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GIANNI INFANTINO FIFA PRESIDENT

“BEACH SOCCER CAN BE BROUGHT ALL OVER THE WORLD”

WORLD CUP DIGEST

A SPECIAL RECAP OF THE FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP SHOWDOWN

JOAQUÍN ALONSO “THE WOMEN’S GAME HAS GROWN A LOT”

THE BENEFITS OF TRAINING ON SAND FOR ELITE FOOTBALL TEAMS FRANCESCO MAURI, FC BAYERN MÜNICH’S PHYSICAL COACH, EXPLAINS THE ADVANTAGES

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04 - CONTENTS

IN THIS ISSUE...

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46

INTERVIEW WITH GIANNI INFANTINO The FIFA President was an extra special guest at the recent FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in The Bahamas. Mr Infantino discusses the spectacle associated with our sport and what role it can play in the wider global development of football in an interview you won´t want to miss!

EURO WINNERS CUP Nazaré hosted the biggest and best top-flight club competition beach soccer has ever seen. A simply incredible event!


24 38 BEVERLY WALLACEWHITFIELD

The spirit of volunteering is alive and well in The Bahamas.

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JOAQUIN ALONSO ON WOMEN’S BEACH SOCCER

FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP DIGEST Everything you need to know about the recent global showpiece in Nassau.

34

40

A thorough analysis from Spain’s national coach.

54

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Get to know the Hamad and Torres twins from Spain.

TECHNICAL STUDY GROUP

Ramiro Amarelle reviews the latest technical and tactical innovations in the game.

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MAURICINHO EXCLUSIVE

One of the rising stars of the beach soccer world details an amazing few months.

FUELLED

How can colours help you improve your nutrition?.

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44

ONCE UPON A TIME

Take a trip back through time to a memorable beach soccer moment.

THE EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE KICKS-OFF Belgrade hosted the first stage of the European competition, with Spain earning Division A honours.

TRAINING ON BEACH SAND

Francesco Mauri, FC Bayern Münich’s physical coach, explains to us why so many elite football teams use sand in their work.

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FANPICS

Your best snaps from around the world!


06 - KICKING OFF

KICKING OFF Hello everyone, Wow… what a couple of months we’ve just had, right? It is difficult to get your breath back after the awesome FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas and the Euro Winners Cup but don’t forget… the ball keeps rolling! The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in The Bahamas was a new demonstration of the unity and strength of the beach soccer family, as well as unmistakable proof of the potential that beach soccer has to empower ‘The Beautiful Game’. We were honoured by the visit of the highest FIFA representatives to Nassau, including the President Gianni Infantino, Secretary General Fatma Samoura and Deputy Secretary General Zvonimir Boban. CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani and CONCACAF General Secretary Philippe Moggio were also present alongside many other friends such as US Soccer President Sunil Gulati and FPF President Fernando Gomes. All of them were hugely impressed, not only by the quality of the game, but also by the spirit of the event, the passion of the people and the excellent chemistry the sport now enjoys with The Bahamas and the whole Caribbean region. Less than seven weeks later, the Euro Winners Cup arrived in Portugal - an incredible competition with 74 teams, both men and women, and more than 1,200 athletes - 42 of them being World Cup Champions, all of them bringing the beach soccer vibes to our excellent hosts Nazaré. And what about the North American Sand Soccer Championship in Virginia Beach, USA? Eleven thousand beach soccer players, from nine years old upwards, in almost 70 pitches. It’s just amazing and something everyone should try and experience! In this issue of BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag we have tried to digest and analyse everything from these past few weeks, reproducing as best we can the magic we have all experienced as a sport. We really hope you enjoy the reviews as well as our special interviews. But, as I said, the ball carries on spinning, and we are already well into the Euro Beach Soccer League so let’s keep rocking!

Editorial Director Iñaki Uribarri Editor-in-Chief Matthew Rogerson Design Director Laura Cuscó Design Manager Marta Cuscó Photographers Lea Weil Manuel Queimadelos Marcello Zambrana Contributors FC Barcelona/Miguel Ruiz Francesco Mauri/FC Bayern München Lautaro Alborelo Lucas Danilas TV & Sponsorship Alex Soriano Edited by Beach Soccer Worldwide, SL Executive Vice-President Joan Cuscó

Joan Cuscó BSWW Vice-President and FIFA Beach Soccer CEO


08 - SNAPPED

A WORLD OF TALENT Forty-two FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup winners took part at the recent Euro Winners Cup in Nazaré.


10 - SNAPPED


TAKING IT EASY Senegal’s Papa Ndoye makes the most of an opportunity to relax during his side’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup campaign.


12 - SNAPPED

FAREWELL, SAGA! Poland´s veteran forward Boguslaw Saganowski called time on his international career at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.


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HISTORY MAKERS! This is the motivational slogan that greeted all players during the recent FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in The Bahamas.


16 - SNAPPED

HEAD SPACE The UAE’s Waleed Beshr takes a moment to reflect in Nassau.


18 - IN FIGURES

THE FIFA BEACH SOCCER WO IN NUMBERS

266 goals... were scored in the 32 matches, making for an average of 8.3, one of the highest ever. Brazil, with 38 goals in the competition, were top scorers, averaging 6.3 goals per match.

2,970 goal attempts... made for an incredible 93 attempts at goal per match! This is beach soccer, ladies and gentlemen‌ almost 100 goal attempts in every single match! Iran were the most consistent attacking team, with 304 goal attempts in their six matches.

60 cards... were shown, with 56 of them yellow and only four red, meaning the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 ranked as the second cleanest FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup ever (only after Marseille 2008)


ORLD CUP BAHAMAS 2017

65 accredited media... were present, with the interest generated by the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup reflected in the visits of journalists from 10 different countries.

139 countries... were able to watch or listen to live matches, either via television or radio.


20 - THE INTERVIEW

“BEACH SOCCER PLAYERS ARE TECHNICALLY AND PHYSICALLY AMAZING” FIFA PRESIDENT, GIANNI INFANTINO

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IFA President Gianni Infantino was an impressed spectator at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017. In his first live experience of top-class beach soccer, Mr Infantino highlighted the fast-paced, relentless action on the sand as well as the vibrant atmosphere on show in Nassau. Mr Infantino took in the action at the National Beach Soccer Arena at Malcolm Park on the tournament’s opening day as a capacity crowd provided the backdrop for some of the sport’s best players. Speaking at the close of the first day, the FIFA President commented: “I’m delighted to be here in the Bahamas for the opening of this FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. It’s great, great fun and with a great atmosphere. “Also, what the players present here on the pitch, it’s absolutely enormous. Technically and physically it’s great, great fun.” The fourth and final game of the day saw hosts Bahamas - debuting at the competition - take on the hugely experienced Switzerland, with the latter running out 3-2 winners in a close contest.

Regardless of the result, Mr Infantino hailed the Bahamas’ growth in the sport as an example of how beach soccer can help nations progress the development of their football talent and structures. “It was great to witness [the game], it was great to be here for that match because you see the people here follow it with great passion and that’s what we want to see in football and beach soccer,” the President added. “We can see not only in football but in beach soccer that the level is going up. Countries who maybe don’t have a big history are coming up as well. “They train and prepare themselves seriously, we can see the result and it’s great to be here to see this event in the Bahamas because it’s important for the country and the whole region. “It’s important to show that football and beach soccer can be brought all over the world. People here are having fun, enjoying it and here we have the sun, the beach, the good mood, smiles on faces and obviously the fantastic Bahamian people.”


“It was great to witness the games, the passion of the crowd”


24 - SPECIAL REVIEW

THE FIFA BEACH SO A

new chapter was written in FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup history during April and May when the competition landed in The Bahamas, ready to wow the world. Sixteen teams, including three debutant nations, landed in Nassau to contest the ninth edition of the competition and the first of its kind to be held in the CONCACAF region. Following months of painstaking organisation and precise planning, things finally got underway on April 27th, not before a visit from a couple of high-profile celebrities in the form of ex-Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis and professional footballer Yannick Bolasie. Day one was played against a backdrop of excitement and a vibrant Bahamian atmosphere as locals waited with expectation to see ‘Team Bahamas’ take on Switzerland in the game’s final day. Before that, Iran saw off Mexico in the opening match of the competition, Senegal beat debutants Ecuador 9-0 and Gabriele Gori inspired Italy to a 12-6 win against Nigeria. Day two saw holders Portugal get underway with a 7-0 win against new boy Panama while the impressive Takasuke Goto helped ensure a 9-4 win for Japan against Poland. Seeking their fifth FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup title, Brazil made a fine start as they got past Tahiti while a late Waleed Beshr strike got UAE past Paraguay. With all nations having played by the time Saturday’s action got underway, day three saw Italy, Senegal and Switzerland book their places in the last eight with victories over Iran, Bahamas and Ecuador. Sunday provided arguably the shock of the tournament as Paraguay grabbed an impressive 5-3 win over Portugal in Group C - the South Americans bolstering their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. Tahiti picked up a first win of the tournament in a 4-3 thriller against Japan while Brazil and UAE proved too strong for Poland and Panama respectively. Day five brought the curtain down on two of the four groups, with The Bahamas making history by beating Ecuador 4-1 to secure their first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup win. There was no shortage of drama on the penultimate day of the group stage as Iran edged a dramatic shootout against


OCCER WORLD CUP BRAZIL LIFT THE TITLE IN NASSAU AS THE BAHAMAS BECOMES PART OF BEACH SOCCER HISTORY

Visits from Carl Lewis and Yannick Bolasie pre-empted the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup


26 - SPECIAL REVIEW

Nigeria to reach the quarter-finals while Italy and Switzerland signed off their group campaigns with wins against Mexico and Senegal. Day six saw the groups come to a close with Paraguay booking their place in a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup quarter-final for the first time thanks to a 5-2 victory against Panama while Portugal survived a close-fought contest against UAE to progress with a 2-1 win. Rodrigo’s five-goal haul helped Brazil to a 9-3 success against Japan as Tahiti beat Poland 8-4. With the groups done and eight of the teams heading home, it was left to the quarter-finalists to battle it out for a spot in the final four. Tahiti and Paraguay were first up, the former showing their experience to earn a hard-fought 6-4 win and move into the semis, before holders Portugal met Brazil in the most eyecatching tie of the round. A stunning overhead kick late in the game from Rodrigo settled a seven-goal thriller in Brazil’s favour, with the eventual winners joined in the semis by Iran and Italy, following victories against Switzerland and Senegal respectively. The penultimate day of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was packed with drama, as Iran faced off against Tahiti before Italy met Brazil. Saturday’s action began in particularly tense fashion as Tahiti became the first side into the final on penalties following a 1-1 tie in normal time. Goals from Ali Nazem and Patrick Tepa took the contest into extra time before 12 spot kicks were needed to decide the winner - Raimoana Bennett eventually tucking home the decider to settle an epic contest. Brazil and Italy took to the sand knowing their potential final opponents but it was the South Americans who came out on top, with Mauricinho grabbing a hat-trick while tournament top scorer Gori was kept largely quiet aside from a converted penalty. An 8-4 win for Brazil put them into their first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup final since 2011. Sunday’s first match saw Iran meet Italy, with both nations seeking to put their semi-final heartbreak behind them and salvage third place. Meeting for the second time in the competition, it was Iran who would come out on top on this occasion as a hat-trick from adidas Golden Ball winner Mohammad Ahmadzadeh helped the Asian side to a 5-3 win. The win also ensured Iran became their continent’s highest finishers in the competition’s history. With the third-place play-off settled, attention turned to the main event and who would be crowned world champions after five continental qualifiers, 31 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup matches and nine days of action in Nassau.


FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura and deputy Zvonimir Boban accompanied President Infantino in the stands


28 - SPECIAL REVIEW Brazil needed just 14 seconds to get off the mark through Mauricinho before the in-form forward fed team-mate Datinha for Brazil’s second before the first interval. Mauricinho’s second made it 3-0 midway through the contest before a brace from Daniel and a low drive from Catarino settled a convincing contest in Brazil’s favour to ensure Gilberto Costa’s men a fifth world title. It also represented Brazil’s first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup success since 2009 and marked the completion of Gilberto’s first task in charge of the national team, having taken over in December 2015. For Tahiti, there was an obvious sadness about coming so far but the men from French Polynesia also felt pride at being in the final for the second year running. “Of course we were disappointed but if you saw the game it’s clear that Brazil deserved to win. They deserved to win the title overall so we have no complains in that regard,” said Teva Zaveroni, following his final FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup appearance. “It’s definitely the last World Cup that I will play, I spoke with Naea [Bennett] and we decided that we wanted to play one more World Cup and that’s it now. We’re happy with the silver medal but this is my final chapter.” For Brazil defender Catarino, the lifting of the title was a moment that marked the end of a journey for one of Brazilian beach soccer’s most talented groups. “It’s the crowning of a job,” he explained amid the celebrations in Nassau. “It is the result of a group that prepared in the best way, and who dedicated, surrendered and fought with all their strength to conquer this title that has Brazil dreamed of for so long.” With Brazil’s place in the history books assured, Gilberto and co will look to maintain their incredible winning run and have their eyes already set firmly on retaining that title in 2019. Let’s leave the last word to captain, Bruno Xavier. “We are more than a group of players, or just men, we are a team that gave our life for this title to honour the name of our country,” he said. “We are Brazil, we are five-time champions of the world.”


Brazil lifted their first world title since 2009 and their fifth overall


30 - INSIDE BEACH SOCCER

Some landmarks to be remembered... Japan’s Teruki Tabata picked up his 100th international cap in the 9-4 win against Poland. Brazil surpassed 500 victories in all competitions en route to lifting the title in FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Veteran Brazil goalkeeper Mao became the tournament’s record appearance maker with his 45th outing against Italy in the semi-finals. Gabriele Gori scored the tournament’s 250th goal in Italy’s semi-final defeat to Brazil.


34 - INSIDE BEACH SOCCER

STAYING ON TREND

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHERE THE GAME IS GOING, ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS

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hile thousands tuned in from across the globe to catch a glimpse of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup across April and May, few will have watched with quite the same intensity or scrutiny as the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG). Comprised of former Spain international Ramiro Amarelle and Ross Ongaro of Canada (pictured), the TSG settled in at the National Beach Soccer Arena at Malcolm Park to catch every second live recording and analysing each and every movement in order to break down the latest trends in the game. The information gathered by the TSG at every tournament is then dissected and debated further across a series of discussions before the final report is published. Catching up with Amarelle during the tournament in Nassau, BAREFOOT sought to find out what had stood out in this year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. “I think in this World Cup, we can see the improvement of goalkeepers,” he explained. “This is the biggest difference from the last one - the level overall has improved but I think the key player has been the goalkeeper. “They control most of the play and most teams give their goalkeepers the responsibility to start to play, choose the best option and mostly with the feet, although some go with hands. Italy, Tahiti and Brazil are good examples of teams that go only with their hands. “Others like Iran, Switzerland show us how to play with a goalkeeper in a different system, which can be more spectacular and can create more superiority with their situations. This gives you the chance to play aerially, with skills and with a brand that is good for the ‘show’. “On the other side we have some teams who can block that and it makes for a static flow to the game. This is something we need to analyse more.”


“The level of the players, both technically and physically, has improved a lot�


36 - INSIDE BEACH SOCCER

While goalkeepers have evidently upped their game, often getting the better of their outfield counterparts in penalty situations, the overall level of play also jumped up a notch at an event where three nations made their World Cup debuts. “The level of the players physically and technically, with bicycle kicks and volleys for example, they improved so much,” added Amarelle - himself a former World Cup MVP. “You can see how much more power they have, they produce bicycle kicks from wherever they want and in the right way. It means these teams, especially the ones who went far into the tournament, have been working harder, improving, with long-term programmes and you can see that. “I’m sure, the general level is higher than ever. There’s more quality, better decisions, they are better equipped to fight one on one, harder, faster stronger, and they control the ball. They may miss, or make mistakes, but in general today players can produce better quality than before.” The Bahamas were among those debuting at the highest level of the game alongside Ecuador and Panama, with the hosts picking up a landmark first success at the tournament against the South Americans.

“You need international experience for your players. Teams need experience and time.” Alexandre Soares’ men finished third in Group A but Amarelle is confident that a long-term structure for less traditional beach soccer nations such as The Bahamas can pay dividends. “Teams need experience and time, it was a great experience for the fans and the country because you are hosting a World Cup, you have a big chance to play against the best,” he continued. “What the World Cup showed them is that they need a process, they worked hard and put great effort in but the process needs time. “In the short term you can work hard but to arrive with high level teams consistently you need years and lots of competitions. You need international experience for your players and to put yourself up against different and better players.” While some aspects of the game, as Amarelle noted, need to be analysed more, what´s certain is that beach soccer continues to grow and develop in a number of ways. And, as more and more nations take on the sport and showcase different approaches on the sand, we´ll continue to see the variety and freshness that helps make beach soccer the game we all love.


38 - INSIDE BEACH SOCCER

“I’m the type of person who likes to be doing something. I can’t be idle, so I volunteer”


THE BAHAMAS’ VIP VOLUNTEER BEVERLY, 90, WAS ONE OF HUNDREDS TO DONATE THEIR TIME TO THE FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP

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he 90-year-old volunteer Beverly Wallace-Whitfield, one of the most special stories of the past FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

“This is what I do,” Beverly Wallace-Whitfield said with a deeplyfelt confidence as she cast her eyes towards the sand pitch where Paraguay and Tahiti’s players were warming up ahead of their crucial quarter-final. Wallace-Whitfield was one of many volunteers at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) volunteers were the heartbeat of the tournament. “I’ve been a public servant for many years,” said the 90-year-old. “I’m the type of person who likes to be doing something. I can not be idle. So, I volunteer.” Her servant heart has seen her give back in a multitude of ways. She’s volunteered for the Bahamas Red Cross, sold raffle tickets for charities, volunteered for the IAAF when it started in 2014 and was always ready to help anyone back in the accreditation centre. “I want to give back. That is what I do at this point in my life.” She could be doing anything, so why does she give back? “I’ve had a very full, wonderful life. I’ve got three children, I’ve travelled a good deal, I went to the Olympics last year in Brazil. I love sports. It was just natural for me. Because I have the time as a retiree, I must fill it with something. I can’t be idle. That is not my nature, so I fill it with things I like to do!”   Bahamas’ No1 fan One would struggle to find a more enthusiastic supporter of the Bahamas national beach soccer team than Wallace-Whitfield. “I was rooting very loudly for the Bahamas team, of course! You should have heard me the other night when they won! (Laughs) I will take away the fact that they won on their last attempt. Working behind the scenes and then coming out as a spectator, gives me an opportunity to see both sides of the fence. “I think the organisation has been marvellous. Everything has been put in place and then we can come and enjoy it for free! I think that’s just perfect.” Does she have any advice for any young people thinking of volunteering in the future? “I think you owe it to yourself and your country to be involved as far as you can be. We aren’t an island. We can’t live just to ourselves. You have to live with other people, and interact with them. Therefore, let’s give and do things for others wherever you can. I think it’s important to share yourself.” Everyone in the Bahamas who interacted with the remarkable WallaceWhitfield at the Beach Soccer World Cup was certainly thankful that she has chosen to share herself.   Via fifa.com.


40 - THE INTERVIEW

MAURICINHO ONE-ON-ONE WITH BRAZIL’S FEARSOME FORWARD

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ith a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup winner’s medal in the bag as well as recent success in the Euro Winners Cup with Braga, things are looking bright for Mauricinho Brazil’s flourishing attacking talent.

“He was keen, to begin with, for us to think that we should always play with respect for our opponent, we always came with humility but also thinking that we were playing Brazil so this is what he taught us.

The 27-year-old has become a key figure for Brazil under the tutelage of Gilberto Costa, earning the adidas Silver Ball accolade as part of his side’s success in The Bahamas.

“For a year and a half, he’s done an amazing job for us. Fortunately, it’s meant we’re now world champions for a fifth time.

“I still have’t taken it on board, it didn’t sink in for a while,” he told BAREFOOT of Brazil’s fifth FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup title. “I’ve dreamt of playing beach soccer since I was a kid so to win the World Cup, and the Silver Ball as well, is a dream come true.” In truth, Brazil were many people’s tips to win the competition from the off, having racked up an incredible winning streak that stretches back more than a year. Coach Gilberto Costa - appointed in December 2015 - has now achieved his primary target with the Selecao, with Mauricinho one of his early success stories. “Gilberto has had a very important role, both for me and for the team,” the forward added.

“We’ve enjoyed it, it’s been eight years since we won the cup but now we will continue to work the same. With the same humility, the same mentality, and thinking about improving our records and staying unbeaten for as long as possible.” And the end result of Brazil’s free-flowing brand of beach soccer, apart from the multitude of goals? The celebratory dance moves on show whenever the Verdeamarela lift another piece of silverware. “It’s nothing we practice or rehearse, we dance because this is the way that we feel,” Mauricinho explains with a smile. “Some of us come from the favela and this is the way we express our happiness. Other players are not from the favela and they might seem different but it’s the way we express ourselves - it just comes out.”


“To win the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is a dream come true”


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44 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

WELCOME BACK, EURO B

STARTING IN SERBIA AND FINISHING IN ITALY, THE CON

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he start of the 20th Euro Beach Soccer League took place in Belgrade, Serbia, in June as the country’s capital hosted a topflight event for the second time in 12 months.

A year on from the Euro Beach Soccer Cup, crowds once again flocked to the stadium at Ada Ciganlija as Serbia joined Czech Republic, Estonia and Norway to battle it out in Division B. In the top tier, traditional competition heavyweights Spain and Russia would meet France and Germany - two sides packed with potential to cause an upset, something they would waste little time in proving. In Division A, five-time winners Spain and 1998 champions Germany were first up, with the latter causing a stir with a deserved 4-2 win to take up an early position at the top of the table. France then followed suit as they beat the world’s fourth best nation Russia by the same scoreline thanks to braces from Stephane Belhomme and Anthony Barbotti. In Division A, an impressive fightback from the Czech Republic saw them beat Estonia 5-3 while home nation Serbia were denied by Norway on penalties after they ended 6-6 after three periods. On day two, following the return of the ever-popular Beach Soccer Foundation clinic in the morning with local disabled children, Spain and Russia set about bouncing back from their opening-day defeats. Joaquin Alonso’s Spain were first up, as they took on France and claimed a narrow 5-4 win, before Russia battled past Germany 3-2 to send all four nations into the final day on three points. The second tier was also finely poised as Estonia beat Norway 7-4 before Serbia picked up their first points of the competition against Czech Republic. With both titles up for grabs at the start of play on Sunday, Norway ended any Czech hopes with a 5-4 win in extra-time before the Division A action got underway with Germany meeting France. While France ultimately claimed a 5-4 victory with a late Yannick Fischer strike in extra time, their two-point haul left the door open for Russia and Spain. Tournament MVP and joint top scorer Llorenc Gomez, alongside Barbotti of France, was on target, as well as Antonio Mayor and Salvador Ardil as the Spanish wrapped up the title with their best performance of the weekend. Serbia and Estonia then met to compete for the Division B title, with the visitors doing enough to finish top of the pile thanks to a 4-3 success - Indrek Palm scoring twice in a close-fought contest. Following the title celebrations and the handing out of individual awards - France’s Lorenzo Dupin named the competition’s Best Goalkeeper - all eyes now turn to the second stage in Nazare, Portugal, in July.


BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE!

NTINENTAL COMPETITION IS UNDERWAY

Spain and Estonia finished top of the pile in the first and second tier respectively


46 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

EURO WINNERS CUP 2017

BIGGER AND BETTE


ER THAN EVER Seventy-three teams competed across the men’s and women’s competitions in Nazaré


48 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

T

he biggest and best Euro Winners Cup to date took place in Nazare across May and the start of June as 36 teams competed in the competition proper for the prize of continental champions. This year’s edition also included, for the first time, a preliminary round in the men’s competition while there was a return for the women’s Euro Winners Cup as the female game continues to grow at both club and international level. Twenty-six teams took part in the preliminary round, competing for the remaining spots in the main stage over the course of three days on the western coast of Portugal. In a stage dominated by Russian clubs, four of the seven group winners hailed from the country as FC Delta, Spartak Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow and CSKA Moscow all booked their places in the next stage with relative comfort. They were joined by fellow table toppers CD Bala Azul and CD Nacional da Madeira as well as Artur Music, KP Lodz the competition proper got underway on Monday. Over the course of three days, the nine groups were sorted, with Delta, Artur Music, Seferhisar Cittaslow, SC Braga, BSC Kristall and CSKA all progressing to the last 16 with perfect records from their three pool games. Group winners Lokomotiv and Kristall also added to the Russian feel in the last 16 while Dinamo Batumi of Georgia and Portugal’s Sporting CP also topped their groups. CSKA were the first to exit when they fell to Bala Azul on penalties in the last 16 while Artur Music and Viareggio also went to spotkicks before the former progressed at the expense of the defending champions. In the quarters, Delta and Lokomotiv progressed at the expense of Bala Azul and Kristall while Artur Music took another step towards their second successive final by beating Spartak. In the standout game of the last eight, Braga edged a thrilling contest against Sporting 3-2 as the semi-finals were set. Braga - tipped by many to lift the title - were the first team into the final as they won a thrilling contest against BSC Lokomotiv 8-5, thanks partly to late strikes from Bruno Xavier and Be Martins. Artur Music - led by Ukrainian goalkeeper Vitalii Sydorenko - battled back from a two-goal deficit against Delta to join Braga in the final. In front of a packed crowd, largely cheering for the Portuguese side, Braga battled from behind to claim the Euro Winners Cup with an 8-5 success. However, Braga did not have things all their own way and were caught cold by their Ukrainian opponents, who led 4-2 at the interval thanks to goals from Ivan Glutskyi, Deiwerson and an Oleg Zborovskyi brace. That seemed to spur Braga into action however and the second frame belonged to them as Bruno Xavier and Be Martins grabbed one apiece to level matters. Bokinha then put Braga in front for the first time before


50 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

The event included a women’s competition for the second year running


grabbing a second in the third period along with MVP Mauricinho. Oleg Zborovskyi’s second gave his side a glimmer of hope but Jordan Santos’ second ultimately killed the game off as Braga added the continental crown to their domestic title. Sydorenko’s Artur Music will hope next year is third time lucky in the Euro Winners Cup final, although the Ukrainian goalkeeper and captain did pick up the Best Goalkeeper award. Viareggio’s Gabriele Gori picked up the top scorer award while recent FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Mauricinho was named MVP. In the women’s event, 19 teams competed in what was the second edition of the tournament although there would be a new name on the trophy due to the absence of 2016 champions Grasshopper Club Zurich. WFC Zvezda, KU AZS UAM Poznan, BSC Havana Shots Aargau, Higicontrol Melilla and Portsmouth Ladies were the ones to top their respective groups and reach the quarter-finals where they would be joined by ASD Lady Terracina, CD Bala Azul Ladies and BeachKick Ladies Berlin. Havana Shots and Higicontrol would meet in the semis after tight last-eight victories against Terracina and Bala Azul while Portsmouth and Zvezda proved too strong for Poznan and BeachKick. With an overall upturn in quality clearly on show, based on

the same event 12 months earlier in Catania, the semis proved close-fought affairs as Havana Shots edged Higicontrol 5-3 before Portsmouth ran out 4-3 victors against Zvezda. In the final, played out in front of a healthy crowd in the main stadium in Nazare, momentum swung regularly as Portsmouth recovered from an early Daniella Pluss strike to lead 3-2 going into the final seconds of the contest. However, Havana Shots levelled in dramatic circumstances through Adrienne Krysl to take the game into extra time before Carmen Imhasly prodded in the winner from close range to seal a thrilling final and take the title back to Switzerland. The third-place play-off was a similarly tense affair, as a late brace from Maria Soto helped ensure bronze for Spanish side Higicontrol against Russian champions Zvezda. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the individual awards were dominated by the two finalists as Havana Shots’ stopper Deborah Kehrli was named best goalkeeper while Portsmouth’s Sarah Kempson picked up the MVP prize. Glafira Bazhanova’s 13 goals for WFC Neva saw her named Top Goalscorer as the sun set on another successful staging of the competition and one further step in the growth of the women’s game. With the Euro Beach Soccer Cup also to be held in Nazare, alongside the men’s Euro Beach Soccer League stage in July, the future continues to look bright for women’s beach soccer at both club and country level.


52 - THE INTERVIEW

JOAQUÍN ALONSO

“EVENTS LIKE THE EWC ARE GREAT FOR THE EVOLUTION OF WOMEN’S BEACH SOCCER” SPAIN’S NATIONAL COACH AND FIFA INSTRUCTOR

D

uring the Euro Winners Cup, Spain’s national coach Joaquin Alonso spent the entirety of his week jumping from one of the pitches in Nazaré to another, following as much of the action as possible in both the men’s and women’s competition.

but also the way they adapt to their role within the match, as Alonso explains: “They show a much more mature behaviour on the sand. They know how to manage certain situations, certain moments in the game, how to keep the ball and hide it, etc.

While he was not coaching any of the teams involved in the competition, he also did not want to pass up the opportunity of analysing as many of the thousand plus players in the event.

“And this only comes from playing more and more matches, competing. This is why events like this are just great for the future of women’s beach soccer.”

As coach of Spain’s women’s national team, we wanted to know about his impressions of the state of women’s beach soccer and just how impressed he was with it.

When asked about the key to coaching a women’s side, the Spaniard added: “One of the best things about these athletes is that they are eager to learn, they are always willing to listen to what you teach them, and this attitude is absolutely priceless to foster their growth.

“There has certainly been an evolution in women’s beach soccer. We see it growing, it is way more inclusive, the national football associations understand its potential, and we are seeing a bigger involvement day after day, which shows on the sand,” he explained. “You can easily see the extra work in all the players, both individually and as a team. Obviously, there is still a way to go in terms of tactical discipline, but we have seen a great improvement in the technical perspective. “The players have improved a lot in how they hit the ball, how they control the ball. You see a lot of talent in the girls, and it is only a matter of time before we see them playing at a maximum beach soccer level. “Teams are better organised, better positioned on the pitch, with a better understanding of the game.” But it is not only how they perform the different technical actions,

“The next step is to consolidate all those little improvements, all that growth. The main efforts are being made in the senior categories, and it is the moment now to start targeting the youth categories and the grassroots as well. “Very young and talented players are popping up, and we need to pay attention to that, support them and help them grow to reach the higher levels in the sport. We need to also make all those football players see the potential within beach soccer, and let them understand that beach soccer can really help in their evolution.” Women’s beach soccer is growing, and this is something that cannot stop. Women, just like men, are the future of the sport, and all efforts will be made to see more and more players joining and more and more events popping up all over the world. The future is today.


“You can see the extra work in all the players, both indivually and as teams”


54 - INSIDE BEACH SOCCER


IT’S A TWIN THING!

DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR TWIN PAIRINGS IN NAZARÉ

I

t is always said that beach soccer represents something of a big little family but there are times when that is literally the case, making the sport such a unique place.

The Euro Winners Cup 2017 has offered a new example of that, with two pair of twins adding a special touch to Spanish sides Higicontrol Melilla and Cadiz Sotelo CF, as well as the whole competition. Javi and Cristian Torres, both of them Spain internationals  since 2006, are two very well known faces in the beach soccer world, having played plenty of matches at the highest international level in the past decade. Aixata and Soraya Hamad Al-Lal are still getting to know the level of international club competition however. Despite having played beach soccer since they can remember, noting “we live very close to the beach and we love playing on the sand”, they did not began playing on a more formal  basis until 2010, where they both joined the Melilla team in the first Campeonato Territorial in Spain. They know Javi and Cristian very well, with Aixata explaining to Beach Soccer Worldwide: “Of course we know them, we have seen them play on many occasions, in Spain’s National Championship and and even sometimes on TV, when they played for Spain, so we know how good they are.” It is not unusual to see Javi and Cristian arguing one minute, and laughing together and hugging each other the following one. It’s a similar case  with the Hamad sisters, who might fight sometimes, but cannot imagine being apart. “We might have lots of discussions on the pitch, but we really appreciate each other even though she can be very stubborn, sometimes,” jokes Aixata. “Well, we both are”, adds Soraya, who admits that one of the main points of conflict is that “we always take the clothes of the other without telling them”. That, and the fact that “she never listens to me when I try to give her advice,” insists Soraya, “something that I always regret in the end” admits Aixata. Despite being terrifically alike in some aspects, their characters are not that similar. “What I like the most about her is how loving, how affectionate she is. I have to admit that I am not that warm, it is more difficult for me to show my feelings,” says Soraya. “But at least you are punctual, and help me get to the places on time when we go together,” laughs Aixata. No matter how far they get in the tournament, these two pairs of twins have left already their mark on the Euro Winners Cup 2017, doing so with a smile and always showing a true spirit of fair play and a passionate love for the sport.


56 -INSIDE BEACH SOCCER

NORTH AMERICAN SAND SOCCER CH

LIVING THE AMERI DREAM IN VIRGINI

Close to 11,000 players took part in this year’s competition


AMPIONSHIPS

ICAN IA

T

he North American Sand Soccer Championships returned to the shores of Virginia Beach in June for the 24th edition of what has grown to become a unique occasion within the beach soccer calendar. Held across three days, the event sees more than 11,000 players, young and old, compete in 96 separate divisions, with locals treated to more than 2,000 games in an event unparalleled anywhere in the world. What began as a tournament to raise additional funds for football in the region has snowballed to the point where more than 160,000 participants have taken to the sand over the last quarter of a century. Divisions range from boys and girls under-8s up to veterans while in the U.S. Open - arguably the jewel in the NASSC crown - Team Pugg returned to try and defend their title. Led by FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup-winning coach Alexandre Soares, Pugg successfully negotiated their way to the quarterfinals, only to be beaten by eventual champions FC Barcelona. The Catalan giants then got past Great Lakes BSC and Gobeachsoccer to reclaim the title they surrendered in 2016. While the U.S. Open drew to a close on Sunday afternoon, kids and teenagers continued to play until late evening as the sun set on another festival of beach soccer. “Based on what I know and what I’ve heard from various people, everything went well and overall that it was terrific and that makes me very pleased,” assessed Dick Whalen, event director. And what’s in store for next year’s landmark 25th anniversary? “It’s a secret for now, we just want to analyze everything about this one and then we’ll start the process again,” he adds. “Every single aspect is evaluated, we try make improvements where they need to be made or add new good ideas. We just do a lot of research and evaluate everything, like a business. “Then, having done that, hopefully we can make the 25th the best one yet.”


58 - INSIDE BEACH SOCCER

SAL-VATION FOR CHAMPIO PORTUGAL IN CAPE VERDE T

he Sal Beach Soccer Cup returned to Santa Maria in May, hot on the heels of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, with holders Portugal eager to make up for a disappointing time in The Bahamas. Former world champions Portugal met not only hosts Cape Verde but also England and Germany in a four-way tussle for the title. Day one saw holders Portugal prove too strong for Germany in a comfortable 7-3 win while Cape Verde - having finished bottom in the inaugural 2016 event - came close to an upset against England before falling short in a 3-2 loss. Saturday saw the two opening-day winners go head to head as Portugal met England knowing a win would likely secure them the title. An 8-1 win against the English put Portugal on the verge of their second Sal Beach Soccer Cup trophy while Germany’s 5-3 win over Cape Verde later in the day ensured the title would return to Lisbon. All that was left to be decided on Sunday was who would finish in second - England or Germany. While Germany took the lead through the impressive Christian Biermann, England - now under the guidance of Spanish coach Angel Lopez Torres - fought back and claimed second spot with goals from Aaron Clarke, Scott Lawson and Priestley Farquharson. Portugal and Cape Verde then closed the tournament with an entertaining final match that saw holders sign off in style - top scorer Leo Martins grabbing a hat-trick in a 12-3 win. Team-mate Jordan Santos grabbed a brace and ensured himself the MVP trophy while England’s Taylor Humm was named Best Goalkeeper. The weekend also saw a Paralympic match take place as athletes with cerebral palsy from Cape Verde and Portugal took to the sand on Praia Santa Maria. Portugal were winners of Saturday’s match before the teams were mixed up a day later and another game held in what was described as a major step forward for Paralympic sport in the region. Rodrigo Bejarano, President of the Paralympic Committee of Cape Verde and General Secretary of African Paralympic Committee, said: “This is the first time for such an experience like this, we have no other team of cerebral palsy and this is the first time to have this kind of team so it’s very important for us.” “The primary objective of our committee is inclusion so this a is a big and a great opportunity for local people with disabilities. They have the right to enjoy the game and represent their country. Young people with cerebral palsy don’t usually have this kind of opportunity to do sport. “Since 1998, when we created the committee we tried to give opportunities to all of our population and this is what we need to keep doing.”


ONS E

With a packed stadium and great beach soccer, the event is undeniably on the up


60 - SPECIAL REPORT

THE BENEFITS OF TRAINING ON BEACH SAND FOR ELITE FOOTBALLERS By Francesco Mauri, Bayern Münich’s physical coach

T

raining on sand has different benefits, on many different levels, and this is why more and more elite football clubs are including it in their training programs. We at Bayern have made it a very prominent part of our schedule, especially at certain times of the season. The first great asset the beach sand provides is how it aids the development of the motion sense and therefore helps in reducing articular injuries like ankle strains. Sand is not only helpful for preventing injuries, but also in shortening recovery times as well. In a recovery period, the player needs to recover the neuromuscular and proprioceptive side as well and the continued stimulus the beach sand offers is key in this. The softer surface is also very helpful when treating chronic injuries such as tendonitis, for which training on hard surfaces can cause the problem to become more acute. From a muscular perspective, the sand loads some muscles with a high workload, especially when the player is doing some running or a workout with sudden directional changes. This is precisely why we use this kind of training to prevent from muscular injuries. Strength training becomes way more complete when doing it on beach sand, as the player is performing all the actions on an unstable but soft surface. Consequently, programming running, sprints, acceleration or deceleration exercises on the sand puts the players’ muscles under heavy loads. This also places less emphasis on the gym and weights, thereby negating the risk of isolating given muscular units. On the sand, the heart rate rises faster than on grass so we can also use that for aerobic power or anaerobic workouts. It also helps work the balance, both with and without the ball, and improves body coordination. Training on the sand entails a tougher muscular and metabolic load, so it is important not to make that training too long, as it would put us at risk of overtraining.

Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona)


Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

Gerard PiquĂŠ (FC Barcelona)

Douglas Costa (FC Bayern)


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64 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

NEW FRONTIERS FOR PA BEACH SOCCER IN CAPE V

D

uring the Sal Beach Soccer Cup, paralympic teams from Cape Verde and Portugal took to the sands of Praia Santa Maria.

Organised by The Beach Soccer Foudation, the Local Organising Committee and Cape Verde’s Chamber of Tourism, the hosts welcomed their near neighbours to the stadium in Sal as players enjoyed an extra special experience in front of watching locals. Ultimately it was the visitors who came out on top, Portugal claiming a 14-0 win, with hat-tricks from Tiago Ramos and Jesus Barbosa.

Vasco Santos (2), Rui Diogo (2), Vitor Vilarinho, Luis Ferreira, Lucas Pinheiro and Pedro Santos were also on target for the Portuguese side. Regardless of the result, the opportunity for all players to represent their respective nations was welcomed by Rodrigo Bejarano, President of the Paralympic Committee of Cape Verde and General Secretary of African Paralympic Committee. “This is the first time for such an experience like this, we have no


ARALYMPIC VERDE

other team of cerebral palsy and this is the first time to have this kind of team so it’s very important for us,” he said. “The primary objective of our committee is inclusion so this a is a big and a great opportunity for local people with disabilities. They have the right to enjoy the game and represent their country. “Young people with cerebral palsy don’t usually have this kind of opportunity to do sport. Since 1998, when we created the committee we tried to give opportunities to all of our population and this is what

The home nation took on Portugal in Sal during May

we need to keep doing.” Portugal coach Vaz Ferreira added: “These matches mean a lot to the players, we have been working for five weeks to be well prepared for today, it has been a really good experience for them.” “We are altogether for five years now but this is the first time we’ve played a beach soccer match so it’s very specia for all of us. It is something we will not forget, something that gives us etra energy to keep working, to keep training, to keep playing.”


66 - FUELLED

WHAT TO EAT AFTER A GAME…

ADD SOME COLOUR TO Y

By Lautaro N. Arborelo Lautaro N. Arborelo is a qualified, professional nutrionist who has worked for FC Barcelona beach soccer team and other sports for a number of years. We regularly try to explain in this section that the most important feature of a nutrition plan is that it needs to be varied. We have to give our body all the necessary nutrients so that it can function efficiently, especially when we place big demands on our bodies, such as intense beach soccer matches or gruelling training sessions. Managing a varied nutrition need not be difficult, and there are some effective ways to achieve it. One of the easiest is to look to add as many different colours as we can to our plate. The more variety we have in our menu, the better. Take a look at the list below for inspiration when it comes to the different elements you can combine. • White: pork, chicken , fish, rice, bananas, potato, onion, cauliflower, legumes • Red: meat, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, peppers, plums, red apples or cherries. • Orange-yellow: quinoa, buckwheat (saracen wheat), carrot, corn, papaya, peaches, orange, lemon or mandarin. • Green: melon, lettuce, peas, cucumber, pepper, zucchini, broccoli, green apples or grapes, kiwi. • Blue/purple: eggplant, plums or grapes, beet If we are successful in combining many different colours, we will also combine different nutrients, and, as a result, enrich our nutrition. So, when thinking about what to put in your dish, colour it up!


YOUR DIET

Get as many colours on your plate as possible for a healthy diet


68 - FROM THE ARCHIVES


EMILIO BUTRAGUEÑO Real Madrid’s Director of Institutional Relations puts his awesome talent to the test on the sand in Alicante, Spain, in 1998.


70 - BEACH SOCCER STORE


72 - FAN PICS

FAN PICS

YOU ARE OUR BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS!

What an amazing setting for our sport!

Dubai - one of our favourite beach soccer locations.

#sandisourhome

#weareBeachSoccer

An elephant never forgets... to play beach soccer!

A colourful kickabout.


Scan this code to check out our Instagram @beachsoccerworldwide

Mark your territory on the field. A beach soccer silhouette.

#BeachSoccer

Let´s Goa! Beach soccer in India! Mastering the bicycle kick.


74 - BEACH SOCCER TV

MUST WATCH ON

Watch Now!

BEST MOMENTS: EURO WINNERS CUP NAZARÉ 2017 It is impossible to describe what happened in Nazaré with just words... we’ll use this video instead.

Watch Now! CROSSBAR CHALLENGE: Gori vs Palmacci (ITA) In the first video of the Challenge Accepted series, the two Azzurri strikers challenged one another to see who could hit the crossbar in a best-of-five shootout. Who do you think was the winner?


Watch Now!

HAWKERS AND BEACH SOCCER, A PERFECT MATCH! Hawkers and Beach Soccer teamed up in Nazaré to make the Euro Winners Cup a very special beach soccer party! Check it out here.

Watch Now!

TOP 5 GOALS: Euro Winners Cup 2017 Trying to pick the five best goals out of 728 across the men’s competition was no easy feat but we gave it a go anyway.

Watch Now! TOP 5 GOALS: Women’s Euro Winners Cup 2017 Check out the best five goals from the women´’s competition in Portugal.


76 OLIVER ROMRIG (GER) The Germany captain hails from Hilden, near Dusseldorf, and is considered among Europe’s best players.


CRISTINA RASMUSSEN (ESP) This nurse from the Canary Islands is a regular on the Beach Soccer Worldwide Tour - helping to keep the fans entertained in the stands!


78 - COMING UP

JULY 7th-9th WOMEN’S EURO BEACH SOCCER CUP During the second weekend of July, Nazaré will once again become a hub for continental beach soccer, with the second stage of the Euro Beach Soccer League held alongside the second edition of the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer Cup. In the Women’s event, Spain will be keen to defend their crown, but will face competition from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece and England, all of whom have shown great prowess on the sand.

JUNE 30th - JULY 2nd FRIENDSHIP CUP VITESK 2017

That same weekend, the second stage of the Euro Becah Soccer League will also be taking place in the Portuguese resort, with eight Division A sides trying to secure their berth in the continental Superfinal.

Just like the summer of 2015, top-flight beach soccer lands in the Belarusian city of Vitesk for the second edition of the Friendship Cup. The competition will follow a round-robin format, featuring hosts Belarus, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Lithuania.

Defending EBSL champions Ukraine will begin their defence, taking on Spain, Poland and Greece in Group One, whereas hosts Portugal, Italy, Switzerland and France will vie in Group Two.

Belarus, after seeing Iran snatch the silverware in the first edition, will try to secure glory on home soil, in a competition sure to deliver plenty of top-class beach soccer.


NazarÊ will once again become the continent’s beach soccer hotspot in July

JULY 14th-16th

JULY 21st - 23rd

BSWW TOUR - MOROCCO BEACH SOCCER CUP 2017

BSWW MUNDIALITO CASCAIS 2017

The Moroccan resort of Agadir gets ready for an elite beach soccer festival in the form of the Morocco Beach Soccer Cup 2017.

The BSWW Mundialito, one of the most prestigous events worldwide, comes back to Cascais (Portugal) with a stunning list of participants.

Once again, the North African country hosts one of the more traditional events on the BSWW Tour, continuing a tradition that stretches back a number of years now.

Four World Champions will square off at the Carcavelos beach this year - France, Russia, hosts Portugal and the defending Mundialito and World Champions Brazil.


BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag - ISSUE 03  

Beach Soccer's official magazine, edited by Beach Soccer Worldwide. The publication is to be made available quarterly online and will contai...

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