Top 10 Footballers Who Played Futsal! Who’s Your Favorite?

Ever wondered how your favorite football players mastered their ball skills and built the agility they often show on the field during big encounters? Well, many of them, if not all, used to play Futsal at some stage during their career. The world’s top football teams today use many Futsal techniques during their training sessions, and it helps them develop better and more skillful players who can dominate the opposition. Many football players who play Futsal are often seen exhibiting top skills in crunch moments of the game and give their teams a competitive edge.

While many footballers who played futsal claim the latter helped them a lot in improving their game and developing top skills, the question is, can Futsal really help improve your football game? Is it any good for soccer players? Let’s find out!

Soccer and Futsal have a very close resemblance in the way the two sports are played. However, the futsal rules are different from that of soccer, and the field of play is also different. The differences between the two games are also evident in the strategies implemented on the field. While Futsal is more about agility and speed, soccer lets you plan your offense and defense tactics and deploy different formations depending on your opponent and the situation of the game. Nevertheless, the basics of the two sports are pretty similar, and the skills learned on the Futsal courts can come in handy when you hit the Football field.

So, yes, Futsal can certainly help you improve as a football player! When playing futsal on a much smaller court, you develop finesse and better ball skills. You must move at pace and control the ball better than your opponents. It cultivates instincts and helps you sharpen your reflexes.

Many soccer players who play Futsal believe even though the pace of the two sports is different, there’s a lot of resemblance in how players need to move around and handle the ball. Futsal players must exhibit quick thinking and act swiftly to generate lightning responses while playing on smaller courts. It helps them develop rapid reflexes, and they can benefit from it when playing soccer despite a different overall strategy.

So, how can you gauge the effectiveness of Futsal to develop your skills as a footballer? Obviously, you look up to the best in the business. Check out our list of top 10 footballers who played Futsal at some stage in their career. They all owe their success as a football player to Futsal.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

cristiano ronaldo.. a football player who played futsal

The Football Wizard Cristiano Ronaldo has always impressed the fans on the field with his unreal skills with the ball and stunning agility and fitness. Even though he put in a lot of hard work since he started playing the sport, his journey started with Futsal as well. Cristiano Ronaldo Futsal skills were developed since his childhood and played a vital role in his success as a footballer. According to him, all they played in Portugal during his early days was Futsal.

Ronaldo believes Futsal laid the foundation of his career as a footballer. The small Futsal court helped him improve close control and set him free. He also credits all his success at the big stage to Futsal.

2. Lionel Messi

footballer messi who playd futsal

Surprised to see another legend of the football world on this list? FC Barcelona’s leading goal scorer of all time, Lionel Messi, also used to play Futsal on the streets as a young kid. In fact, Lionel Messi Futsal journey was fun, and it helped him a lot in achieving all the success he got as a footballer.

We have all witnessed Messi’s prowess on the football field. But just imagine how amazing it would be to watch him pull the tricks on a small-sized Futsal court. The pace of the game, Messi’s trickery, and his agile moves would have been a treat to watch for sure. He believes his time playing Futsal was vital in his development as a top football player.

3. Andrés Iniesta

andres iniesta player who played futsal

The Spanish footballer has been known for his exceptional technical skills throughout his career. But most of us didn’t know that he entered the big stage after learning a few tricks playing Futsal. According to Iniesta, he wanted to play football right from his starting days, but he started playing Futsal because it was the only sport he could play in his hometown growing up.

The footballer believes a lot of things are common in the two sports. While the moves and the tactics are different, the essence is the same, as you have to make quick decisions and exhibit exceptional ball control and skills. He is of the view that Futsal can play a crucial part in developing young athletes into great footballers with top skills.

4. Wissam Ben Yedder

football player who played futsal..wissam ben yedder

The French star footballer owes his development solely to Futsal. He played the sport throughout his youth career and then went on to become a star player on the national team. He first broke into France’s Ligue 1 in 2010, and since then we have witnessed him expressing a myriad of unusual skills on the football field.

As the interest in Futsal continues to grow, Ben Yedder is a role model for youth. His success in Ligue 1 is proof that Futsal players can turn their luck around and make it big in football as well. It also highlights the fact that Futsal players can easily get noticed due to their higher skill levels and can make it to the top European clubs.

5. Luis Figo

lious figo. a footballer who played futsal

Another renowned Portuguese footballer, Luis Figo, relied on Futsal to develop a unique set of skills. He also played Futsal in his youth years and, according to him, it completely changed the way he approached professional football. In an interview, he emphasized the variety of skills he mastered in the fast-paced sport made it easier for him to play professional football.

Figo also took the initiative to promote Futsal in India, but the project did not see much success. He believes more efforts should be put in to promote the sport that is so entertaining and can play a vital part in player development.

6. Neymar Jr.

a footballer who played futsal neymar jr

The Brazilian superstar also talks about Futsal in superlatives, as he credits his success at the top level to the fast-paced sport played on smaller courts. He said Futsal had a serious influence on him while growing up. Highlighting the demanding nature of the game, Neymar said it helped him quite a lot in developing his technique, decision-making, and skills to move through tighter spaces.

Neymar believes Futsal should be a fundamental part of every footballer’s routine as it can help a lot in their development. Though we could not see him as one of the Futsal greats, his Futsal skills are often witnessed during football matches.

7. Pelé

footballer pele with ball

Pelé is known to be one of the finest footballers of all time from Brazil. The football legend also attributed his success in football to Futsal. He once said in an interview that Futsal requires players to think quickly and move fast. And when you switch to football, everything becomes a lot easier for you.

Pele believed Futsal played an important part in helping him develop ball control and helped him with quick decision-making and passing. According to him, Futsal had a role to play in shaping many great players of his era, and some of the best football players started their careers playing Futsal.

8. Philipe Coutinho

philipe countinho a footballer who play futsal

The incredibly talented Philipe Coutinho from Brazil started playing Futsal at the age of 6 years only. He attributes his amazing ball skills to his early stint on the Futsal courts. He extensively played Futsal at a young age before finally making a switch to Football.

Coutinho believes playing Futsal is much more technical and quicker, and he says that’s where he learned all his skills. The play area is a lot smaller and the pace is higher, requiring you to have a solid technique to don the courts in Futsal. According to him, playing football became easier for him after all the Futsal experience because he could learn and adapt very quickly.  

9. Ronaldinho

1 of the footballer who played futsal..ronaldinho

If playing tricks with the ball is an art, Ronaldinho was the Picasso of it. Like many other top footballers who played futsal, Ronaldinho also learned the art playing this fast-paced sport. Hailing from the underprivileged region of Porto Alegre in Brazil, the football superstar learned his first touches on the Futsal courts.

In an interview, Ronaldinho said he just loved Futsal and giving it up was really hard for him. Most of his moves on the football field were mastered on the Futsal courts at a young age. Right till the end of his career, Ronaldinho’s ball control and precision were pretty similar to that of a Futsal player.

10. Xavi

xavi footballer who played futsal

The Spanish legend, Xavi, is the last on our list. The legendary Barca midfielder admitted in an interview the smaller-sided football alternative gives the ultimate definition of this beautiful game to him. He really mastered the tiki-taka on the Futsal courts, and that’s what fueled his ultimate possession game in the midfield for Spain and Barca.

Xavi was of the view that Futsal really gives you a peek into how talented a player really is. According to him, football is a lot more physical and doesn’t necessarily help identify the real talent of a player. Futsal helps you notice the minute details in class, quality, and tactical skills. And if you are good at these skills, you can definitely make a name for yourself in football at the top level.

These are only some of the top football players to name on our list, but there are certainly many more who played Futsal to build a strong foundation for their career as a footballer. Football players often attribute their success to the skills they learned on Futsal courts.

These professional football players believe playing futsal or indoor soccer can help players master the unique ball skills that can bring finesse to their play in soccer. Besides, the agility and quick decision-making needed on the smaller futsal courts can play a pivotal part in one’s success as a football player.

Therefore, if you eye a career in professional football, playing futsal and indoor soccer can be a great way to develop your passing and dribbling skills. Besides, the agility you’ll develop playing these fast-paced football alternatives will further improve your soccer game.

Mind sharing your thoughts with us on how futsal can help improve your footballing skills? Or share any names that come to your mind when you think of the best football players who played futsal? Pen down your comments now!