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What exactly is Futsal? The game was invented in Montevideo, Uruguay back in 1930 to provide the World Cup winning Uruguayans a way to get even better and more creative on the ball. The word Futsal comes from shortening the Spanish phrase “Futbol de Salon” which literally translates to indoor soccer. You play 5 v 5, with four field players and a goalie.

Futsal is the only FIFA-sanctioned indoor soccer game in the world, and every single Brazilian swears by it and grows up playing it, then taking those well-honed skills into their outdoor games. Ronaldo attributed his winning goal against Turkey in World Cup 2002 to a technique he learned in futsal. He told FIFA.COM after the game that “it was a difficult move because my way was blocked. Nobody expected me to shoot it because I had to use the point of my toe and you don’t see many players try it. But it swerved through the defenders and went in. It was instinctive and I owe it all to playing a lot of futsal when I was younger.” Most of Latin America plays it; Argentina calls it Cinco, Mexico calls it Rapido.

What are the main differences between Futsal and the way indoor soccer is currently played in the U.S.? There are two huge differences:
1) The ball is purposefully constructed to be smaller (#4) and 30% heavier, so that it doesn’t bounce much order to speed up your foot skills (trapping, passing, 1 or 2 touch and the critical 1 v 1 scenario)
2) Most importantly, there are no hockey walls to play off of. No getting weak rebounding goals off of the walls. No more getting shoved into the glass. You will not be rewarded for muscling your way through defenders by pinning and pushing the ball against the wall. This strange style of soccer sprung up during the 1970’s in empty hockey arenas. Futsal is true indoor soccer and you need to solely rely on your foot skills and your teammates. Sounds like playing the outdoor game indoors, doesn’t it?

Futsal Quotes:

"In futsal you need to think quick and play quick so it's easier for you when you move to normal football (outdoor soccer)." - Pele

"I came out of futsal and developed my skills in this way of football. I play the same way now (in the outdoor game) as I did on the futsal courts as a kid." - Denilson

"When you come to play normal football (outdoor soccer) it's easier if you've come from a futsal background." - Rivelino

"Futsal will always be my first love." - Ronaldo