In this post I’ll highlight my favourite players that I like to watch. They are not the most spectacular or most skilful players in the game. I love to watch those types of players too, such as Falcao and Ricardinho, but my preferred type of player plays simple and intelligently. As I usually play as a defender I like to observe players that play in the same position and I can pick up little things they do for my own game. I have followed the careers of the four players below closely and always try to see their games. Here I introduce them and provide a video clip of each.

Neto (TTG-Ugra Yugorsk & Brazil)


Neto’s shirt is in my collection

Neto is my favourite player and the one I have followed most since I began watching futsal. He is always calm and composed on the ball. However what I like most about his style of play is his aggressiveness when defending.  He takes the initiative from the attacker and pounces like a cheetah to steal the ball.

I was very happy for him when he scored the goal in the last World Cup Final against Spain with seconds left in extra time, and received the Golden Ball for the tournament after his previous history with the competition. In the 2004 World Cup he became a key player for Brazil despite only being 24 years of age. Unfortunately it ended badly for him when he missed the decisive penalty and Spain took the title. He didn´t go to the 2008 edition, hosted in his home nation, after suffering a serious knee injury so 2012 was a chance for redemption. As I said before, every player will have their ups and downs during their career and you have to keep fighting.

He won everything with Inter Movistar, whom he joined in 2004. Even in an amazing team full of stars such as that you noticed the team’s performance dropped when he wasn’t on court, the sign of a great player.  Since leaving Spain in 2010 he has played for Malwee, Santos and Krona in Brazil, winning the league championship there, and is now at TTG-Ugra Yugorsk in Russia. He has evolved further since leaving Inter as in his subsequent teams he is almost always involved in any goal they score as well as maintaining his key role in defence.

Schumacher (Corinthians & Brazil)

Alongside one of the greatest ever

Alongside one of the greatest ever

Named after the German football goalkeeper of the 1970s, Schumacher is officially a sweeper (defender) but in reality is able to play anywhere on the pitch. He is a legend of the game and, like Neto, has won everything there is to win. During his 10 years with Inter Movistar he won 27 titles at Inter, including 3 UEFA Futsal Cups. Over the same period he scored 254 league goals in 271 games and is the third highest goalscorer in the history of the Spanish division, even more incredible when you remember he is officially recognised as a defender.

His goalscoring was unbelievable and he is an assassin on the court. What I like most about this player is his movement. He always knew the precise moment to change speed. He would saunter around the court but then suddenly spark into life with a burst of acceleration at the perfectly timed moment. The most efficient player I have seen.

One move he particularly liked was to receive the ball from the opposite side and come to meet the ball and attack it towards the centre, as his marker moved in the opposite direction. Within a split second he had lost his opponent and had an open shot on goal. I saw him do this many times and I wasn’t the only one as when I played in Serbia they called this movement the ‘Schumacher’. The fact that he created this move makes him a real artist.

Kike (El Pozo Murcia & Spain)

Alongside Kike with England in Murcia

Alongside Kike with England in Murcia

Kike is the captain and emblem of El Pozo Murcia and had the same status with the Spanish National team until his international retirement in 2012. He is a classy player who is an excellent passer of the ball. What I really admire in this player is his positioning, anticipation and reading of the game.  These skills are arguably the three most important in futsal.

I don’t think he has ever been the quickest player but his intelligence more than made up for it. I have never seen anyone better at defending a 2v1 situation. Similar to Luis Amado, he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Both these players are nearing the end of the careers but fortunately their key abilities aren’t affected by the passage of time and they still perform at a high level. I recommend watching Kike while you still can as this will almost certainly be his last season before retiring from the game.

Alemao (Dina Moscow & Spain)

The Brazilian born Spanish international is one of the best passers of the ball I have ever witnessed. It is not so much the technical difficulty of the passes but the ability to see a pass that is so impressive. His vision and awareness are exceptional, he sees everything on the court. A passing line might only be open for a split second but that is more than enough for him to see it and play the pass. He is also a master of the nutmeg (between the legs) pass.

He first played for Spain on one occasion in 2006, shortly after gaining Spanish citizenship. However he didn’t return to the national team until 2010 where he became an important player in the squad. He played a key role in the 2012 Futsal Euro and 2012 Futsal World Cup, where Spain were winners and runners up respectively, before announcing his international retirement. He continues playing club futsal in Russia.

The Future

All these players I have mentioned are near to the end of their careers now, though they are all still playing at the highest level and are important players in their teams. Fortunately there is always a new generation of players coming through and these are a few players I would highlight and I always try to watch their teams play.

Matias (Inter Movistar & Argentina) – Another player who can find an ‘eye of the needle’ defence splitting pass. Has remarkable technique and an exceptional pass with the outside of his foot.

Sergio Lozano (FC Barcelona Alusport & Spain) – A beast of a player. Complete player and scores goals. Has become a decisive player for both Spain and Barcelona.

Prudnikov (Dina Moscow & Russia)
Plays like he has so much more experience than he has. Excellent decision maker and has so much composure with the ball. Russia’s leader.
To find out how to watch these players go to the Watch Futsal Online page where you can find links for live streaming.Add your favourties and the reason why in the comments section.

Before I go here are a couple of pieces I have done for FutsalPlanet since the last blog entry.

Interview with Spanish coach Pablo Prieto.
Article on the summer transfer activity in Spain.
I am now preparing for the Main Round of the UEFA Futsal Cup which will take place in Cyprus.

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  1. Nick Hamblin

    My favourite player to train with by a long shot will have to be England player Ben Mortlock. The guys attitude, coupled with his skills, knowledge and commitment are rare, even in the pro football game.

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