This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
- Lithuanian captain Justinas Zagurska speaks ahead of FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021 ™
- Zagurskas talks about how he got into futsal as well as his expectations for the World Cup
- He explains the pros and cons of postponing the tournament for a year
The FIFA Futsal World Cup ™ starts in Lithuania on September 12, 2021. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place exactly one year earlier, which means that expectations in the host country are now building up to fever. We spoke with Lithuanian futsal captain Justinas Zagurskas about the World Cup in particular and sports in general.
I believe that the Lithuanian futsal community is growing and that this will not stop after the World Cup – it will continue to grow.
About the futsal community in Lithuania …
“Futsal in our country is not professional – it is more semi-professional. The FIFA Futsal World Cup has given futsal teams and players a boost when it comes to achieving professional status. You can feel it among the teams and players when there are calls “Ups for the national team – we all come to work, not to take a break. I think the Lithuanian futsal community is growing and this will not stop after the World Cup – it will continue to grow.”
How has the FIFA Futsal World Cup changed the image of futsal in Lithuania?
“We have received more media attention in recent times and more calls for the national team. We have had intensive preparations and everyone was looking forward to this world championship, so it is a shame that the tournament had to be postponed to the following year due to the current situation. “Emotions are still positive, though, and we’re all motivated and ready to give it all we have.”
What made you take futsal?
“When I was younger, I played football, but I had a few health issues that prevented me from continuing, so I switched to futsal. I had played futsal from time to time when I was a kid, and we even won the championship, en I was in school I was always fascinated by futsal when I was young and started playing at a higher level when I was 16. What I like about futsal is that it is a fast, dynamic sport with many goals and tactical variations on set pieces. It really fascinated me and when I started I could not stop. “
What experience have you chosen to play against the best European futsal clubs?
“When you play teams like Inter, Barcelona or Tyumen, it’s a unique experience. High quality opposition like them will also be at the World Cup and it will give us even more experience. It will help us deal with stress and excitement, when we play against tough opponents. Playing top clubs helps us better prepare for the upcoming world championship. Of course we have all worked hard and the coach has asked us not to be afraid of any of the matches as our opponents are also human.Anything can happen, especially if we are all focused on giving everything we have.We have had good results but there is still room for improvement.Battles like these have shown us what we still need to improve, both as players and coaches. The two games we won in a row were historic. It was not just the results – we showed character and reaped the rewards of the hard work we had done in training. Definitely a real confidence improvement for all of us The player’s are now focused and we are well prepared for our way into the tournament. “
As far as Lithuania in general is concerned, this World Cup is an important event – the first of its kind for the country, and who knows if we will ever get one again.
Expectations for the FIFA Futsal World Cup …
“The World Cup is still a long way off and we still have a lot of work to do so I’m not ready to talk about our chances. What I can say is that we go into every match willing to give it our all and try to get a positive result. Then we just have to see. “
At the postponement of the Futsal World Championship …
“On the one hand, it’s a good thing. We have more time to prepare and clear our mistakes. On the other hand, it’s sad for the players as we’ve been waiting for this event for so long. Last season, they had to to bring personal sacrifices to be really well prepared for the World Cup, and then everything was postponed, which means that the players now have to make more changes.At the end of the day, however, we give everything for the World Cup – whatever it is this year or any other year. “
How would you describe your country to someone from abroad?
“I would recommend that they visit the big cities. Each city has its own architecture with lots of things to see. I am also a nature lover, so I would suggest that they visit the various attractions we have out in the country. For those planning to come, our country is full of green areas with hills, fields and parks with amazing views that give you a chance to see all the amazing beauty spots.Or you can even rent a hot air balloon and get a bird’s eye view of what the country has to offer. “
What will the Futsal World Cup bring to Lithuania?
“For the players, it is a good opportunity to put themselves in the spotlight. Some of our guys have already caught the eye of international clubs and are discussing contract terms. As far as Lithuania in general is concerned, this World Cup is an important event – the first of its kind for the country, and who knows if we’ll ever get one again. We had a major basketball event in 2011 but it was the European Championship. This is going to be a global tournament – it’s the World Cup. If the situation we are in at the moment changes, hope I that many people come and visit Lithuania during the tournament.In any case, it will increase the levels of recognition of our nation and ensure that people know the name of our country anywhere in the world.