With the UEFA Futsal Cup starting in Almaty on Friday, Brazilians Michel Bastos, Robinho and Jádson explain how playing the game as youngsters helped their careers thrive.
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The UEFA Futsal Cup kicks off on Friday in Kazakhstan with the continent's top four clubs competing for the crown, and all the skills and tricks the small-sided game is noted for will be on display.
Brazil are the reigning world futsal champions, and the discipline has also been credited with developing the touch that has made them supreme in football as well. UEFA.com spoke to three stars of the 11-a-side game to discover just how futsal helped them thrive.
Michel Bastos (Olympique Lyonnais)
It's a technical game, you play short passes, it's quick, and Brazilians love that. You can see some nice moves, nice plays, and that is why Brazilians love it. We have a player, Falcão, who can do anything with the ball. That is what Brazilians love, and that is why this sport is popular back home.
I played as a kid, at school. In my time, at school you could chose a sport, and in each school there was a futsal pitch. I started with my school and then played for a club in my city. I was seven or eight. When I am back home on holidays, we play with friends and often it is futsal we play.
Robinho (AC Milan)
Ronaldo, the Phenomenon, started his career in futsal, Ronaldinho ... myself, too! And now we have some youngsters, like Neymar, who also played. The majority of the players who dribble like that, who have that ability to play quickly, come from futsal.
Jádson (FC Shakhtar Donetsk)
It is a very fast game ... you have to think quickly. And I took something of that from futsal, the ability to think quickly. I think that's the characteristic I took from futsal, and it is working on the pitch.
Follow the UEFA Futsal Cup direct from Kazakhstan with UEFA.com's reporting team, beginning with Friday's semi-finals as Sporting Clube de Portugal play hosts Kairat Almaty and holders SL Benfica take on Italy's ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5.