- Interview with Spain’s futsal coach Federico Vidal
- He talks about preparations for UEFA EURO and the World Cup
- It emphasizes the homogeneity of major tournaments and the progress of opposing teams
Indoor futsal is one of the disciplines which has brought in the most trophies for Spain. Collecting victories is, however, more and more complicated, as evidenced by the failure of the Roja in the final of the last European competition and in the quarterfinal of the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2016 ™.
FIFA.com talks with Federico Vidal to discuss the UEFA Futsal EURO and the world meeting, as well as the preparation of his players in the current health situation. “The rise of futsal has tightened the level over the years,” said the coach of Spain, who will play these two tournaments in the space of four months with just as much ambition.
Vidal in brief
- Age : 47 years
- Achievements as assistant coach of Venancio López: winner of UEFA EURO Croatia 2012 and Serbia 2016; 2012 Thailand vice-world champion.
- Route with Spain: appointed coach of the lower categories in 2010; after being the assistant to Venancio López, he took the reins of the selection in 2018.
M. Vidal, c*ow is the preparation for the 2021 FIFA World Cup ™ scheduled for September in Lithuania going? *
We have to take the current crisis into account, to know how planning will be affected, what the health protocol will be and whether we will find ourselves in a bubble situation. These are crucial questions at the moment. The EURO internships have given us experience in terms of the problems to be faced. It will be a different, more flexible gathering. We will see what the other selections can do and if it will be possible to play friendlies. Our goal is to have enough time to work, in order to arrive in Lithuania well prepared. It is not enough for a player to be in peak form. He has to reach the necessary competitive level through preparation and friendlies, in order to approach the World Cup with complete confidence in his game and his team.
Spain conceded a draw against France and Kazakhstan, before losing the final to Portugal in the last EURO. Reigning world champions Serbia, Brazil and Argentina will be present in Lithuania. Is this the most balanced global event you can remember?
All World Cups are balanced. Contrary to appearances, it has always been difficult to win titles. Futsal is a young, growing sport. Its development has tightened the level over the years. The teams with little experience in the early days worked tirelessly. Their players are constantly improving thanks to the establishment of professional championships. If the great futsal nations remain the best equipped to go far, the competition has increased. The last World Cup was won by Argentina ahead of Russia. Iran reached the semi-finals. More and more teams are creating surprises and accessing important qualifications, including training from Africa or Asia. We have to use our abilities and our preparation to adapt to these conditions, giving our best from the first to the last game.
The list of players to be called for UEFA EURO and the World Cup promises to be complicated given the homogeneity of the Spanish league?
The task may seem complicated, but I prefer to see it on the contrary as very simple, because whatever players are chosen, they are at their best and the margin for error is minimal. The selection is open to any player who is fit and able to meet our requirements, provided that we have the time and the necessary skills to allow them to adapt. The current situation forces us to broaden the range of possibilities, which promotes healthy competition. On the other hand, there are a lot of matches to be played in a short period of time and we have to take into account the risk of injuries that could affect the squad. We will make our choice based on our competitive and tactical needs.
You lost the UEFA EURO 2018 final and stopped in the quarterfinals at the 2016 World Cup. Do you feel a spirit of revenge among the players?
Spain have a winning mind and are still aiming for the title. Regardless of our previous results, we always have one goal in mind: to get to the final and win. There is no question of revenge.
Are you under pressure from the weight of expectations?
Pressure can be negative if we let it affect us, but we want to make it positive by making it part of our mind and our desire to win. We’re going to use it to push ourselves to demand more of ourselves every day and in every game, and to make sure that the competitive spirit of the players and the squad gives us an advantage.
Four months separate the World Cup (September) and UEFA EURO (January). Is it difficult to maintain the focus and ambition of the group when two big tournaments follow each other so closely?
If we are successful in the World Cup, we will approach European competition with good momentum. Conversely, if we fail on the world stage, the EURO could allow us to correct our mistakes. Our players have enough ambition and desire for two tournaments. What they want is to play in prestigious competitions and they have been deprived of it since UEFA EURO 2018. For more than three years they have played friendly matches, they have trained, they have worked for qualifications for global and European events. They made a lot of sacrifices and today they are rewarded by making their dream come true.