In the exclusive interview Angelo granted to SPORT, the 17-year-old left-handed winger of Santos, on whom Barça has a purchase option of 35 million euros, He explained that he devoured all the television football he could, and specified that he watched X1 matches.
Created in 2018 in the poor neighborhoods of Recife, this modality began to be played on dirt fields and quickly became popular among futsal and soccer 11 players. Now it is played on artificial grass 7-a-side football pitches, one-on-one across the entire pitch, with a goalkeeper on each team. It is a duel of mastery of technical resources, of the ability to face, to overwhelm… and, of course, to humiliate the opponent with impossible dribbles, which ends up raising blisters among the participants and raising, sometimes too much, the tone of the match.
It is the synthesis of Brazilian football, of what differentiates it from the rest of the world and on which its greatest successes were based: an allegory to individual technique in an era of stinginess, in which ‘jogo bonito’ and ‘futebol arte’ sound like an empty slogan. Herein lies its success, mainly among young people, who see it as something genuine and authentic, because it was born among the popular classes.
Ángelo is not the only footballer hooked on X1 (pronounced ‘xis um’ in Portuguese). Dani Alves (with his eternal Peter Pan complex), Neymar Jr., Richarlison or David Luiz (now at Flamengo) comment on the most outstanding matches on social networks, which has helped the sport gain visibility and popularity . Television broadcasts have also helped, and a lot, to spread it. The sequence of dribbles makes for an enjoyable sight to watch.
X1 has already created its own ‘star system’, with the two best footballers, who, how could it be different, are Brazilian: Vassoura and Daniel Coringa. The rivalry of more than three years turned into enmity and they have already even come to blows. Both disputed in December at the Arruda stadium (in Recife) the final of the first World Championship, recognized by the International Federation of Soccer 7.
The tournament featured the best players from Brazil and national soccer 7 teams representing 10 countries. Daniel Coringa prevailed, as he had done in 2020, breaking with three years of invincibility from his rival. On this occasion, he took the championship belt (a cup is not awarded) in the ‘shoot out’ pitches (hand in hand with the goalkeeper), after finishing the match 3-3.
The X1 has everything to win over fans, in a context in which Brazilian society, always open to novelties and an innovative spirit, has embraced non-traditional sports, coinciding with the lethargy of the soccer Seleçao, with whom the ‘torcida’ has less and less attachment. The new airs triumphed in the last Tokyo Olympics with the surfer Italo Ferreira (gold) or the skaters Kevin Kelvin Hoefler (silver, in street), Pedro Barros (silver, in park) and a mass phenomenon like Rayssa Leal, known as ‘Fadinha’, (silver, in Street) who competed with 13 years.