World Cup 2014: Futsal – the game behind Brazil’s superstars
Tempting as it is to conclude that Brazil’s success stems from this carefree childhood practice on the sand, the real reason may lie elsewhere.
In these parts, they believe Futebol de Salao – or futsal – is the game that made Brazil great.
Pele, Zico, Socrates, Romario, Ronaldo, Neymar are just some of the Brazilian national icons who spent their youth playing with the smaller, heavier futsal ball – a ball that could not be lofted into the air, but demanded speed of mind, fleetness of foot, flair and flamboyance.
“Futsal makes you think fast and play fast,” Pele said. “You try things, it makes you dribble. It makes you a better player.”