Colombia crowned Futsal World Champions for third time
The Colombian team won its third Futsal World Championship title in Belarus on April 25, leaving the competition trailing in its wake.
The team, led by coach Jaime Cuervo, managed a perfect score: six games played, 12 points out of a possible 12, 34 goals scored and only six conceded.
|What is Futsal?
Futsal is a five-a-side football game normally played indoors on a pitch made of wood or artificial material, with a smaller ball than the regular 11-aside-format
Cuervo’s team won all three group matches, beating Russia in the quarter finals, sending Belgium home 6-0 in the semi-finals and beating Paraguay in the final.
The final saw the tricolour titans, the Colombian team, take down Paraguay 4-0, with goals from Gómez, Cuervo, Abril and Rodríguez.
It’s not surprising that the team performed so well, as it has already participated in nine Futsal World Cups and has won three.
The first was in Bolivia in 2000, the second on home soil in 2011, and now this month’s triumph in Belarus.
The stand-out players on the team were number ten Camilo Gómez, and Jhon Jairo Pinilla, the so-called “Messi of Futsal,” who both scored in five of the six games played. Pinilla took home the Player of the Tournament Award, and teammate Oscar García was crowned best goalie of the tournament.
Under the demanding leadership of Jaime Cuervo, the team had been working up to this World Championship during a long training camp in Spain. The results were clear to see on the field, as the cafeteros stormed the competition.
Since it was formed in 1975, the Colombian Futsal Federation (Fecolfutsalon) has been churning out high-performance athletes in both the male and female categories, making Colombia an indoor football powerhouse. Although the team counts on only minimal support from the private sector, it has managed to rise to the top.
As Colombia looks forward to taking home that gold again four years from now, it’s clear that there’s no better team for the job.
By Juan Camilo Giraldo