It's a big mistake to call this futsal

Futsal for many is a new shining light in technical player development. This South American country invented it in the 1930's years before  the word futsal even existed. 


For years now there has seen massive growth in the game of futsal, especially in the UK.

A game promoting touch, speed and skill is alway going to excite people. The origins of the game hail back to South America, a continent that breeds more skilled players than any other.
Over there, it seems kids have a ball and play in the street as soon as they can stand up.


A game of futsal

Futsal not futebal de salão


Futsal though was a byproduct of another game, so what’s the story?

The football superpower of the 1930’s was Uruguay and it was there where a football transformation began.

It can be said that Professor Juan Carlos Ceriani of the YMCA in Montevideo (Uruguay) back in 1934 titled a game called ‘Indoor Football’.


An old school bench used for football

Accidental hero

This was almost by accident, as the boys taking part in the mandatory gymnastics classes would turn benches on their sides to create goals during breaks. Street football they played outside was now executed in a small hall with lines.

'The same skills but with restrictions and confinement'


A game of Futebal de Salao not Futsal

A whole new ball game

Ceriani soon shared his revelation with his peers. Professors Joao Latufo and Julian Haranczyk headed back to the biggest country in South America (Brazil) where the sheer numbers would see participation rocket. The city of Sao Paolo was to be the game’s centre of growth.

 Indoor football became the development ground for years to come, breeding the greats of the Brazilian game under the title of ‘futebol de salão’.

From past legends Rivelino, Socrates and Juninho to modern day stars like Ronaldinho & Neymar the indoor game of Brazil creates players with magic in their feet.


Neymar holds up the confederations cup for brazil football win

 Successful outcome

It wasn’t until some 20 years after its birth that the term Futsal came into play. Futsal took prominence as FIFA, not one to miss an opportunity, adopted it to give association to the football governing body.


Brazil football star Neymar plays street football

Back to the roots

However, the true form of the game in Brazil, remained futebol de salão.
In the present day there are still definite differences between the organic game of origin and the commercially lead tournament based game.

More: How to make your players as skilful as a Brazilian

How to make your players as skilful as a Brazilian

If you've ever wondered how Brazil always have the knack of turning out some of football's most skilful players, this could be the secret that creates them.



The same but different...

Futebol de salão is what kids of Brazil learn to play first before they go on to full size games. The tight area and ball mean it's all about moving the ball quickly whilst protecting it from opponents. Futsal is more an expansive game with team possession the driver, it still requires touch and skill but the Brazilian game as you'd expect is all about the individual with the ball. 

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