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What is Futsal? Futsal Rules UK, Difference Between Futsal & Football

Lionel Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Iniesta. Arguably the greatest players to have graced the beautiful game of football. Have you ever wondered where these footballers learned their skills? Well, the simple answer is Futsal!

You might be wondering what’s the difference between futsal and regular football? Or perhaps where Futsal originated? In this blog, I’ll answer all your questions.

What is Futsal?

Futsal is an indoor game which is much like the beautiful game of football but with a few distinctions!

Rules of Futsal

The game consists of two, five a side teams playing against each other attempting to outscore the other team and win the game, in the same manner as Football. Since the game is played in much tighter spaces and less players on the court, the game requires individual flair, teamwork and tactical formations.

One major difference from football, is that Futsal balls are only size 4, one size less than an actual football. Furthermore, the goals are hockey-size (3m x 2m), kick-ins are also used instead of throw-ins. The Futsal ball is also much heavier, this is to prevent the ball being kicked up the pitch and bouncing much more. This allows the ball to be dribbled much more and gives more room for skills to be involved.

Usually, Futsal is played indoors on a wooden/synthetic court. But at recreational level where indoor facilities are unavailable, the game can also be played on different surfaces such as any flat hard surface or artificial grass. Playing on artificial grass will slow the game down, unfortunately. Another vital difference in Futsal is the intensity and pace of the play. Each half of Futsal is 20 minutes long, this allows constant playtime and less time-wasting.

difference between futsal and football

Where Did Futsal Originate?

Futsal can be originated all the way back into 1930 in Uruguay. The indoor game increasingly gained popularity all through South America, especially in Brazil. They started due to a shortage of playing pitches which forced a football driven population to play competitive small-sided games.

In 1936 the first few rules started to develop and then the name Futsal was chosen by FIFA. The word originates from a combination of the Spanish word for ‘hall’ (Sala) and then ‘Football’ which links to Futbol. The close counter games also resemble street football which many professional footballers had experience with when they were younger.

Street football is an affordable alternative for players to develop. You can find outdoor street football courts in neighborhoods, they can usually be around five or seven a side. Majority of Brazilian footballers such as Neymar, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo Nazário etc. have developed their individual skill and flair through street football or Futsal.

Benefits Of Playing Futsal

When watching competitive Futsal, you are likely to see many tricks and skills from the players. The game being indoor gives it a massive advantage to aspiring footballers to play during the winter too. Continuously practicing your ball control and skills will develop an individual as a footballer. Especially for young children, the tight spaced game is perfect! It educates children on working together and cooperating.

Futsal also teaches discipline and perseverance which is key for a maturing child as it builds character. Futsal also provides children the ability to handle success and failure. Not to mention it keeps kids fit and healthy.

Futsals fast and intense paced game helps to develop a player’s intelligence and ability to understand and evaluate the game. The player is always under constant pressure which helps a player progress, anticipating the players next move and reading the match to utilize the opponents flaws on the court.

Creativity is also an important reason to play Futsal, the game encourages players to take more touches on the ball and think out of the box. A study from Sao Paolo University shows that a futsal player will have 600% more touches on the ball than a footballer.

Footballers Who Played Futsal

Some of the best professional footballers of all generations have credited their skills on Futsal. A prime example of this statement is arguably one of the best footballers to ever grace a football pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo. He stated “ During my childhood in Portugal, All we played was Futsal, 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 example is Lionel Messi, one of the best footballers who has also credited his childhood to Futsal. He also claimed “As a little boy in Argentina, I played Futsal on the streets and for my club. It was tremendous fun, and it really helped me become who I am today.”

Many young children who grew up in South America, have been brought up playing the skilled game of Futsal. The children that grew up in Brazil throughout the 1940’s progressed and eventually attained impressive ball control and technical skills. Eventually these kids grew up and made the long lasting transition from Futsal to Football. The intelligence and game reading creativity they developed through Futsal really supported them in Football.

The Brazilians went on to thrive in the World Cup. During the 12 years from 1958 to 1970. Brazil won 3 out of 4 World Cups. Their individual flair flourished on the international stage.

The FIFA Futsal World Cup

The FIFA Futsal World Cup takes place every four years and is also very competitive. It is played at the highest level possible and is very intense. The World Cup consists of twenty four teams and is in a knockout elimination process too. The first FIFA Futsal World Cup was in 1989 in the Netherlands.

The next FIFA Futsal World Cup will take place in 2021 to be held in Lithuania. The current Country with the most Futsal World Cups is Brazil who currently hold 5.

Where Can My Child Play Futsal?

At Samba Soccer Schools we teach children Futsal techniques to improve their confidence and refine their skills. Why not try out a free trial today so you can see the value of this style of Football yourself!

Futsal FAQs

What is Futsal?

Futsal is a sport that is very similar to football. It is played with two five a side teams playing against each other, attempting to outscore the other team and win the game.

Why Should My Child Play Futsal?

Playing Futsal for a child is very beneficial, it helps them in cooperation, discipline, ball control, athleticism, improves social skills etc.

What are the differences between Futsal and Football?

The main difference is that Futsal is five a side whereas football is 11. Futsal is also usually played indoors on a much harder surface and a heavier ball.

Where did Futsal Originate?

Futsal originated in Uruguay during 1930. The game is fairly popular in South America.

About the Author

Written by Ayaan Nadeem. Dubai based British Expat, involved in Academy level football since the age of 6. Passionate about writing, football and fitness.

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