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A look back at the career of futsal legend, Falcao

4.81K   //    19 Jun 2016, 20:46 IST

A game that is the most followed across the world, football is an amalgamation of brilliant attacking play and smart, tactical defending. Attacking players are generally very confident, good on the ball, skillful, and direct, with a keen eye for goal.

Futsal helps hone these specific skills, and that’s exactly why professionals in the sport are known to be flamboyant.

Some of the greatest footballers in the world have futsal to thank for his/her development—especially the attackers. Without futsal, we wouldn’t be able to witness those glorious tricks and turns that brings the viewers to the edge of their seats.

Brazilian legend Pele once said, “Futsal requires you to think and play fast. It makes everything easier when you later switch to football." A lot of modern day stars like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Xavi and Cristiano Ronaldo have echoed those sentiments and the explanation is clear when one looks at their style of play.

Brilliant close control, the ability to pick out a pass in tight spaces, outrageous skill on the ball, those are traits synonymous with all the names mentioned above, and is predominantly down to the impact Futsal has had on their games.

The Brazilians are seemingly the most street-styled footballers precisely because of futsal. Be it Neymar or Ronaldinho, Brazilians get their samba flair by practicing futsal during their formative years.

However, some futsal players are so good at it that they don’t change over to football. And Alessandro Rosa Vieira, also known as Falcao, is just one of those players.

It would be wrong to claim that he didn’t want to move to football. In fact, it was his dream to represent the club of his heart, Santos. However, after having given it a shot, he returned to playing what he loved always, futsal.

And that was perhaps the best decision he made.

At 39 years of age, he is one of the oldest players in the world—but still among the very best. He is a forward who has scored 932 goals in 697 club appearances as well as 339 goals in 201 appearances for Brazil on the international front.

These are numbers that go beyond the realm of sanity—even if it is a scoring-friendly sport like futsal.

His left-foot is like a gift of god, with his silky touch, elastic control and evolving skill set making him an unstoppable player, someone who always intimidates opponents and strikes fear in them.

He is not just about goals, however, as he has an ever-burgeoning repertoire of skills that continues to amaze fans. It is these skills that turn a game on its head, something that makes him win so many games for his teams.


His accolades with both clubs and Brazil are astounding, to say the least. He has 33 trophies at club level while 25 cups at international level, and has written his name in gold in futsal history.

Individually, there is no other player that won as much as him. He has won the Best Futsal player in the World a record 4 times as well as 2 Golden Balls for his performances in the 2004 and 2008 World Cup, respectively.

It is of no surprise, then, that he is regarded as the best player in the history of the sport—the ‘Pele’ of futsal. He is still going strong on the futsal court and it doesn’t seem like he would stop anytime soon.

With Falcao now coming to the Premier Futsal League, Indian fans will be thrilled at the prospect of witnessing his genius in person, and here’s hoping that he lights up the league with his scintillating football. The young Indians who get a chance to play with or against Falcao will have a huge opportunity to learn from him, both in person and from just observing his play, and that could do them a world of good.

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