To many footballers in the UK, futsal is an anathema because it is difficult to quantify and put in a bracket. But to Luis Mendonca it is the epitome of the sport, and one he grew up playing in his Portugal homeland.
The almost snobbish attitude towards the variation of the game comes from generations who have never been exposed to futsal, and their inability to pigeon hole it, trying to squeeze it into the same bracket of social and small-sided football.
However, in many parts of the world, futsal is used to hone and develop the technical skills of a player from a young age, and Mendonca is determined to help raise awareness and spread the word in this country.
He started playing in Portugal as an under-12, and carried on until his 30s, but also did a sports and science degree with futsal specialisation and then a masters degree in high performance sport and futsal.
Having completed his UEFA courses in England, he is now head coach of the Cambridge United Futsal team, and they are making impressive strides in the first FA National Futsal Super League.
After a difficult start to the inaugural campaign, they have found their feet and are now unbeaten in eight games, after Monty Bouttell’s double and one from Angel Martinez gave them a 3-0 win over York last Sunday.
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CFU help to sponsor the Cambridge United Futsal side