Luis Amado: Whoever wins will be Champions
Six games, six wins and 39 goals. Who can stop the Brazilians at the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004? One man thinks he can. In fact he's confident of not only a Spanish win, but a clean sheet too. But then Luis Amado didn't let a goal in for the first 168 minutes of Spain's games. He tells FIFA.com why he's so confident about facing Falcao and co…
FIFA.com: Many are saying that the winner of the Brazil v Spain semi-final will win the trophy. Do you agree?
Luis Amado: I am confident about the game and I agree with those who think that whoever wins on Friday will win the Championship. It's a massive game. It's going to be a really tough match, I think there will be a lot of chances for both sides. I actually think it will be quite an open game, I don't think it will be another 0-0.
We've had two of those already - and none before in World Championships. Can you put your finger on why that should be?
It's been very strange, it's really unusual to get a 0-0 draw in futsal and to get two in such quick succession is quite odd. But nowadays there is definitely a greater concentration on defence and if you get two teams who defend so tightly, it makes it difficult to score. Then you have the possibility of a goalless draw. But still, it's very unusual.
There's more emphasis on defence than when you started playing?
I think that's most evident when you look at club's buying policies. When I started they would look to buy players who would create and score goals. Now they seem more interested in buying defensive players or keepers.
Do you think Spain are a better team than in 2000?
I think we're a different side - a lot of the players have changed so it's hard to compare, we have a lot of younger players now.
I've seen Brazil once in the tournament, they are stronger than in 2000 - they have improved quite a lot tactically I think.
How do you see the Italy-Argentina game going?
That's going to be another tough match. You have two teams who play in a quite aggressive way so it's going to be an intense game. I don't know who is going to win but I would prefer it if Italy won so we could then avenge our group defeat in the final.
How is Javier Lozano - he seems very relaxed after the games?
No, he's not always relaxed (laughing) . When we don't do our jobs properly I can tell you he's not relaxed, but just at the moment I think he's reasonably satisfied with the squad. He demands a great deal of effort from us and he's quite serious when it comes to his job.
And how is team-spirit?
It's a very close-knit squad, we are a very tight group, we all get on really well. You have to watch out for Javi Rodriguez. He's always laughing, always making fun - he's a very witty man and he's always got a way of making us all laugh.
What makes a good futsal keeper for you?
I think it's important to be able to read the game, to know how the game is going to develop, to move his feet properly and most important - speed.
Which other keeper has impressed you at this tournament?
I would say I have been very impressed with Olexiy Popov of Ukraine. He is extremely quick around his area which is vital.
And outfield players?
Bacaro of Italy has really impressed me, and of course Schumacher of Brazil is a great player.
Have you had a chance to have a look around Chinese Taipei?
We've been out very little because of our training schedule. But we have managed to have a trip around the city, we've been to a night market and had a look at some monuments. I've never been to Asia before, but I've been quite surprised by Chinese Taipei to be honest because I thought it would be more Chinese culturally and it's quite westernised.
How long would you like to continue playing for?
It's hard physically being a keeper, and for sure we have to put in lots of effort and we need a lot of strength but on the other hand, we lead a very healthy life. We don't drink or smoke - a friend of mine still keeps goal at 38-years-old - so you never know, I will keep on playing for as long as possible. I'd love to still be the Spanish keeper in 2008. I am currently studying to get my coaching licence but it's a bit early to say what I'll do after I stop playing.
If you win on Sunday will there be a big Spanish celebration?
Not here, I'm afraid. We're booked to go straight home after the game. There may be something planned when we get back to Spain but I don't know about it. There's plenty of interest at home though.
So will you be tossing and turning the night before the game worried about all those Brazilian forwards?
You don't need to worry about me - I'm going to sleep like a log.
And a prediction for the game?
(Smiles confidently) 3-0 to Spain.
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