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The Boot Room


Issue 09 April 2014


Many of


Argentina's stars grew up playing


football amongst the country's


sprawling streets and shanty towns, including Juventus striker Carlos Tevez


What is Baby Futbol?


Baby Futbol is a small-sided 5 a-side form of the game. The word baby refers to something small, in this case the number of players and the size of the facilities. Baby Futbol is a contact sport and mostly adopts the same rules as with 11v11.


Baby Futbol basics:


• 5 a-side - including a goalkeeper • Games can be played with a minimum number of three players on each side


• Two halves of 20 minutes each. 5 minute half-time break.


• Roll on and off substitutes • The ball is out of play when it has completely crossed a line or goal


• “Sidelines" do not apply in baby futbol - the facilities used mean that the ball is often rebounded off the wall


• The goalkeeper cannot make a pass into the opposition’s half from a goal kick, instead playing out to a teammate in their own half


• Longer passes from within the defending half to attacking half can be made by outfield players


• The goalkeeper may not leave the penalty area at any time (Three strikes and out rule)


• Throw-ins can be made with feet or hands according to regulations of the Championship


• Throw-ins must be under waist height • The referee can teach and explain aspects of the game without awarding a foul (to help the development of players)


• No yellow or red cards displayed to players under the age of 10


Buenos Aires


There are many theories presented for Buenos Aires’s ability to produce world-class footballing talent. Firstly, population: in South America, Buenos Aires is second only to Brazil’s Sao Paulo in terms of size.


Then, there’s the footballing way of life. Amidst the sprawling streets and shanty towns of Argentina’s biggest city football is woven into the conscience of its many inhabitants. Boasting 24 teams, Buenos Aires has the highest concentration of professional clubs in any city worldwide.


However, it is the conditions and way of life in which many Argentinian’s are born which may offer an alternative reason for the rise of Argentina’s conveyor belt of world- class talent. Two-thirds of the city's residents live in apartment buildings where drug and gang culture is rife. Some studies estimate that four million people in the metropolitan Buenos Aires area live in poverty.


Many of Argentina's multi-millionaire footballers can be traced back to these most humble of beginnings. Carlos Tevez’s upbringing in Buenos Aires’s notorious Fuerte Apache neighbourhood is one of the most publicised.


Regarded amongst the most dangerous places in the world, Tevez has given interviews revealing that he would have most likely turned to the neighbourhood’s crime culture if it wasn’t for football. In some of Argentina’s most deprived areas football is the only escape route.


Two-thirds of the city's residents live in apartment buildings where drug and gang culture is rife. Some studies estimate that four million people in the metropolitan Buenos Aires area live in poverty. Football is the escape route


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