- Futsal legend Falcao turns 44 today
- Two-time World Cup-winner considered one of the best-ever futsal players
- FIFA.com brings you four numbers to celebrate his 44th birthday
Ever come across Alessandro Rosa Vieira? Probably not, but when you hear the name Falcao, you know who we are talking about. The world-famous Brazilian – he of the no-look passes, rainbow flicks, crazy dummies and breath-taking shots – celebrates his 44th birthday today. Parabéns, Falcao!
He is considered to be one of the best futsal players of all time, and the statistics prove that, with two FIFA Futsal World Cup™ winner's medals, two adidas Golden Balls and an adidas Golden Shoe to his name.
In recent years, he has also been one of the main driving forces behind the rise in the awareness and popularity of the sport. No trick ever seemed too difficult for him, no angle too tight. His artistry on the court as well as his goals and his moves have made him a legend on social media.
Falcao is the all-time record scorer at the FIFA Futsal World Cup with 48 goals to his name. And you can enjoy plenty of those goals on these video highlights!
Falcao’s 33rd and final World Cup appearance came at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Columbia 2016™ in the Round of 16 against Iran. You could hear a pin drop in the Coliseo Bicentenario. The unthinkable had happened. Iran had just beaten the red-hot favourites Brazil, record tournament winners and defending champions, in the last 16. Brazil’s defeat also brought to an end the career of the artist known as Falcao who had dominated and delighted the futsal world in equal measure.
Falcao made 12 into a very special jersey number in futsal terms. He inherited it from Vander who wore it at the Futsal World Cup in 1996. Portuguese international Ricardinho has even had the number 12 tattooed on his calf in honour of the great Falcao.
I have two godfathers when it comes to futsal: Douglas and Vander. I replaced Vander in the national team and he really helped me during this handover. He spoke to me a lot, gave me advice and motivated me. He was captain in 1996 and scored a goal in the final. And before Vander, Jackson was the number 12. They are icons of Brazilian futsal. This jersey is steeped in tradition.
Falcao achieved a special kind of recognition at The Best FIFA Football Awards Gala in 2016, when he was presented with the FIFA Award for an Outstanding Career.
This is more than just a special moment. I can truly say that that it is the most special moment of my career, because it is the perfect end to everything that I have achieved. As the award itself says, it recognises my entire career. I can look back now with happiness and realise that it was all worth it.