Football and Futsal: The Smart Occupation of the Space
In the words of Johan Cruyff, “Players, in reality, have the ball for 3 minutes, on average. So, the most important thing is: what do you do during those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball? That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.”
Last week i watched the game of Uefa Champions League between Napoli and Barcelona, a very good game, with many of the best players of the world, but who attracted me, were not Messi, Griezmann or Fabian Ruiz,but was Napoli's right back, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, a player that i believe is very tactically adavnced and with excellent reading of the game. He executed a movement during the game, abandoning his position along the side, where a lateral player usually is 'confined' and rarely feel comfortable to leave, to go to occupy a free space in the center of the field, with a timing and body orientation better than 'Jorginho', allowing the team to escape from pressing and starting the attack that brought to the goal of Martens. In this video you can appreciate all the details.
Now the questions is: how to train the game reading and the smart space occupation? How to create players like Di Lorenzo who can read and occupay the free space? How to create a Similar Processor in the mind of our players?
Futsal is the answer: a sport where there is almost no time for thinking and no space for play, become the 'perfect environment' to stimulate the exasperate research of the free space; and of course time of occupation and correct body orientation are a logical consequence. In the modern football where always coaches look for change team formation and positioning during the course of the game, have players that can perfom multiple positions and who can feel comfortable to read the space and go to play where the space is.... will certaily be a great advantage.
In the video i created a parallel between Di Lorenzo/Manoals movement and the futsal movemnt of 'GIRO' when a player from center, opens his position towards the side, the lateral player goes to occupy the central position between opponent's defensive lines