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Massimiliano Bellarte: Across the whole of Europe - futsal knowledge is growing!

Author: Oliver Milošević

I would like to start this original article by paraphrasing one of the greatest writers of Italian literature: „Lasciate ogni speranza voi che cercate di vincere!“

All of the opponents of the 2022 UEFA Futsal Euro qualifying group number 7 had the opportunity to experience the last round of Dante’s hell on the court playing against Bellarte’s Italy!

The Italian national futsal team’s selector Massimiliano „Max“ Bellarte has put the team in great shape and has made an unstoppable machine that has passed the group and has achieved qualification to the European Championship in the Netherlands.

That is why - we had the opportunity to discuss with Mr. Massimiliano Bellarte, the Italian national futsal team’s selector about these qualifications, the previous four games, the general status of futsal in Italy, and many other topics.

>>> Italy qualified for Euro 2022 after defeating Belgium, convincing victory for Serbia

First of all, how are you Mr. Bellarte? Italy has won all the matches played so far in the group with Montenegro, Finland, and Belgium. Everything went as planned...

Now I am well and a little bit more relaxed. This second set of matches was very tough because we played against Finland on their home court and against Belgium at home in Italy.

Two different games with completely opposite preparation strategies for the matches – but the most importantly – we succeeded, we achieved qualification for 2022 Futsal Euro with 2 games in advance. Now, we will have a longer period for improvement and preparation for Futsal Euro.

Last year, Italy did not qualify for the World Cup in the group with Finland, Portugal, and Belarus. In this new qualification cycle, you have again faced Finland.

The futsal in Finland has been developing since Mićo Martić had become the head coach. Some Finnish players have also played in the Futsal Serie A over the years.

For example, Juha-Matti Savolainen is currently the goalkeeper of Mantua.

Another acquaintance of yours, Belgium, is in this group. You were the coach of Halle-Gooik at the time so you are familiar with Belgian futsal. How was your Belgian experience?

When I sat on the bench of the Italian national team I immediately thought not to take into account the past that had preceded us.

These are the things in the past that can stimulate you and your players.

The legacy which Mićo Martić has achieved in Finland is more important than regular wins. I'm talking about the awareness of the team, the mindset of all the players. This will stay forever in their heads.

As we speak about Belgian futsal, I remember with pleasure my Belgian period, for many things and not only related to the world of futsal. I have many friends there and I love that country.

In Belgium too, they are crazy about futsal and I hope, I have helped them in establishing a basis for the development of national futsal. I hope, they will recognize the quality of my work and the good example that I have always wanted to show.

I have also noticed that the Belgian national team is much more followed now than before, so I hope this can help their futsal to grow.

In your opinion, which national teams are currently in the greatest growth of form when we talk about European and global futsal?

I have to mention teams such as Finland, Slovenia, or Bosnia and Herzegovina in these qualification cycles, or France, for example.

These teams have performed well and have created a good base for better results in the near future.

In general, across the whole of Europe - futsal knowledge is growing!

When you have the bravery to train and practice everything that knowledge and experience suggest, you are able to make the change!

Speaking of the Italian futsal team, you took the helm after the previous qualifiers after the departure of Mr. Alessio Musti. What kind of team have you found? Are you happy with the roster you have now?

I have always been convinced that a coach in his role of a leader is at the service of the players, who are essential. They are the most important part of the team.

Coach has to try to make things easier for them. Once I arrived in the National Team I was immediately aware that I could not be a coach because I would not have had the daily routine that I had in the clubs; and aware that I would not be a motivator, because if the shield you have on your chest and the flag towards which you stand for do not motivate them, they could hardly play in any National Team.

My role is a facilitator's role. To facilitate the players, help them on the court, and using these skills to try to aspire for everyone's happiness.

Are you satisfied with the status of futsal among other sports in Italy? Which segment do you think should be much better?  How far is Italy from the ideal that Spain still represents as a leader in the quality and organization of futsal in Europe?

I believe that futsal in Italy is growing a lot, in popularity and in the fact that many young people are approaching futsal, in whose dynamics they recognize themselves.

The Italian championship is one of the best in Europe. What we should look at is the formation and creation of new players, bringing children closer and closer to futsal, and giving them an environment in which they can play sports and grow.

Consequently, this would mean a stable presence of futsal in all parts of society. The benefits for futsal as a sports movement would then be inevitable.

You were also the coach of the women's futsal team - ASD Futsal Salinis. What is the position of women's futsal in Italy, but also in Europe? How are things progressing, what are the working conditions like?

I had the opportunity to win an Italian championship with ASD Futsal Salinis because I was lucky enough to coach a women's futsal team with very strong players.

I personally love women's futsal. I already like the elegance of the movements I enjoyed watching them play. In Italy, the women's Serie A tournament is also one of the best in Europe, for the ambitious clubs that exist and consequently the players who populate the league.

Of course, being everything more or less young, the women's futsal movement in Italy needs to become stable, and this will only be possible if the clubs manage to equip themselves with stable structures.

The sacrifices that clubs make are many and in a period of life like this, you notice the difficulties that clubs have to face to carry on a sporting reality of any kind even more. This is why I have always had the respect of those who decide to set up a futsal club and carry it out over the years.

Women as players contribute to the team with their freshness and enthusiasm!

What are your hopes for 2021 and what is your personal sporting goal that you have set for 2021?

I don't go on stressing objectives and trying to achieve them. I don't like to live doing definitive things.

Even the final whistle in the game against Belgium for me was not the final.


In the end, the FutsalFeed team wishes to thank Mr. Massimiliano Bellarte for this conversation and express our gratitude to be given this opportunity. The FutsalFeed team wishes him and his team good luck for the rest of the season!

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