We won’t compete internationally until we develop players like Coutinho. Period.


Author: James

Lifelong player and student of the beautiful game in Germany, England, and USA. Volunteer futsal coach and USSF referee.

2 thoughts on “We won’t compete internationally until we develop players like Coutinho. Period.”

  1. I think his reference to futsal at an early age is key to early player development. We have lots of futsal players now, but must say our lack of futsal referees that truly know how to officiate is a big roadblock. I see actual tackling, hard fouls, pushing–all impediments to facilitating skillful play. I know these referees, they’re out there 8×8 & 11v11 but put them on a court and they swallow their whistle. Not sure how this can be rectified.


    1. Yes, futsal is a must for any elite player. Like many things soccer related here, futsal is going through growing pains. There simply are very few qualified and experienced futsal referees because futsal only very recently acquired critical mass. I know the futsal referee community well and can honestly say that the leadership is trying their best to recruit referees to futsal and then train them. But it will take time for futsal officiating to mature. As you say, it’s so critical for referees to protect futsal otherwise the kids don’t learn what they are supposed to.


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