It may be a relatively unknown sport in the UK, but futsal is a sport credited with nurturing and developing the talents of Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and many other exotic talents.

To the untrained eye, futsal appears to be a lot like five-a-side football. There are, however, noticeable differences. The ball is smaller and heavier encouraging good close control and technique. Games are often played at a rapid pace, with clever positional play of high importance.

In this country, it has struggled to take off, with relatively few young English players participating. Yet it is a professional sport in Spain and Portugal, where matches regularly attract crowds of up to 20,000.

The Linc’s Calum Fuller investigates the state of futsal in England.

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