Our 2018-19 Portugal Futsal I.D. trip took place on Dec. 27-Jan. 3, and the results were phenomenal! Our teams had a 20-3 record overall, and showcased world-class skills on a world-class court.
The visit included a day of training, an excursion day of team bonding, and a day off for rest and optional small-group local activities.
Our delegation stayed in Estoril/Cascais, Portugal - an amazingly beautiful seaside town near Lisbon with a culture unlike that of anywhere else in the world! The worldly perspective, top-tier experiences, and the team bonding were all priceless gifts granted to our players by the tournament and trip.
This once in a lifetime opportunity is sure to open doors for our players and coaches to continue upward in the world of futsal. This opportunity allowed our players to develop their cognitive soccer abilities as well as their footwork, both on an international level. With an experience like this on their mental resumes, our players are making waves in the world of futsal.
In Portugal, the culture of futsal runs deep in the heart of each citizen. Soccer is a getaway, a safehouse, and a way to express oneself all wrapped into one beautiful game. The game allows anyone to reach the fullest of their potential both on the court and off the court.
One of these individuals who enjoyed the benefits sprung by Portuguese futsal was none other than Cristiano Ronaldo! From a young age, Ronaldo was always on the court practicing his freestyle soccer, footwork, and mental game..."In Portugal, all we played growing up was Futsal. The smaller court helped my footwork skills, the nature of the game made me feel so free when I played. If it wasn't for Futsal, I would definitely not be the player I am today."-Cristiano Ronaldo.
Without the obstacle of a large field and many players, Ronaldo was able to develop who he was as a player on a very small scale, helping him immensely in the long run.
Ronaldo's futsal career began in the same club and facilities that our players were able to play against this past week! The club, SL Benfica, is an incubator for success on the court, and our players reaped the benefits in playing here, just like Cristiano. This club has roots all the way back to 1904, where the first teams played the same game our players did this year. For about 115 years, futsal has been played at this same club, in these same facilities, with the same culture and understanding of the game as it is right now.
A game that lasts this long is one worth playing, and our players putting up a winning record of 20-3 against a world-class club with roots to the Golden Years of futsal truly says something about United States Youth Futsal.