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The History of LNFS

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By Doug Reed (@DougReedFutsal)

 

The LNFS, which comprises the top two divisions in Spain, celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. The league features well-known clubs such as Inter Movistar and FC Barcelona as well as some of the world’s best players including Ricardinho and Ferrao. But how did it all begin?

 

Futsal was introduced to Spain from South America in the early 1970s. It was thought to be first played in the YMCA Club in Madrid. A YMCA Club in Montevideo, Uruguay was where futsal began and it was through this organization that futsal principally spread across the globe in the early years.

 

Its popularity grew rapidly in the country and clubs, and competitions for them to play in, were formed. These were played under various federations including two different club association bodies. In the 1980s they joined together to agree to create one unified professional competition organised by the clubs, the Liga Nacional de Futbol Sala (LNFS).

 

Initially, it consisted of two divisions with the highest formed of four regional groups with 12 teams each. These 48 teams were joined by a division below which added another 100 from across the country. This has evolved over the years until the current structure with two divisions, Premier and Second, both consisting of 16 clubs each.

 

The LNFS was officially approved on the 28th of August 1989 and the first fixtures were played a month later on 30th September. The winner of that first league was Interviú Lloyd’s who are now known as Inter Movistar and are the league’s most successful club with 13 championship titles.

 

There have been many great teams that have participated in the LNFS but only 5 clubs of the original formation remain part of it 30 years later. These are Santa Coloma, Inter Movistar, ElPozo Murcia, FC Barcelona, and Osasuna.

 

"...only 5 clubs of the original formation remain part of it 30 years later. These are Santa Coloma, Inter Movistar, ElPozo Murcia, FC Barcelona and Osasuna."

 

The history of the league is filled with many memorable players that have produced spectacular entertainment for fans of the game. A recent public vote was held by the league for the greatest players in each position in the history of the LNFS. The winners were Luis Amado, Kike, Javi Rodriguez, Ricardinho and Paulo Roberto.

 

Over the last 30 years, the LNFS has built a reputation as one of the world’s most important futsal competitions. With the competition and the sport continuing to grow, we await and see what is in store for the future of both.

 

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