Football vs futsal: tactic and philosophy

“La Tattica nel Futsal” is a YouTube channel dedicated to futsal tactical analysis. We exchange some ideas with the creator of the channel about the link between football and futsal.

Sarriball: it’s common the idea of the tactical coach who destroys inventive players. Maybe in Italy it depends on the image of Roberto Baggio’s substitution during USA ’94 world cup when Arrigo Sacchi managed Italian national team. Futsal is a highly tactical game nonetheless it’s a very spectacular game. Ricardinho is an example of a player who can join exceptional technical qualities with high tactical knowledge. Can futsal teach something to football in this regard?

TnF: I follow Velasco’s Inter Movistar very often, it’s a team of amazing players and play a spectacular game, with intensity and organization. Of course, Ricardinho is the most famous player but when he is down there is always someone else who can make the difference for the squad. Velasco is famous for his 4-0 tactic (but he plays with the pivot also, in the squad there are Solano, Elisandro and Humberto) and when you play 4-0 tactic there are some fundamentals concepts like two touches game, rapid decision making, cuts and movements in the spaces. Ricardinho is perfect for this kind of tactical system. He is the player with the license of manage the tempo of the game in his feet. He can make it with exceptional tactical intelligence, using his technical skills always for the squad. In the defensive phase is also very active and ready to press and come back. He can also manage very well the isolation 1 vs 1 when he can dribble the opponent or find a teammate with perfect assists. Maybe the only situation in which he’s not confident is when he has to mark the opponents’ pivot.

In football you can see similar situations. In the modern game, every player has to work with the squad in both phases, offensive and defensive. It’s like a tactical plan in which you have to take the most dangerous players in the last 20 meters, then it’s up to them!

Sarriball: positional play in football is based on spaces ‘reduction and intensity of play. There are similar situations in the two sports. What do you think it worths of notice during a football match and a futsal one?

TnF: The first of all I think is the goalkeeper. It’s really important for him to have good skills to play the ball during when you build from the back. Furthermore you see often football players who use the plant, in particular Spanish and south American players who use to play futsal at young age. From a tactical point of view there are the importance of playing between the lines. In the past this kind of position was up to the talent’s man of the squad, now each player has to play in that position to create danger to the opponents. This is similar to futsal in which every player is in charge of create danger! Another aspect in common is the “gegenpressing”, the idea of aggressive tentative to regain possession.

Sarriball: the fast offensive style used by coaches like Guardiola or Sarri is often linked to spectacular game. In futsal this is a standard. Why this sport is not so famous?

TnF: is very difficult to answer. In Italy is a cultural issue. There are really few people who understand how much futsal can be useful for football. It’s difficult to bring a change of philosophy like this.