We are days away from the kick off of the eighth edition of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016, where 24 teams have descended on the northern end of South America to battle it out for the title.
Being the eighth time the tournament has convened, following on from the delights on show at Thailand 2012, we thought we would whet your appetite for the upcoming action on the court with eight statistics on the competition to come.
is the number of spectators drawn to the last, and so far only, Futsal World Cup in South America. Brazil 2008 stands as the highest attendance for any edition by some stretch, attracting almost 70,000 more than eight years earlier in Guatemala – the second-best attended. Though, featuring fourteen fewer games, the Central Americans can argue their claim at being the most popular tournament yet, seeing an average of 400 more fans per game.
is the combined number of Futsal World Cup goals scored by this year’s 24 teams. While there may be four debutants at Colombia 2016, it is fair to say the remaining 20 more than make up for their fresh faces with bags of experience. Incredibly, 65 of those goals came in just two games: Russia’s 31-2 win of Solomon Islands in 2008 and Brazil’s 29-2 defeat of Guatemala in 2000, with those ranking as the two highest-scoring games in the tournament’s history.
is the number of goals Iran scored en route to the finals during Asian qualifying, more than anyone else in Colombia. No one managed to hold them to fewer than six goals until stepping out in the final – including 13 against Iraq and fellow qualifiers Vietnam – where Uzbekistan suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to see Seyed Nazemalsharieh’s goal-machines head on to the global stage as champions.
are the amount of centimetres that Cuba’s Brenieht Suarez will be towering over Ibrahim Eika of Egypt in their first game of the tournament. Both the tallest and the smallest players to travel to Colombia, the Caribbean goalkeeper stands at an imposing 197cm, while the Egyptian defender has more of a nimble 159cm frame. The youngest player at the competition could also feature in that game, with Diego Ramirez not due to turn 18 until 3 November.
club team-mates can be found in both the Azerbaijan and Vietnam squads here in Colombia. What these two debutants will be lacking in prior knowledge of the tournament itself, you can be sure that they will be well schooled on each other’s playing styles. When not on international duty, Azerbaijan’s 11 can be found plying their trade at Araz Naxçivan MFK, while Thai Son Nam FSC is where most of Vietnam’s charges call home.
goals was what it took for Eder to clinch the adidas Golden Boot at Thailand 2012, with the Russian striker netting more than three quarters of them in just a single game. The now MFK Gazprom-Ugra Yugorsk forward dealt another harsh blow to Solomon Islands – though not as heavy as their record victory in 2008 – to score seven in a 16-0 win. He returns this year and should he top the charts again, he will become the second to win back-to-back titles, matching that of Brazil’s Manoel Tobias.
is the number of consecutive tournaments that Argentina, Brazil and Spain have appeared at – the only three-ever present sides in Futsal World Cup history. 100 per cent of the titles so far have been snapped up by this trio too, with five going to Brazil and Spain garnering the other two. Can Argentina make it eighth time lucky in Colombia?
is all Brazil’s Falcao needs to score at the Futsal World Cup to become the tournament’s all-time top-scorer. The oldest player at this year’s tournament at 39 and stood on 38 goals, he trails his aforementioned compatriot Tobias’ tally of 43, but will match his mark of 31 games should he feature in their opener against Ukraine on Matchday 2.