The Origin of Futsal

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Futsal, much like traditional soccer, has designated player positions. But, rather in Futsal, the positioning is more of a suggestions than a hard and true position. By this, we mean that each player is positioned to start the match, but with all of the quick movement throughout the match, positioning changes.  With only five players per side, including the goalie, the formation is open for movement and rotation.

The history of Futsal, or 5 v 5 soccer, can be traced back to Montevideo, Uruguay. In the 1930’s, a man by the name of Juan Carlos Ceriani, devised a five-a-side version of soccer for YMCA youth competitions.  The game is played on basketball-sized courts, indoors and without the use of sidewalls.​

Once Ceriani got the ball rolling (no pun intended), Futsal rapidly gained popularity throughout South America, particularly in Brazil. The game quickly became known as ‘Mini Soccer’.  The skill developed in this quick moving and high scoring game is visible in the world-famous style the Brazilians display outdoors on the full-sized field. While Brazil continues to be the Futsal hub of the world, the game is now played, under the auspices of FIFA, all over the world and especially in Europe. Famous soccer players like Ronaldinho, Pele, Neymar Jr., Ronaldo, and even the USA’s own Christian Pulisic, have all credited Futsal as a cornerstone of their youth soccer development.

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