this one?
FALCAO VS MANCHESTER CITY SKILLS
FALCAO VS RONALDINHO (CHALLENGE)
This video shows the amazing Ronaldinho putting the ball in the net shooting it from behind the goal. Falcao is a huge fan of Ronaldinho, so he did the same but in his own way. In the end of the video, he takes Ronaldinho's accomplishment and takes it to the next level on a challenge to Ronaldinho to do the same.
YOUTH FUTSAL DEVELOPMENT: AMAZING SKILLS BY FALCAO AND ROBINHO
FUTSAL VS FIELD
So should we get young players to play Futsal before they play on the field? For sure, it would not hurt their skills. But...
The thing is: in club there are usually two practices a week. Games on Saturday and sometimes on Sunday, too. If you pull players out of the field to play one day of Futsal and allow them only one day on the field, this might not be so good after all.
If you can add a third day of practice on the week, that might be great, because then you would not be taking players away from the field. You are only adding one extra day for something new.
The other issue is: can you as a coach show the players the Futsal shortcuts? Or are you only getting them to play on a smaller space? If so, wouldn't short sided activities on the field have the same effect?
But if you come from a Futsal background and know what you are doing and also are able to teach the different technical approaches to your players, I think your team could really benefit from it. Another issue: with school assignments during the week, a third day of practice might not be doable for most players. This is one thing that you have to think about. Is it worth it?
Would pulling the players out of the field one day would really hurt them? I would say not hurt them technically, but I would not recommend it! Young players go through a lot of changes when moving let's say from U8 towards U10, from 7v7 to 8v8 to 9v9, all the way up to 11v11, which is a major change for them!
These players need to be on the field getting the most playing time they can possibly get. Even though Futsal is a great technical thing if you are coach, a field team allows them time to understand how to read the game, which is somewhat of a long process to young players.
Being extra careful with Futsal vs Field Soccer also has a reason:
How many top Futsal players were able to move successfully to the Field? Unfortunately not many.Two of the best players of all-time failed: Manoel Tobias and also the phenomenal Falcao.
Just something to think about.