It’s raining sports in September and the excitement is already palpable. Sports lovers are having a gala time with Premier Futsal which is celebrating its second edition. The fact that Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Deco and Hernan Crespo are fighting it out on the 40m x 20m turf is enough ammo for anyone who is remotely associated with football. In India, Futsal is fast gaining currency owing to its unique set of rules – results in 40 minutes, no offside, no rolling substitution and to top it all there are international players who mingle with Indian footballers.
Did you know:
• For starters, Futsal is a 5-a-side indoor version of football, combined with the rules of basketball, water polo and handball.
• It’s played on wood or artificial flooring based court.
• In its 2nd edition in India, 6 teams will take it head on across 2 venues in Mumbai and Bengaluru before the semi-final and final are played out in Dubai.
• Futsal is the fastest growing indoor sport in the world, with over 2.5 million (25 lakh) players playing this sport every weekend.
• Over 100 million viewers globally watched Premier Futsal 2016 edition
Futsal is widely credited for the superiority of the greatest football players ever including Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Ronaldo, Figo, Ronaldinho, and more recently, Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi and Neymar, who have all acknowledged their Futsal upbringing.
Friday 15th September saw Delhi and Mumbai kicking off the tournament in the only match on that day. Fans got their first look at Ronaldinho and Giggs, the two team captains. Delhi Dragons captain & Brazilian Ronaldinho got on the score sheet first and dominated till the end. Says Kamlesh Daga, businessman who watched the fiercely fought match: “It was sheer delight to watch Ronaldinho score all the 4 goals achieved by his team. He is too good!” Mumbai Warriors tried their best to change the half time score of 3-1 in their favor but the best they could garner was a 4-3 defeat.
Saturday 16th September had a surprise one-sided affair with Bengaluru Royals claiming 4-0 victory over Sunny Leonne owned Kerala Cobras. Scholes’ Royals cruised to a win over Salgado’s Cobras, with the Manchester United legend getting on the scoreboard. Telugu Tigers defeated Chennai Singhams as Deco’s Tigers took a quick two-goal lead through Luis Gonzalez and Mauro Canal, and when Luis made it 3-0, the rout was imminent.
Sunday 16th September saw Ronaldinho score twice as he helped the Delhi Dragons beat Hernan Crespo’s Chennai Singhams 4-2. In the day’s later kick-off in Mumbai, the Mumbai Warriors beat the Kerala Cobras 6-4 after a dramatic flurry of late goals