The History & Future of The World Futsal Cup

The World Futsal Cup VII will take place between 27-30 December 2018 as some of the strongest youth teams worldwide congregate near Barcelona to determine who is the best of the best. This article will take a look at what has taken place so far in the history of one of the world’s strongest and most prestigious youth competitions.

The championships first took place back in 2012 in the historic Spanish town of Toledo, a key location in Spanish futsal history. Local club Caja Toledo were one of the founding members of the Spanish League in 1989, becoming champions a few years later and was the former team of local boy Javier Lozano, 2-time World Cup winning coach with Spain and current Spanish League President.

The next year the tournament moved north to Blanes, a town on the picturesque Costa Brava, where it remains today. It provided the perfect combination of offering the tranquility of the Mediterranean coast whilst being a short trip to Barcelona, a hotbed for both soccer and futsal. Further, it had the attraction of a world class indoor arena considered one of the best in the whole of Spain and perfectly suited for a championships of this stature. It offers six full size futsal courts all with ample spectator seating.

One of the biggest sporting institutions in the world, FC Barcelona, have been the undoubted force in World Futsal Cup history having participated from the beginning. After claiming two trophies at that first edition six years ago, they have gone on to win 15 of the total 26 trophies that have been contested. Rivas ’95 from Madrid and Santos from Brazil are the only other clubs to have won more than one title.

The tournament attracts clubs from all over the globe having featured participants from futsal powerhouses such as Brazil, Italy, Russia and Colombia. These have been complemented by those from less established futsal nations such as Australia, USA, England, Japan and, debuting in 2018, Germany.

Only three countries outside Spain and Brazil have had champions being USA with World United, England through Ole Futsal Academy and Holland and their representative FC Marlene. Spain's domination will be under threat in this year’s edition as Brazil have sent an unprecedented 13 teams to compete against the host’s representatives as well as strong sides from other nations.

This event is not only about teams but also player development and the success of developing nations in claiming individual awards shows that, although they may not have the strength in depth of Brazil and Spain, they are more than capable of producing outstanding individuals. In 2017, 7 of the 15 individual awards went to players from countries outside those two powerhouses.

But the World Futsal Cup is not about the past, it is about the future. It provides a platform for young talent to learn from competing against the best in an elite environment and showcase their ability in front of crowds that include key figures from the professional game. It is an event where history is written but, more importantly, we glimpse the future of the sport.