Football Across Borders
Interview With Estanislau Queta
In this blogpost, we continue to explore the European sports scene.   This time, we will present a topic that plays an unreplaceable part in the local culture, even more in the regions we have approached.
That is football and respectively, futsal. It is no news that they are bringing people together, whether playing, or watching and cheering favoured teams, family members, or friends. But more insight into the sports’ unique traits across borders will be presented through an interview with Estanislau Queta, who played semi-professional futsal and football for Núcleo de Sintra, in Lisbon, Portugal, and FC Kensington Dragons, in London, UK.
Q: What inspired you to start practising football and futsal?
A: As I am from Portugal, football was always around while I was growing up. It’s something that is deeply embedded in our culture and society — everyone is very dedicated to football. While some people might have a footballer or parent figure that inspires them, for me it was the social aspects that have drawn me towards playing.
Q: Having experienced playing football and futsal in Portugal and the UK, could you please outline the differences and particularities within the two countries?
A: In few words — ‘passion’ vs ‘challenge’ — these were the main sources of players’ motivation. When you play football in the UK, the expectations are oftentimes much higher than in Portugal, there’s more competitions, more supporters, and more feedback from coaches to ensure you reach the next level, aiming to play professionally. In Portugal however, expectations are not as high, people play out of passion, for the fun of the game, for the opportunities to enjoy time and connect with others. Elseways, a similarity within both countries is that football can be a way out of poverty, a means of empowerment, a source of opportunities.
Estanislau’s latter point highlighting the importance football, and more generally, sports, have within societies. Hence, we’d like to raise awareness of this matter, through an official statement.
“We recognize the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.” — United Nations
Q: From a player’ point of view, what are the main differences between football and futsal, that others should be aware of?
A: Futsal is ten times more intense than normal football, due to the short bursts, and the indoor setting, which involves a smaller court with a hard floor, allowing for less bounce than regular, outdoor pitches. A futsal ball is also heavier. Due to the higher level of energy players invest, futsal matches take 40 minutes, compared to 90 for a football match.
Q: What is your goal as a football / futsal player?
A: I have one more goal — to play for the first team of Coventry University — then plan on playing just for leisure. I am not aiming to pursue football professionally, but it will remain a memory forever. Although there was a time when I just wanted to be the best and break from semi-professional to professional, I realised that requires a different type of commitment, and I was already approaching another career path.
Q: What are your plans for after stepping down from football / futsal?
A: A current goal is to become a personal trainer by next year, while continuing to prepare for my long-term objective — to pursue a career as a civil servant or financial analyst, having studied Economics, which I really enjoyed.
Q: How do you think football and futsal have impacted your daily life?
A: I became a dedicated worker and an interactive member in society. As a team sport, being surrounded by people helped me develop interpersonal skills. It helped me develop a routine, drive, determination, and self-belief.
Q: And since we talked about cultural characteristics, have you got any questions about sports in Japan, or more generally Eastern Asia?
A: Eastern Asian countries have among some of the most diverse and healthy cuisines in the world, so I am interested in what and how often athletes eat, and if they follow any diets. Regarding fitness, although the foundation is similar around the world, I’d like to know if there’s a certain skillset they tend to focus on within their practice sessions.
HOME TRAINING ROUTINE
After our interview, we asked Estanislau for a brief overview of his current home training routine, which is available on our YouTube channel — Sunbears: Cloud Campus for Sports, through the link below.
The type of exercises chosen work a wide range of muscles — V Ups — to the whole body — Jumping Jacks — compared to those focused on a specific muscle only. These tend to be both effective and time-saving, ideal for a home workout routine, as they involve no equipment, without requiring much space.
V Ups may improve athletic form, balance, minimising the risk of developing back pain or other injuries, by strengthening the abdomen and surrounding areas. Such matters could arise in the context of staying idle too much, at home, at a computer, etc., which is more likely to happen considering nowadays’ restrictions.
Jumping Jacks are good for the heart and bones, improving balance, coordination, and general mood, again, great within the pandemic circumstances, which has taken its toll on people’s mental health, figures of depression and anxiety having concerningly spiked. Hence, such exercise is advisable as it may lift your mood and productivity.