After the worst campaign in their history at the 2016 World Cup, Brazil began a process of reconstruction with a huge departure. Falcão, the best player in futsal history, retired from the national team.
Former Head Coach PC de Oliveira returned and gave young talented players their chance with the famous yellow shirt. The beginning couldn’t have gone any better. Last Wednesday, Brazil beat current world champions Argentina in their rival’s home and lifted the Copa America for the tenth time.
After a solid performance in the group phase, with three victories and 0-0 draw against eventual runners-up Argentina, the Brazilian national team beat Paraguay 5-2 in the semifinal to reach the final.
They produced a fantastic final against the hosts. Argentina started the game on top and scored two times through Rescia and Borruto. With Leandro Lino taking the role of fly goalkeeper, Brazil went all out attack and equalized in the final minutes with Felipe Valério and Lino. In the extra time, two great counter attacks finished by Marcel and Arthur gave the title to Brazil.
Marcel, Leandro Lino, Arthur, Rafa and Rocha, among others, are the promising talents of another great squad for the most successful nation of all time. Together with them, some experienced players, such as goalkeeper Tiago and Deives, voted the best player in the last Brazilian league and one of the 10 finalists for the best player in the world award. After the storm of last year, the clouds have cleared and a rainbow is shining over Brazilian futsal.
It’s not only boys that will show their skills and compete in the World Futsal Championships. The girls are ready to impress at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and one team from New York sees this tournament, which will take place between July 31st and August 3rd, as a great personal development experience.
Chica’s Girls, from Queens – NYC, is a non-profit organization founded in January for girls who aren’t fortunate to play for the big academies.
“Me and my husband asked ourselves: how can we help these young ladies achieve their dreams of making it to an academy and hopefully a great college?, Sports and women aren't as common as they should be. Our community does not offer soccer and futsal for girls within the ages 13 to 17, most teams are very far and others aren't affordable”, explained Leslie Calderon, founder of the club.
At Disney they will play in the Cadete category with a squad who plays together or against each other since the age of 8 and, as the founder revealed, is like a family.
“We want Chica’s Girls to be recognized for their talent and their values. As I mentioned earlier opportunities like these aren't offered to girls in our community and we want to not only expose ourselves, but also to let everyone including young girls know that anyone can make it if you put your minds to it, as long as there’s commitment and dedication. I really like this event as it is extremely organized and gives the girls the opportunity to meet and play against teams across the country,” said Leslie.
Currently Leslie and her husband fund all the club financial needs. They are searching for some fundraisers to help pay for tournament fees, uniforms and equipment, and also start a Go Fund Me campaign to help with their travel to Orlando. Here is the link if you want to donate
The World Futsal Cup is an elite youth futsal championship held every year in Spain that captures the attention of the worldwide futsal community. It is an opportunity for individuals and clubs to make a name for themselves and demonstrate showcase their ability. We look back on some of the top performers from last year and ask who will be the stars at the next edition.
Over the last few years teams from the United Kingdom were increasingly becoming competitive but it was at the last edition where they finally had a champion. It happened in the Alevin category where Ole Futsal Academy from London defeated FC Barcelona on penalties in a pulsating final. They also finished as runners-up in the Benjamin division.
The other clubs to claim their first title in the championships last year all hailed from Brazil. Santos F.C. showed talent beyond their young age in Benjamin, Rio Futsal Academy impressed to take the Infantil title and Corinthians got redemption from losing the final last time to lift the trophy in the showcase Juvenil section.
Another club that impressed without reaching the final with any of their 3 teams was Bardral/RAD from Japan. However, with talent scouts keeping a close eye on proceedings, one of their players very much made a name for himself. Shutaro Nakashima scored 4 goals in the championships and shortly after signed for former Brazilian champions Intelli where legend Falcao previously plied his trade.
With preparations underway for Edition VI that will take place at the end of 2017, the focus has turned to who will make a name for themselves this time. Could City Futsal from Dallas, USA take a step forward and convert their two 3rd place finishes last year in Cadete and Juvenil into something greater? The same for Manchester Futsal who finished 3rd on their debut in the Infantil category. Could their be a new debutant that surprises everyone? Will we see the return to domination for the mighty FC Barcelona? They are by far the most successful club in the history of the competition but took only one winners trophy last year.
Time will tell. If you want to have the opportunity to compete and put yourself in the spotlight then there are few remaining places still available but they will not be there for long. Apply now at USAFutsal.com/WorldFutsalCup.
Last Sunday was a special a day for the futsal. Arguably the best player of all time played his last game for the Brazilian national team. Alessandro Rosa Vieira, or Falcão, as he is better known, scored a farewell goal in the 3-2 victory against Colombia.
In almost 20 years with the famous yellow jersey, Falcão won an incredible 20 titles and scored 385 goals, which makes him the top goalscorer of all national teams in governed by FIFA.
The numbers and the titles are very important, of course, but he is regarded as a genius due to the spectacular plays that he performed inside the court, game after game. Dribbles, goals, assists and other plays that no-one could imitate even if many tried. This video shows a glimpse of what he did in his career.
Outside the court, Falcão helped with futsal development all over the world. This included the USA. He has attended the World Futsal Championships, played every August at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, for the last two years.
Falcão's time with the Brazilian jersey is over. However, his plays and his legacy will live on forever.
The futsal section of FC Barcelona was celebrating on Sunday. Their infantil side beat fierce rivals Catgas Energia Santa Coloma by 4-1 to claim the Minicopa, making it 5 out of 5 for the Blaugrana since the inaugural edition in 2013. The Mini-Copa is part of the prestigious Spanish Cup with the country’s best professional teams represented at both senior and youth level.
The team, which is a combination of players of 13 and 14 years of age, achieved their second trophy of the season after claiming the World Futsal Cup in December. This latest victory is a repeat of their remarkable performance at the latter where against a host of international teams they scored 42 goals and conceded only 4.
“Each of our age categories covers a 2-year band and each team has 12-14 players with half first years and the rest second years. We are conscious of the age difference in each category and due to this the technical and tactical aims go from less to more difficult, from the individual to the team.” commented the Youth Director Jordi Torras. “The change of generation in infantil meant we had a difficult start to the season but this moment is very sweet, with winning the World Futsal Cup, 2017 Mini Cup Champions and leading the league.”
This means the team is on course for a historic treble season as they currently lead the league. The success of the club, in futsal and soccer, is due to the philosophy that runs throughout the club. Former club captain Torras explained “What is unique and special about Barca players is, above all, how they behave. They should be an example both on and off court. In terms of playing, we look for a complete player that, most importantly, is very clever and has excellent ball control. In this moment, the club is opting for every professional section to have their own DNA.”
Regarding the link between the futsal and soccer sections Torras revealed “During Guardiola’s time in Barcelona there was some contact with futsal to observe and learn certain movements. Currently, there are regular meetings with important people that carry out the football methodology which means we have important information, for soccer and futsal.”
Looking further afield, the infantil team will defend their World Futsal Cup title, organized by USA Futsal, at the end of 2017. Applications for teams to participate open on Wednesday and interest has been received from around the world, highlighting the global interest in the event that will be more competitive than ever.
Analysing the event, Torras, who has played for Spain in two FIFA Futsal World Cups, said “It is a tournament that is growing every year and you notice it in the participating teams and the organization. The difference of this one to other tournaments is the diversity in cultures of the teams that come from various countries. This makes it an attractive tournament. Also, the level of the teams, each time is stronger.”
A female soccer player in United States is not extraordinary. In Brazil, however, the country known as the “Soccer Nation”, it is an uphill battle for women that grow up playing “the Beautiful Game”.
Larissa Messner was able to overcome many obstacles, and with the support of her friends and family, chose to pursue the sport of soccer throughout her youth. Now, some 15 years later, she is studying Sport Management and playing college soccer for Warner University in Florida.
As a Sophomore she is taking on another challenge having accepted a position to work for USA Futsal at the World Futsal Championships, which take place from July 31st to August 3rd at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
"What attracted me to the World Futsal Championship was working directly with children and futsal, two passions that I have. There will be over 100 teams from all over the world, children from all over the world with different cultures and religions, all competing against each other. It is wonderful to help create a tournament where the children can learn from each other’s culture and make new friends for a lifetime. This environment really makes the experience rewarding for me.” said the Brazilian Messner.
On the International Women’s Day, Larissa dreams for a better and more equal world and for this dream she will keep playing her part.
"Women are coming increasingly important in every field of work and this shows that we have the same capacity as men. People are beginning to see and understand this, especially in Brazil. It's still going to take a lot of time to end this prejudice, but even to see this small change, at least for me, means that I have more strength to keep fighting and show everything that we women are capable of achieving."
Japan’s Shutaro Nakashima, one of the stars of the recent World Futsal Cup, has signed a professional contract with Intelli Orlandia in Brazil. The club is one of country’s most formidable teams and won the championship in 2012 and 2013. Their former players include 4-time World Player of the Year Falcão and 2012 World Cup winning captain Vinicius.
Intelli Head Coach Cidão has made regular trips to Japan to share his experience and was aware of the 18 year old for the last few years. He followed the young prodigy’s performances at the World Futsal Cup where he excelled, scoring 4 goals in 4 games for RAD/Bardral including against Orlandia’s rivals Corinthians. Shortly after the Brazilian coach decided it was time to make the move to sign the upcoming star.
“Shutaro has a big future, he has great technical quality and futsal understanding” commented the Brazilian coach. Nakashima has dedicated himself to futsal since he was young, a rarity in Japan where there are not yet youth leagues. The World Futsal Cup provided the ideal opportunity to demonstrate his talent at the highest level, and he is now being rewarded for his commitment to the game with this dream opportunity.
Olé Futsal Academy from London, England are carrying out their final preparations before their second appearance at the World Futsal Cup. There they will face the likes of FC Barcelona from Spain and Santos of Brazil.
The academy was formed in 2014 by Alfie Brooks, who played for Chelsea as a youth player before a serious injury led to him to become involved in coaching. Later, he discovered futsal and seeing it’s potential created the academy for players between 4-16 years old.
Brooks described the World Futsal Cup as 'a fantastic and unrivalled event'. "We are delighted to be welcomed back for the second year running. Participating in a competition involving some of the best youth teams across the world is an incredible honour. For Olé to be spoken about in the same breathe as the likes of Barcelona and Santos is a motivation within itself.”
In last year’s edition they had a tough experience playing against one of the world’s best youth systems in FC Barcelona. However, Brooks recognises the unique benefits that can only come from testing themselves against this level of opponent, both for players and the coaches.
“I learnt a lot from the likes of Barcelona and El Pozo Murcia, particularly the intensity levels both these teams play at whilst in and out of possession of the ball. The intensity level is 50%-60% higher than anything I have witnessed in England.”
He continued to discuss how worthwhile their debut at the world´s premier youth futsal championship was. “It didn’t stop there, comparing Academy Football/Futsal in England, the Spanish are far more advanced technically and especially tactically. It opened my eyes last year and gave me a sense of realisation of how good you actually need to be as a player. A majority of this success should be credited to the coaching model and coaches ability to provide accurate detail in Spain.”
Since their first experience at the event they have had a year to work on those areas that were identified as needing improvement last time around. ”The standard of the Academy continues to grow on a regular basis, I don’t think it's too unreasonable to think with the valuable experience Olé has gained that over the coming years we can compete with some of the most renowned Academies across the World.”
And there is a long term vision for the academy supported by a thorough and ambitious strategy.. “Plans are in place to hopefully take the Academy to the next level. Building a purpose built Futsal facility; 'Fingers crossed’ this is not in the too distant future, continuing to create a loyal fanbase from the bottom up and to produce players that make a professional living through either Football/Futsal are essential yet reasonable long term targets of the Academy. “
The vision in the founder’s mind that is driving the academy forward is crystal clear. “In 10 years time I’d like to be able to say we have accomplished all of the above and that there is a fully functional National League Senior Olé Futsal team.”
Rio Futsal Academy will compete in the World Futsal Cup V between December 28th and 30th after a historic campaign at the World Futsal Championships earlier in the year. This will be an even tougher test for the boys from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
The club is a compilation of players from various teams, many well known such as Vasco de Gama, Flamengo and Fluminense. In this upcoming competition held near Barcelona they will compete in four age categories. There they will face clubs such as FC Barcelona, fellow countrymen Santos and other teams from across the world.
However, they should have nothing to fear. At the World Futsal Championships in Orlando they claimed the title in all three categories they entered. To claim both titles in the same year would be a feat no club have achieved in the history of the game.
We are so happy to publish the 2015 World Futsal Cup final results! For 3 days, teams from the United States, England, Australia, South Korea, Spain, France, Costa Rica, and Brasil, battled vigorously for the World Futsal Cup. As an organization, we are honored and proud of the top level talent, professionalism and showmanship displayed by each team. We can't wait to see what the 2016 World Futsal Cup brings....Hope to see you there!