The Story of an Indoor Football Revolution

The untold story of soccer’s little brother — futsal, the grassroots game that is the secret behind the success of Pelé, Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo and Christian Pulisic . . .

Futsal is one of the world’s fastest growing sports: over 60 million people now play this lightning-fast version of indoor soccer. Despite its growing status, however, futsal’s history remains largely untold. Until now.

Jamie Fahey – a futsal expert and youth coach — tells the fascinating story of the game born in Uruguay in 1930 but raised to an art form in Brazil, where legends such as Ronaldhino, Ronaldo Fenômeno and Romário first developed their sublime skills, and on around the world to impact the kind of soccer revolution overseen by Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and Manchester City.

Fahey himself spent his childhood playing endless soccer in the shattered urban landscape of 1980s Liverpool — on the same streets later graced by Wayne Rooney, the ‘last true street footballer’.

Making the case for futsal’s transformative potential to revive a lost culture of child-led “pick-up” games to counter the corrosive rise of “pay to play” models dominating youth soccer in America, Fahey sheds light on the intricacies of a highly tactical sport that many soccer fans may have heard of but precious few understand.

Futsal is essential reading for coaches, players and armchair lovers of the beautiful game.

Jamie Fahey is a Guardian journalist and production editor who has also been involved with futsal for nearly two decades, both as player and coach. He is the paper’s primary reporter on the sport and considered a world expert. Futsal is his first book.

Roberto Martínez is one of the world’s most revered football coaches. Previous honours have included a League One title with Cardiff City, and a famous 1-0 FA Cup win over Manchester City with Wigan Athletic in 2013. He managed Everton between 2013 and 2016, and is the current manager of the Belgian national team.