It isn’t just the amateurs among us that embrace a bit of friendly 5-a-side competition, with professionals welcoming the opportunity to put the normality of 11-a-side action to one side when the shackles are taken off.
It is in these small-sided arenas that talent really shines through, with the hopefuls separated from the hopeless.
A deft first touch, quick feet, upper-body strength and a keen eye for goal are all vital when football is stripped back to the bare bones.
This is all about collective effort, movement and making the most of your opportunities.
What, though, is the blueprint for the ultimate 5-a-side team? In order to toast success – be that in a kick-about with your mates or training with the England national team – what qualities are a must within your ranks?
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart – a two-time Premier League champion and a man capped on 50 occasions by his country – has been discussing just that in his role as a Gillette ambassador.
For him, and the bosses at Powerleague, the best teams in the business possess the following:
THE SHOT-STOPPER - The most important player on the pitch. Put a goalkeeper with a safe pair of hands and a brave heart between the sticks and you’re already half way there.
THE ANCHOR - This player is a big believer in the umbrella formation: three attackers at the top with The Anchor sitting at the back holding the team together.
THE GAMEBREAKERS - These are the two players who cause chaos. Sharp with or without the ball, the Gamebreakers put in more work than anyone else and can be found either side of the pitch racing up and down all night long.
THE SHARPSHOOTER - Every team needs at least one player who can hit the net from all over the pitch. Long range, tap-ins, left foot, right foot and (if it was allowed) headers too; it won’t always be spectacular but the Sharpshooter can score them all.
Hart would appear to be solid selection for anyone cobbling together a world-class 5-a-side team, as one of the finest shot-stoppers in the business, but he sees himself filling a role without gloves – typical goalkeeper – and appears to favour a shoot-on-sight mentality over tiki-taka approach play.
He said: “There’s no way I would want to play in goal. I just want to score goals.”
Hart added on the tactics he would adopt: “Just shoot. The pitch isn’t that big so just keep shooting!”
The Gillette Flexball Cup; a national 5-a-side football tournament to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to watch El Clasico, is still open for entries at powerleague.co.uk, the Powerleague Hotline and via forms available in Powerleague centres. The tournament is set to feature 800 teams from around the UK but do any of them match up to blueprint for the ultimate team?