There may be 336 of them but they share a single dream: to be crowned champions at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016. On Friday 2 September, FIFA announced the official 14-man squad lists of all 24 participating nations that will be vying for glory in the cities of Cali, Medellin and Bucaramanga between 10 September and 1 October.
Among the stars set to illuminate the eighth edition of the competition, perhaps none shines brighter than Falcao. Regarded by many as the best of all time, the 39-year-old Brazilian will be aiming to break at least three Futsal World Cup records in Colombia: the most editions played in (five), most games played (currently two short of the record) and top scorer (five short). Moreover, his impressive list of World Cup honours already includes two world titles, two adidas Golden Balls and one adidas Golden Boots.
Falcao’s skills and ability to produce moments of magic have won him fans the world over. Among his most fervent admirers are two players well worth looking out for this month – Portugal’s Ricardinho, adidas Bronze Ball winner at Thailand 2012, and the Colombian Angellott Caro, who proved a revelation at the same edition.
And if it is goals you are after, it is also worth noting that the three highest scorers from the last World Cup – the Brazil-born naturalised Russian Eder Lima, Italy’s Rodolfo Fortino and the Brazilian Fernandinho – will all be gunning for more in this edition.
With goalkeepers playing such a vital role in futsal, rest assured that Colombia 2016 will be showcasing the best in the world in that position. Among the outstanding No1s on show will be Spain’s Paco Sedano, the sole survivor of the 2004 World Cup winning squad; Brazil’s Tiago, a world champion from Thailand 2012; Italy’s Stefano Mammarella, adidas Gold Glove winner four years ago; and Higuita, the Brazil-born naturalised Kazakh, voted the world’s best goalkeeper in 2015 and considered one of the finest executors of the ‘flying keeper’ role.
To view the full squad lists, country by country, just follow the link.