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The 28th edition of the UEFA Futsal Cup is taking place from April 26 to 28, in Almaty (Kazakhstan), the first year with its new name, UEFA Futsal Champions League. The title will be contended by the best four team in Europe: Inter are the absolute masters with five triumphs, Barça and Kairat follow with two victories, and Sporting with «just» three second places, two of them in the last two editions. To celebrate the big event, Futsal Corner thought it was a good idea to have a look at the teams from the perspective of some specialists who make futsal so unique: pivots. Today: Humberto (Inter FS).
Question: What are your feelings for this Final Four? Who are the favourites?
A: We go there with hunger rather than good feelings. It’s the tournament of the year and we want to win it. The season hasn’t been great for us so far, but we are still in three competitions [Champions League, Spanish league and Copa del Rey] and we can win one more title. Inter will always be the favourite whatever they compete for, but we have to prove it on the pitch. Let’s see if we can do it.
Q: If you were to be a key player of the tournament, would you rather be the MVP, the top scorer or score the victory goal in the final?
A: I’d rather be champion. I’d trade all of that for coming back from Almaty with the golden medal.
Q: In the week ahead of the Finals, we are running interviews with other player who are going to be in the tournament: Cardinal, Esquerdinha and Tayyebi. If you could sign one of them, who would that be, and why?
A: All of them! Well, it depends on the team’s needs at that moment, but I really like the three of them. They all have the qualities to play for Inter of any club in the world. I can’t choose only one of them.
Q: Speaking of your position, do you think we are gradually losing pure pivots? Do you believe a player needs to be more and more versatile in order to find space in a team?
A: I notice that I do more now than I could do 15 years ago. We used to play a lot with pure pivots in the past, and today we have a further option. A moving pivot gives something different. I don’t think one is better than the other. They are two different options, depending on the game, the defense, if the rivals are defending well against a fixed pivot or getting out of pressure with four players. Having this option available can be an advantage. In this regard, futsal is developing a lot in terms of tactical resources.
Q: We are focusing on pivots, but you adapted really well to the wing position, as asked by your coach Jesús Velasco. How was the adaptation?
A: In my case, what Velasco asks me suits me. I have never been a pure pivot. I began as a cierre, then in Malwee y also played as a pivot and a winger… I have been changing positions throughout my career as a futsal player. I am a versatile player and I can adapt to my team’s needs. In my case, it went exceptionally well. This style of play really suits me.
Q: You have met Kairat in many occasions in the past. This year, you can face them again in the final. What are your memories from your times in Almaty?
A: I have the best memories from there. I left a lot of really good friends there, and it’s a top-level team. They won two Champions Leagues and they still are a very hard team to defeat.
Translation: Emanuele Risso (Twitter: @eman_risso)
Cover image: Rubén Robles