Futsal in portugal: dual power and the russian rebel Сhishkala

One of the most progressive countries developing futsal is Portugal. Bursting into the elite at the beginning of a century (the Portuguese became bronze medalists of World Cup 2000 in Guatemala), the red-greens reached the European Championship in 2018. And the club successes of Portugal futsal make you take a closer look at the development model of the most successful teams in the country.

There are only two successful teams whose names are known to the whole football world. Despite the fact that 16 teams take part in the national championship there are two great ones. From year to year, succeeded each other at the pedestal, the metropolitan teams Benfica and «Sporting» enter the European arena and achieve considerable success there. What’s the secret? The answer is obvious: both clubs are part of the system of the same name big football grants where Academies works with maximum efficiency. Just like in Spanish Barcelona little academicians grow up together with a ball and sportsground. In other words, all pupils of  Sporting and Benfica academies, without exception, get the futsal school, training a great deal of time in a limited space. 

At one point the clubs’ leaders decided that mini-football could be not only an applied sport for training of future soccer players, but also an area of getting the European recognition for newly founded professional futsal teams. It’s said and done: Benfica and Sporting began also a powerful rivalry in futsal which added fire to the hearts of fans in the light of historical confrontation between two grands of Portuguese football.

It should be noted that, as opposed to big football where the leadership of Benfica is almost unequivocal,  recently Sporting is more successful in futsal in Portugal, and on the European arena their achievements are approximately equal – one gold of Champions League and a pair of silver and bronze medals. 

In the current championship which acquired a double meaning for the future winner since last season has been announced unfinished, both teams lost an equal number of points – each by two. Certainly it happened because of the draw during the face-to-face counteraction that took place on November, 28. The rivals scored three goals each, moreover Benfica won back at the very end of the match.

If you follow our publications about the current Champions League draw, then you already know  that both Portuguese teams will play in the 1/16 final. Benfica will go on a visit to Minerva in Switzerland, and Sporting will play at home with Danish Gentofte. Both Portuguese clubs looks like clear favorites in these pairs, so their exit to the next stage is practically predetermined. 


Perhaps, it will be interesting for you to know that since the beginning of the season the first legionnaire from Russia – Ivan Chishkala – plays for Benfica. A pupil of the futsal academy Dina, who played for Yugra club Gazprom-Yugra and became a Champions League winner, Ivan has long been in a conflict with the management of the Russian Futsal Association and refused to play for the national team. The only reason is a plenty of Brazilians with Russian passports in team which prevent from attracting Russians to the national team. The paradox of the situation is that Ivan was recommended to Benfica by a Russian national team player – Brazilian Robinio, with whom they played side by side in Yugra and now they defend the colors of Benfica.