In 2000 Spain lifted the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the first time. It would change Spanish futsal forever and since that victory they have been the leading nation in the sport alongside Brazil. Their sustained success has been heavily attributed to the level of the country’s coaches who are in demand across the world.
One of those players who guided Spain to that first title was Alberto Riquer, described as “an excellent player who never fails” by Javier Lozano, the coach of that team and current Spanish Futsal League President. He added a European Championship medal the following year.
On retiring from playing, Riquer dedicated himself to coaching and has worked in Vietnam and England and currently leads the B team for European Champions, and the world’s most successful club, Inter Movistar. In this role he has the responsibility for preparing young players for the highest level of competition.
On the 15th July he is coming to Manchester, England to educate on “Developing Awareness and Decision Making in Futsal” as part of the Futsal Insights Seminar. In this interview we cover this topic, the secrets of Spain’s success, the potential for the game in England and his future. How important is awareness and decision making in futsal especially at the highest level?
Futsal is a game eminently perceptive which is based on the awareness and reading of the diverse situations that occur during a game. It means there is a fundamental importance on awareness to be able to take the appropriate decisions in the variable and open game situations in relation to the tactics we want to carry out. Technique is the tool to execute these decisions. Speed of reading the game and anticipation are the factors that enable performance to increase exponentially as players and a team.Do you think the Spanish Coaching methodology focusing on game situations and decision making has been one of the keys to the country’s success not only in futsal but many other team sports?
I agree that it is a very important factor in the growth of our players/coaches/educators in diverse sporting disciplines as are other social and cultural aspects. I believe we have known how to grow in recent years from the knowledge of coaches and players from other countries (futsal from Brazil, basketball from North America and Balkan countries and handball from Eastern Europe). We have taken the best from these schools and complimented them to our own ideas. Another fundamental aspect is the competitiveness in Spanish sports in the youth categories and the good work in promoting to young children carried out by the federations.What do you hope the participants learn from your presentation and practical?
I hope to bring practical ideas that they can apply to their teams and I’ll try to generate questions about our work as coaches/educators. These questions force us to think and share ideas.What do you see as potential for futsal in England?
I continue to think that England has great potential to develop futsal. There are a huge number of factors that provide it with a lot of room to grow (sporting culture, fans, climate, economy, multicultural). They need more people that will struggle and fight for our sport, trying new projects and events like this.You have coached senior teams in England and Vietnam but currently are helping develop youth players at Inter Movistar. Do you want to return to coaching a senior team in the future?
Yes, I would like to. It is very satisfying to develop young players but it also true that I miss the competitive element that you get in high-level competition.
Alberto will be carrying out a presentation at the Futsal Insights Seminar on “Developing Awareness and Decision Making in Futsal” in Manchester on 15th July. He will follow this up with a practical session on the same topic the following morning. Seminar tickets are available for just £30 and include entrance to the practical session. Alternatively, practical session tickets are priced at £15. For more info and to purchase tickets go to FutsalInsights.com.FP Staff