• On this May 4, the Spaniard Kike Boned celebrates his 43 years
  • World champion in 2000 and 2004, he is a futsal legend
  • With FIFA.com, he talks about his memories and the next World Cup

In the world of futsal, Kike Boned is one of the voices that matter. Double world champion, in 2000 and 2004, and finalist of the two following editions, he retired seven years ago. And yet, it is still as hard to come to terms with his absence within The Red.

On his 43rd birthday, FIFA.com spoke with him to review his sporting successes, take stock of futsal and plan for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 ™.

You are celebrating your 43 years. If you look in the rearview mirror, how do you feel when you think back to your athletic successes?

The pride and the privilege of having taken full advantage of a wonderful sport which allowed me, with my clubs and the selection, to live unforgettable moments, beyond victories and defeats. When you hang up, you realize how lucky you have been and you realize that nothing compares to all that you can experience in a career as a player.

Would you change some things in these 20 years?

We all ask ourselves the question. Me, I always think the same thing: I don’t see myself complaining about anything in my career. My sporting career has been full, it has been satisfying and rewarding from all points of view. Of course, I could have done some things better and made other choices, but it would be unfair to change anything because I experienced something unforgettable.

What if you only had to remember one moment in your career?

It’s difficult… As we get older, we put the sporting aspect in the background and we give more importance to the rest, to what really matters. When asked about the worst time, everyone thinks about the penalty shootout loss in the World Cup final [Brésil 2008] or European Cup, but no. It was when my team had a bus accident in 2005. I was not traveling. You get up in the morning and you have 200 missed calls … You wonder what happens … Today, all this has taken precedence on the sporting side.

We were discussing it the other day with Vinicius and we agreed: human experience is priceless, regardless of the outcome. We were looking at a photo of the two of us before the World Cup final in Thailand, which he was lucky to win and which we lost. The fact of living this moment, of being there, of being chosen to play this final and of savoring the present moment… It is very difficult to hold back a moment, only one thing of 20 years of career… It would be unfair .

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There was nevertheless this particular moment, during this World Cup 2000, with the first title of Spain, against Brazil moreover…

This is the turning point for Spanish futsal. For us who were there, it marked a before and after in our career and in our life. It changed the history of futsal in Spain and around the world. We have shown that Brazil is not invincible, that a group of “crazy” people feel capable of beating them. And in addition, we did it in the World Cup final. At the time, it was amazing. Even today, 20 years later, we still celebrate it, we are privileged. It was one of the most important matches of my career, if not the biggest, for its symbolic side. And yet, I hadn’t even played. I was a kid, I was the youngest on the team. And despite everything, I feel privileged to have been able to experience this in front of thousands of people.

And these same “crazy people” reoffended in 2004 …

In a very different context. It was already another futsal. It is true that we took advantage of the fact that Brazil still considered the defeat of 2000 to be an accident. And we, in 2004, we fully played the collective card. Whether in terms of depth of squad and individual quality, we knew we were very far away, but we made a real demonstration of team spirit and thirst to win. Afterwards, it is true that there is nothing like the first time. We enjoyed it and it was historic to keep our title, but the five who were at the previous World Cup experienced it differently, while being aware of the dimension of the feat.

Would you say that today, the teams are closer to each other, that the collectives have taken precedence over individualities?

There are more tools and more collective situations. Much progress has been made physically and tactically, and in preparation. It has become much harder to make the differences. Even if there are still gaps and if the good players remain good players, it has leveled out. When you watch a World Cup or a Euro, it’s difficult to identify a big favorite when in the past, it was always the same name that stood out.

Has this leveling also affected Spain, which today is struggling to impose itself at European level?

I share this analysis in part. When the opponents are weaker, we have a better chance of winning, that’s undeniable. However, when you are a competitor, progress depends essentially on the people in front of you. Spain is one of the nations that has stalled in recent years, but lost to Portugal at Euro 2018 and the 2016 World Cup, it was quartered by Russia. It forces us to work in order to progress, to be demanding and never be satisfied with what we have. The progress of our adversaries is the engine that fuels our own. We are Brazil who made us better. He forced us to surpass ourselves collectively and all the players who came to us made us better. I also believe that the Brazilians were forced to follow this dynamic because we pushed them to their limits. Their defeats can be explained by their error in judgment, the fact that they did not know how to understand the profile of the team they were facing at that time.

What do you learn by playing a World Cup?

We learn to appreciate. I had the chance to do four and it’s a huge privilege. In the daily life of a World Cup, we measure the importance of the group, of empathy within a group, which is really fundamental. We learn to place the collective interest before the personal interest. We realize that the smallest detail can make the difference.

How are you going to follow the Lithuanian date?

I will experience the event differently, hoping that Spain will win this third star… It would be a good thing for everyone. A title would give futsal a boost at the national level, like for us in 2000 or Argentina at the last World Cup. I will follow this from a distance, suffering with the Spanish selection and trying to take advantage of the quality of the game offered. It surprised me a lot to suffer so much as a spectator while I was living all that very well as an actor.

What do you expect from Spain?

Spain always has its chances in a competition like this. She has a generation of young players who will be talked about a lot in the future. The level is more and more homogeneous and the candidates for the title are more numerous, but Spain is one of them. She is in the group of candidates for the title. The level of the Primera RFEF Futsal in Spain does not drop, which gives us an advantage over the others at a World Cup.

You have played four editions of the World Cup. How does a World Cup transform its host country, in this case Lithuania?

During the four editions that I had the chance to experience, I realized that the course of a World Cup has nothing to do from one country to another. What we experienced in Guatemala in 2000 was madness, fever in its purest form. In China, it was different. And what to say when the host country is Brazil… Today, futsal arrives in Lithuania, a country of small size but which has a big tradition of the sport indoor. So I hope that the competition will leave a mark and that the circumstances will allow this trace to remain for a long time. The country and the federation will be fully behind the competition. It’s going to be a success.


 Rafael Usin of Spain celebrates his goal during the Futsal Euro 2014 Quarter Final match between Slovenia and Spain
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To be continued in Lithuania

Pito: “Just to see it, I would gladly pay for my seat to watch a game in Brazil. There is Ferrao, Gadella, a bunch of players, but Pito brings together the full panoply of the perfect futsal player. He is honest with his sport. and his team, straight in his demeanor, he has indisputable technical qualities and he pleases the public. And all with a smile. If I were Lithuanian and if I had the opportunity to attend a match, I would come to Pito “.

Fernan : “It’s a bit the same as Pito. I’m sure he will be selected for the Spain team. He’s a 26-year-old boy who is in the shape of his life. I’m convinced it will be worth it. the glance to see him at work at the World Cup “.

Argentina: “She will again showcase her collective strength. From my experience, I can say that others would be wrong to say that what they did in 2016 was a fluke. Behind this title, there is a job huge launched by Diego Giustozzi and continued by Matias Lucuix, whose results we will see in Lithuania “.

Russia : “There is a generation of extraordinary young Russian players. If they are well aware of this strength, then they are going to have a good chance of succeeding. Russia is one of the many nations which are rising, which are very competitive and who are going to succeed. beat “.

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