Miguelín: “I would like to play Slovenia in the final of UEFA Futsal EURO 2018!”

The words of the MVP a.k.a. Golden Player of the last UEFA Futsal EURO. 31 year-old Miguel Sayago Martí, known as Miguelín in the futsal world, won his second European title with the Spanish national team in Belgrade. In this exclusive interview we discussed futsal and its big brother football, why Messi and Ronaldo are not necessarily being the only idols for the kids, what Miguelín thinks of Spanish and Slovenian national team and why he would rather not face the hosts of the next UEFA Futsal EURO before the finals.

UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 – best memories

“Definitely the one when we became champions in the end. We had had some problems and many doubted that we could repeat the success and defend the title. We showed what we were made of. Of course, every personal award is something special, but, honestly, I cherish the team’s success most of all.”

Belgrade

“It was extraordinary. The atmosphere was perfect, especially when Serbia was playing. But, it was also spectacular at other matches. From the first till the last day we felt great, and the people were extremely nice, hospitable and welcoming.”

Futsal and football

“Up until I was 17, I had only been playing football. And then I switched. Mostly, because you can always be in contact with the ball in futsal, every 10 or 15 seconds the ball is at your feet. This was the biggest reason why I changed the sport. It turned out I made the right decision. I feel privileged to play and represent futsal. Of course, much more is being written and said about football, but also futsal has been developing and gradually gaining popularity among the fans. Maybe someday, perhaps even someday soon, we will become an Olympic sport.”

A team playing on home soil in front of ten thousand fans, is an extremely dangerous and tough opponent.

Titles

“Spain always has the highest goal, which means winning medals. After we won the European title, things did not go as planned at the World Cup. We have proved in the past that we can win titles, but it has really become more and more difficult in recent years. There is no doubt we need to perform on our top level if we want to win a big title. Teams around Europe and across the world have made progress and are making our job more difficult. One of those teams is Slovenia, which has improved immensely. I really like them.”

Slovenia has improved immensely. I really like them.

Slovenia futsal team

“Slovenia really was the first team to beat us after more than a decade. A kind of revenge is something we are looking forward to, but we need to be smart about it. A team playing on home soil in front of ten thousand fans, is an extremely dangerous and tough opponent. That is why my wish is to play Slovenia in the final of the UEFA Futsal EURO 2018. That would be something amazing, a real celebration of futsal, which would offer a first-class spectacle. It would be something for the fans, too. In the end, I hope we would win and confirm the title from 2016.”

Slovenian medal at UEFA Futsal EURO 2018

“Experiences from the last few championships are that it is entirely possible. The Croatian team played extremely well at their Euro in 2012 , coming forth in the end. Last year in Serbia, the home team was also great and came really close to a medal; again, they were forth. Maybe Slovenia will break the spell and finally win a medal as a host nation.”

Not every kid wants to be like Messi or Ronaldo, some of them want to be like Ricardinho or Miguelín!

Futsal development

“UEFA has been doing a fantastic job promoting futsal. We can also see progress being made in individual countries and leagues. I think futsal as a sport is on the right track. In Spanish futsal, but also elsewhere, the fans are more and more involved in the game, which is a guarantee for a spectacle. My club for example, ElPozo Murcia, is one of the most renowned in the world. I can really say I enjoy every single match because of our fantastic fans. Futsal is popular in Murcia. People live futsal and believe it or not, not every kid wants to be like Messi or Ronaldo, some of them want to be like Ricardinho or Miguelín. I am extremely proud of that. And of the fact that I am the team’s captain.”

Surprise

“There are surprises every time, as was the case with Croatia and Serbia. Admittedly, Slovenia was not at their best at the last UEFA Futsal EURO, but they are still a good team, which has made progress and has potential. There is Russia, Ukraine have a strong side, and others. We might talk about the same teams in the end, but surprises never fail to arise.”

Miguelín and Ricardinho: futsal stars of today

“Thank you. It is really nice to hear praise like that. I hope I have many years of playing at the top level in front of me.”

Futsal stars of tomorrow

“There are a lot of players who could put their mark on futsal in the future, for example Alex, Sergio Lozano, Pito, Bebe, Pola and others.”

Memorable career moment

“Definitely the two titles at the UEFA Futsal EURO. If I had to pick just one, it would be the last one from Serbia. Despite difficult moments, we were able to step together as a team, fought when we had to and won another title. This memory will stay with me forever.”

I hope we will all be satisfied after UEFA Futsal EURO 2018; fans from Slovenia and fans from Spain!

Trick

“I like the one-on-one game, and I equally like to shoot the ball. But the most important thing is to be able to help my teammates; in defence and when we are attacking. I do believe defence is one of my strongest qualities.”

Message for the Slovenian fans

“Firstly, I would like to thank each and everyone who supports futsal and believes in all of us. I always say that we are stronger when we work together. I hope we will all be satisfied after UEFA Futsal EURO 2018; fans from Slovenia and fans from Spain.”