Mumbai, June 9 (IANS) Premier Futsal, the multi-national football league, roped in Portuguese great Deco to play in its inaugural season on Thursday.
Futsal is an improvised form of football played with five players per side on a smaller ground, indoor or outdoor.
Deco, whose signing makes him the first marquee football player to confirm his participation in the league, was signed for three seasons.
The franchise he will play for will be decided during the player draft.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in the inaugural season of Premier Futsal. I was born in Brazil and grew up playing futsal on the streets. It’s where I picked up the skills that laid the foundation for my success on the international stage and served me well throughout my career,” Deco, a former FC Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder, said in a release.
“So in a sense I’m returning to my roots. I can’t wait to see how I match up against seasoned futsallers who have dedicated their entire career to the shorter, more intense format of the game.”
Deco is one of very few players to have won the Champions League with two clubs – FC Porto and Barcelona. The Brazil-born attacking midfielder, who played in Portuguese colours internationally, has a decorated football career spanning more than a decade.
Premier Futsal president Luis Figo said, “It gives me a great amount of joy to welcome Deco to Premier Futsal. We go back a long way, having shared the dressing room for Portugal during our playing careers.”
“He has great talent, skill and ability as is evident from his storied international career which, I am confident, will add a whole lot to the quality of play in Premier Futsal’s inaugural year. We are all extremely delighted to have him.”
The league is scheduled to start from July 15. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) earlier on Thursday said it is considering legal action against the competition.