Goalscoring Legend Provides a Masterclass for FUTURES Stars
Fernandão is a name that has gone down in the history of futsal. The former FC Barcelona star was one of the dominant figures in the game for many years, making more than 100 appearances for the Spanish national team.
Since retiring from playing, he has dedicated himself to passing on his wealth of knowledge and experience to the next generation through coaching. It is in this role that he worked with United Futsal’s FUTURES talents to help them take their games to the next level.
The Brazilian born pivot was a dominant attacking force, something similar to Man City’s Haaland in soccer today. However, he had to fight to realize his dream of becoming a professional athlete and it was only when he was around 17 and 18 years old that he knew it was achievable.
“I was usually the 3rd choice pivot on the team. Some teams got rid of me. In the pitch I made a bad pass or missed a chance, and they would take me off.” But he remained focused on his goal. “I didn’t worry much about this. I focused on my work which I realised made me better and I got satisfaction from this. This was all I could do. I tried to increase the minutes I got. If I got 2 minutes, I tried to get 2 and half minutes and then 3 minutes and so on. If a player takes this approach at the end of their career, they’ll have achieved many things.”
It was this mentality of commitment he tried to instil in the FUTURES players during his sessions during the programme. He is clear on what brought him success and what it requires to make it to the very top; “Work, sacrifice, consistency day in, day out. If you really want it, you must fight for it.”
In his first session he worked on running with the ball and dribbling and was impressed with the level of the American players. “They dribble with the ball very well with both feet, they are quick, very technical in 1v1s. This surprised me a lot in a positive way.”
He also recognised the areas where they need to improve. “Their weaknesses are playing systems, the tactical element and understanding game situations.” He feels there is a great opportunity if they can add this to their toolkit.
“I see a lot of potential for American players if they can add more tactical understanding to their technical skills. We can’t improve 1v1 skills. The creativity in 1v1s in futsal is what their born with. If we mix this creativity with the tactics there will be an explosion of talent.”
He believes the FUTURES programme offers a platform to learn these elements. “They must take maximum advantage of this programme. There are very highly qualified coaches here. Every word they give you, it could be a treasure. You’re going to discover things you’ve not heard before.
“They must enjoy the experience to the maximum. I think it will take 1 or 2 weeks after they returned home when they’re back with their clubs to realise what they’ve lived. It is not only the sporting aspect, but it can also be something that changes their mentality too.”
*ABOUT DOUG REED*
Doug Reed is a professional futsal player from England whose passion for the game has taken him across the world to report on top stories and provide insights from someone inside. Visit his website at www.dougreedfutsal.com or follow him on social media via @DougReedFutsal.