Diego Giustozzi, an Argentine Futsal World Cup winning coach, hosted a three-day clinic from June 11th-13th with Rose City Futsal Academy in Portland, Oregon. Senda Athletics worked with Rose City Futsal Academy to provide the gear used by the players during Giustozzi's weekend clinic with the futsal academy. As a former member of the River Plate Futsal Team in the AFA Futsal Championship, Giustozzi also played in the FIFA Futsal World Championships in both 2004 and 2008. As a competitor who has played in futsal leagues in countries such as Italy and Spain, Giustozzi has made a name for himself as one of the greatest Argentinian futsal players of all time.
Senda engaged in a conversation with Diego Giustozzi about his life in futsal, as both a player and a coach. When asked about the most difficult aspect of being a futsal coach, the former Futsal World Cup winner responded, "I think that the most difficult part about being a coach is carrying out the ideas rooted in theory and practice. Normally, your coach always has an idea and is convinced in something that he wants, but the difficult part is making that a reality; there are a multitude of principles that you always have to consider that need to be concrete".
Giustozzi also discusses the transition from being a futsal player to a coach, "For me personally, my experience as a futsal player has helped me tremendously, because of the type of player I was and the way that I thought off of the pitch. My style of play was never very flashy and I always found myself more of a coach on the pitch, which has helped me to make decisions as a technical director".
One of the most difficult parts of being a futsal coach is finding the best way to achieve a competitive and winning mentality out of your players. Giustozzi shares his outlook on this objective, "I don't have a planned out strategy-I think that if I created one I wouldn't get the most important things done. My strategy is something that I hold within, where sincerity, daily tasks, planning, and professionalism are all things I have to consider to earn credibility".
Rose City Futsal Academy held a training clinic session with Giustozzi as a special guest coach, and he had this to say regarding the experience, "The truth is that I left very happy with how Rose City treated me and above all, how involved the people were in every conversation, every technical training, and every practice that I had".
Speaking about the future of futsal in the United States, Giustozzi was optimistic, "I believe that the U.S. has huge potential due to its wide margin to improve, has a large quantity of players, a great quality of players, and the proper infrastructure. The important thing for futsal in the United States in the future is to find the right path to growth".
Giustozzi coached the Argentine National Futsal Team to a FIFA Futsal World Cup Final Victory in 2016. His emotions as a result of winning the trophy were expanded upon, "On a personal level, it was a single moment of joy that I hold with me for the rest of my life, but what it really changed was my professional life. The story of sport in Argentina changed; the same teams do not always win and we showed that by defeating Spain".
Finally, when asked if he had any specific objectives as a futsal coach, Giustozzi displays his humility, "My goal has been the same as always and I don't give myself title-driven goals, as they are most often a result of various different reasons. My goals are not framed by winning titles, but rather by being the same person from Argentina that I was before I started winning titles and to not distract myself from the most important thing, my daily work. There are many moments of sacrifice, many moments of making decisions, and the details will make the difference. With that, the titles and opportunities to coach clubs will come.
Giustozzi recently announced that he would be leaving his position as the coach for the Argentinian National Futsal Team, and is now a coach for El Pozo Murcia FS. Senda would like to thank Diego Giustozzi for being a positive figure in the futsal community and his passion for the sport we all love.