A while ago I wrote a piece about how futsal is arguably neglecting to develop players that have individual brilliance and do the unexpected. I came across a an article in Spanish that has a similar theme but written in much more eloquent and thoughtful manner than my own attempt.
It was written by the current Inter Movistar Sporting Director, Julio García Mera. If you are a more recent fan of futsal you may be unaware of this legendary player that made history until he retired in 2007. He represented Inter Movistar for 15 years and reached 115 appearances for the Spanish National Team during a time when both entities cemented their places at the very top of the sport.
During a distinguished career his achievements included 5 Spanish League Titles, 1 UEFA Futsal Cup, 3 UEFA Futsal Euro Championships and 2 World Cups. The former Inter Movistar capitan has a degree in Journalism and has written for publications such as well-known Spanish sports daily Marca. He has also authored a book called “Cuando el deporte te abandona” (“When sport deserts you”) which has been well received.
Below I have translated his article as those who don’t speak Spanish deserve to enjoy this wonderful piece of writing. As you will see, his impressive talent with a ball is matched by his talent with a pen. Enjoy!
The Spell Checker of Players
Spell checker eliminates the different and ensures uniformity. New technologies work like this; Each time more words die. If a word steps out of line, spell checker does its work in silence. Nobody notices. The word is eliminated; the vocabulary shrinks and becomes more uniform. That is to say, it makes things much easier but more inferior.
In sport the spell checker also exists, eliminating diversity and promoting what is well-known. Experimentation isn´t desired. Competing is pursued with maximum safety. And, therefore, it thrives on athletes shaped from a similar mold, that speak the same language. The result is, the specialists, those terms with a unique meaning within sport, decline. They are dying little by little.
In futsal, for example, players continually emerge technically better equipped, with the concepts of the game integrated into their DNA. They are excellent. Each time better; But each time more uniform. The specialists are disappearing. It’s happening in Spain, in Brazil, in Russia… the result is it is difficult to find pivots that dominate the game with their back to goal, or sweepers that are a reference in the build-up, such as Kike o Álvaro.
Unfortunately, the spell checker doesn´t have a face. It is not someone concrete. It can´t be told off with a pointed finger, as when someone was badly behaved in school. In reality, we are all the spell checker; directors, coaches, players… and, without realising, we are all discarding the different, the extraordinary.
by Julio García Mera
Do you agree? Why is this happening? What can be done, if anything, to improve the situation?