Futsal Basics

Futsal Player Positions

One of the distinct differences between soccer and futsal is the number of players on the court. In soccer, each team must have 11 players on the court. While in a futsal game, each team only needs 5 players. These players must know their roles and responsibility to be an effective team player and execute team strategies. The following are the list of designated positions of players in futsal:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Defenders
  • Wingers
  • Pivot/Target

Interested to know more about these futsal player positions? Then we got you covered, keep on reading.

The Goalkeeper

The goalkeeper’s role in a futsal game is to make sure that the opponent’s ball won’t reach the goal, hence, won’t have a score. Most often, their uniform is also different from other players in the team. They are the only member of the team who is allowed to touch the ball during gameplay which happens when they are protecting the team’s net. A goalkeeper plays an important role in determining the outcome of the game. Since they can see the oversight of what is happening inside the court during gameplay, a goalkeeper must have quick decision-making abilities and can command the whole team to overturn the game or do a counterattack whenever it’s possible.

Futsal goalkeepers can also play as a “fly goalkeeper”. This term for a goalkeeper is used in futsal when a goalie plays temporarily the role of an active fifth player in the court. This often happens when the team is losing against their opponent. Some of the known goalkeepers in the futsal world are Leo Higuita of Kairat, Paco Sedano of FC Barcelona, and Luis Amado of Inter Movistar.

Some rules that a goalkeeper need to remember are:

  1. A goalkeeper can only touch the ball for 4 seconds in his court of defense.
  2. When taking a kick-in, the goalkeeper is not allowed to have the ball back to him in his court unless an opponent touched the ball first.

The Fixo or The Fixed Defenders

Next on the line of futsal positions is the defender. This role is often called as “fixo” and is in a defensive position. It is the last line of defense before the opponents reach the goalkeeper so it also plays a crucial role in preventing the opposing team from scoring. Defenders put a lot of effort when in-game since they are the last resort to stop the opponent from reaching the goalkeeper and having a goal. They also can be in an attacking position since futsal is a fast-paced game. This is why a fixo must have good communication skills with other team members because someone needs to cover the defense position when a fixo decides to be in the attacking position. They need to do smart passes with the other members of the team to score a point and win the game. One of the most basic rules that a defender must remember is that he can’t touch the ball with their hands under all circumstances. Some of the notable defender players in futsal are Slobodan Rajčević of Al Mayadeen Futsal Team and Serbia National Futsal team, Jordi Torras of Asti, and Julio Garcia Mera of Inter Movistar.

The Two Wingers

There are two wingers needed in a futsal game. These futsal positions are on the left, called the left-winger, and the right called the right-winger. A winger’s role is both on defense and offense position depending on which team holds the ball. They move back and forth on the field. They will do offensive when their team has the ball and defensive when the opponents possess the ball. During the start of the game, most wingers are usually on the sides ahead of the defender, but this doesn’t limit them from moving around during the gameplay depending on the tactics and rotation needed to score a point and to win. With this responsibility, players that will play the wingers position should be fit and fast. They need to have tricks and do ball kicking and passing with the pivot to open opportunities to score and have points. Wingers must also have high stamina as they will keep on running and moving throughout the game. Want to know some of the famous wingers in the futsal world? These are Alessandro Rosa Viera or Falcão, Javier Rodriguez Nebreda or Javi Rodriguez of Baku United, and Vinicius Elias Teixeira or Vinicius of Intelli.

The Target or Pivot

And last, but not least on the list of the positions on futsal is the pivot or target. The pivot is in an attacking position and placed ahead of the wingers near the center of the field. This role is constantly attacking the opponent and trying to have a score point. They are usually the target of the attention of the opposition players. When playing a pivot, one must be comfortable having their back to the goal of the opponent. He also must have the strength to control the incoming balls at any pace and height. When a pivot is being in a crucial moment against the opponent, the wingers must support him and must create movements such as running that can distract the opponents and show to the pivot that they are ready to accept the ball whenever the pivot will kick it. Despite being in an offensive or attacking position, a target can also be in defense especially when their team loses the ball on their side. Teamwork and rotation are also vital in being a pivot to win the game. Paulo Roberto of ElPozo Murcia, Vahid Shamsaei, and Konstantin Eremenko are some of the notable pivots in the futsal world.

The Subs

Like every other ball game, futsal has also substitute players. Although they are not officially on the court and some may not even mention them when discussing the player positions in futsal, I would like to include the substitutes. These players are also important in having a successful team and game. Each team is allowed to have 12 subs and this number is enough to cover every futsal position in the court. Yes, every position, including the goalkeeper. The subs are helpful when an accident inside the court happens that can injure a player and when the coach wants to change game tactics to win.


These are just the basic player positions in futsal. These can change depending on your coach’s tactics and strategies. The formations can also change depending on the game and your team’s situation.

While there are different futsal player positions in the game, every position is important and plays a vital role in winning the game. Good communication and teamwork are also very important in a game of futsal. Each player must know where their teammates go to execute plans accordingly and score a point. Rotation and positioning must also be observed during gameplay as these will open opportunities for a good defense or offense depending on the situation. Only the goalie isn’t allowed to do a rotation in the court unless he will play as a fly goalkeeper. Remember that futsal is a fast-paced game so having these skills as a player will help you and your team.

About the author

Damien Gavrilho

Damien has been a professional futsal player from 1997 to 2010 years. He was playing for FC Atlantic Wolves and Dynamo. Damien has opened his own futsal school in North Dakota, USA and populating futsal all over the United States. Today, Damien is coaching his own team in the amateur USA futsal league. Damien has multiple rewards from the US Futsal Association.

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