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EUROPEAN SEASON KICKS-OFF!! THE BIGGEST EURO WINNERS CUP TO DATE NAZARÉ WARMS UP TO HOST A UNIQUE BEACH SOCCER FESTIVAL

HENRIK RAEDKJAER

THE TOUGHEST MAN IN DENMARK

THE STORY BEHIND THE NASSC TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR DICK WHALEN TALKS ABOUT THESE 25 YEARS

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02 - CONTENTS

IN THIS ISSUE...

20

EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE 2018 SPECIAL PREVIEW

16

Find out everything about the upcoming XXIst edition of the Continental League, which features new stages, more teams, and another prize to fight for: A slot in the European Games Minsk 2019.

THE EBSL TURNS 20 Let us give you some figures and names of this last decade…


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34

EURASIA BEACH SOCCER CUP

How did Lokomotiv manage to get back on top?

30

PERSIAN BEACH SOCCER CUP Let’s review how the Iran National Team prevailed on home soil.

32

COPA AMERICA 2018 REVIEW

Everything you need to know about Brazil’s new title.

THE BIGGEST EURO WINNERS CUP TO DATE The Pan-European Clubs competition returns this 2018 breaking all its previous records!

24

42

48

IPKEBA INTERVIEW

The former Nigeria international gives us his opinion on beach soccer.

50

BSWW OVERALL RANKINGS BAHAMAS CUP DIGEST

Read everything about last April’s Nassau showpiece, featuring the hosts, Mexico, USA and Spain.

40

RAEDKJAER, THE TOUGHEST MAN IN DENMARK The Rød-Hvide striker gives us exclusive insight to Korpset, the endurance TV Show he just won

46

Get to know the latest update in the table.

52

FUELLED

How harmful is alcohol for athletes?

56

FANPICS

You snap. We share.

DICK WHALEN

The man behind the NASSC explains how this beach soccer festival came to life.

ANA, QUEEN OF LAS PALMAS

Our cheerleader saw a dream come true, being named the Queen of the Carnival.

60

COMING UP

Find out the what comes next!


04 - KICKING OFF

KICKING OFF Just a few events into 2018, we’re just getting geared up to dive right into the European Season, with the Euro Winners Cup in Portugal just around the corner. Over the last few months, we have already visited many different countries and continents, with events in the Bahamas, China, Iran, Russia, El Salvador, Paraguay… The ball does not stop flying!   In one of our most recent events, once again we had the chance to enjoy a terrific venue. The Bahamas Football Association National Beach Soccer Stadium in Nassau’s Malcom Park (home to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017) is, without doubt, the best permanent beach soccer facility in the world.   Soon enough, we will have the chance to enjoy the benefits of another permanent facility, with the Euro Beach Soccer League Baku 2018 taking place right in the Olympic Beach Soccer stadium we inaugurated at the 2015 European Games Baku.   These experiences make us think about how important it is for the inner growth of the sport to have permanent facilities to rely on. Not only because it becomes the home of a given National team (or club) but also because of all the possibilities it gives to a National Football Association.   Once the stadium is in place, the opportunities to utilise the venue multiply, facilitating not only international events, but also hosting training camps for foreign teams. This will also have a positive impact on the local economy, as the demand for hotel rooms will increase and local restaurants will benefit from the extra business. When it is not in use, the venue can also be hired out by the team or National FA for other sporting events and activities.   We all need a base where we can feel at home, receive support and grow stronger, and this is what a permanent stadium can offer any club or National Football Association: a home and a stage on which to project your team, to project your country and grow in more ways than one. 

Editorial Director Iñaki Uribarri Editor-in-Chief Matthew Mills Design Director Laura Cuscó Design Manager Marta Cuscó Photographers Lea Weil Manuel Queimadelos Marcello Zambrana Nicole Paris McDowall Contributors Lautaro Alborelo Gabriele Noli 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


06 - SNAPPED


SAND BATTLE In beach soccer, you face more difficulties than just your opponent…


8 - SNAPPED

THAT BUSHEHR SKY… Unique colours in the Iranian resort.


10 - SNAPPED


“EXCUSE ME, SIR.” Are you feeling comfy? Because I am not…”


12 - SNAPPED

TAKING THE FREE KICK Iran’s accuracy had them claiming the Eurasia Cup.


14 - SNAPPED


SAFE HANDS

Levante’s Eliott would not let that ball find his net …


16 - SPECIAL REPORT

HAPPY 20 ANNIVERS TH

Two decades ago, the Euro Beach Soccer League sta


SARY, EBSL!!!

arted its journey in Spain… and it’s still rocking it!


18 - SPECIAL REPORT

EBSL’S BIGGEST NAMES…

MADJER (POR) The Portuguese ace is the player who has been awarded as MVP on most occasions: 6. He is also the player that has achieved the most Top Scorer awards (5 times). Ramiro Amarelle (ESP), who has won the title of Best Player of the competition on 4 occasions, is his close pursuer.

STANKOVIC (SUI) Swiss target man Dejan Stankovic follows Madjer as the second player who has earned the top scorer award on the most occasions. “Stanko” was the top scorer in the 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 editions. After them, there is Amarelle again, with three top scorer awards.


ROBERTO (ESP) Former Spain Goalkeeper Roberto Valeiro is the goalie who has collected the most Best Goalkeeper of the Euro Beach Soccer League awards. After him, Bukhlitskiy (RUS), Dona (ESO) and Valentin (SUI) have clinched it twice.

RUSSIA, PORTUGAL, SPAIN Three sides share the honour of having been crowned Euro Beach Soccer League Champions on the most occasions. With the Russian side seizing their 5th crown in Terracina in 2017, the Red Machine paralleled Portugal’s (2002, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2015) and Spain’s (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006) records.


20 - SPECIAL PREVIEW

EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAG OPENING NEW HORIZONS!


GUE 2018

Two new venues join the continental circus: Minsk (BLR) and Sardinia (ITA)

T

he final configuration of the Euro Beach Soccer League 2018 features some exciting new things that will for sure delight beach soccer fans and players.

First thing to note about 2018 Euro Beach Soccer League is that it will grant seven tickets to the European Olympic Games to be held in Minsk in June 2019. Six tickets will go to the six best ranked teams in the Superfinal, and another one will be granted to the best ranked Division B team in the Promotion Final. Belarus, as hosts of the Games, have their spot already secured. Besides that, it is worth highlighting that there are three new venues that join the Euro Beach Soccer League tour in this 2018 calendar: Baku (Azerbaijan), Minsk (Belarus) and Sardinia (Italy). Old acquaintances such as Moscow will still be there, just like Nazaré (Portugal) and Warnemünde (Germany), who join again

this year after their terrifically successful debut in the 2017 season. The Euro Beach Soccer League is set to kick off in late June, this year. Baku, in Azerbaijan, host to the last Euro Beach Soccer Cup in 2014 will host the first stage of the continental league, to be played at the European Olympic Games Stadium between the 22nd and the 24th. Two Division A groups will compete in this opening stage: Portugal, Belarus, France and hosts Azerbaijan will vie in Group 1, while Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine and Germany will square off in Group 2. After that, the EBSL will travel to Nazaré, in Portugal. Between July 6th and 8th, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine and Turkey will come down to the Praia da Vila to fight for their spot at the season’s


22 - SPECIAL PREVIEW

decider, with eight more teams, yet to be defined, squaring off in the Division B pool. Two weeks later, Moscow will see the debut of the defending European kings Russia, in the third stage of the Euro Beach Soccer League regular phase. Switzerland, Poland and Azerbaijan will contest the hosts in search for a place in the Superfinal. Moscow will also see the second stage of the Division B, with the teams still to be confirmed. After some years of learning, Minsk will make their entrance into the Euro Beach Soccer League Circus, hosting the fourth stage of the regular phase (3rd-5th August), in an event that will give Italy, Belarus, Poland and Turkey their last chances to earn the necessary points to secure a place in the Superfinal. Russia, Spain, France and Germany will get that last chance in Warnemünde (Germany), where the regular stage will come to an end, determining who earns the right to fight for the continental throne in the EBSL Superfinal, which is to take place in Sardinia (Italy), between the 6th and 9th of September. And the same will work for the Division B teams, who will find out in Germany who are the ones to fight for a Division A license at the Promotion Final, also to be held in Sardinia one week later. This is the final calendar: · EBLS Baku, Azerbaijan: 22nd – 24th June 2018 · EBSL Nazaré, Portugal: 6th - 8th July 2018 · EBSL Moscow, Russia: 20th – 22nd July 2018 · EBSL Minsk, Belarus: 3rd - 5th August 2018 · EBSL Warnemünde, Germany: 24th - 26th August 2018 · EBSL Superfinal and Promotion Final Sardinia, Italy: 6th to 9th September 2018.

Will Russia be able to defend their throne?


24 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

MEXICO SEIZE MA BAHAMAS CUP VILLA SNATCHES EXTRA TIME VICTORY

EDITION OF THE BAHAMIAN SHOWPIEC

A

n electric Bahamas Beach Soccer Cup 2018 had the National Beach Soccer Stadium, venue of the last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, host a new beach soccer showpiece. While the Bahamas failed to pick up a point despite some strong performances, the tournament’s final day saw what turned out to be a dramatic decider game between Mexico and Spain. Day one of the 2018 Bahamas Beach Soccer Cup saw Spain kick off the tournament against the USA. The Spanish secured their first win of the contest and later on, hosts the Bahamas, were to be Mexico´s first victim, losing the match 5-1. The second day would hold two more victories for Mexico and Spain, and subsequent losses for the USA and the Bahamas, widening the point gap and setting the scene for an epic final day of determining games, where Mexico and Spain would have to battle it out for the top spot, and the hosts would play the USA in an attempt to secure third position.

First came the decider for the contest’s victor, and it took an extra time goal from Abdiel Villa to snatch victory for the Mexicans. The number 10 chose the perfect time to grab his only goal of the tournament, cementing his team’s first place finish, nudging ahead of Spain, who finished second. In the final match, the hosts took on the USA in the bout for third place. The Americans initially took the lead with a single goal from Nick Perera in the first period, until a late flurry of goals from both teams in the third period meant that the game ended in a 2 – 4 defeat for the hosts. As a result, the USA claimed third place, leaving the Bahamas in fourth. Perera finished the tournament as top scorer with 7 goals, while the Mexican number one, Diego Villaseñor, picked up best goalkeeper. Spain’s Llorenç Gomes was awarded the MVP.


AIDEN

Hosts Bahamas finish fourth behind USA

Y FOR THE AZTECA IN THE OPENING CE


26 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

EURASIA BEACH SOCCER CUP YAZD 2018

LOKOMOTIV, FULL SP

A

fter a number of years in hibernation, it seems that Lokomotiv Moscow have awoken to reclaim the throne of the club’s beach soccer world champions that they once held. ‘Loko’ brilliantly seized the glory at the recent Eurasia Beach Soccer Cup in Yazd, winning all their games and avenging last year’s defeat to hosts Moghavemat Golsapoosh with a tight 1-2 win in the event’s decider. Banking on a perfect mixture of Russian breed, Brazilian talent, and Persian finesse, the Railroaders reigned supreme over the Iranian resort, and not even the baying of the crowd against them in the last game could derail them. On top of that, the Russian side also hogged the individual awards in Yazd, with local hero Peyman Hosseini being awarded best goalkeeper and World Cup Champion Lucão claiming both the MVP and Top Scorer awards. This success adds to the big achievement by the Muscovite just some months ago, when they claimed the 2017 edition of the Mundialito de Clubes with a stunning performance, repeating their 2012 triumph in Brazil. 2018 could definitely propel the Russian side to the peak of beach soccer’s clubs competition, but only time - and performance - will tell.


PEED AHEAD AGAIN

The 2012, 2017 Mundialito champions seem back to their best shape


28 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

CFA BELT & ROAD INTERNATIONAL CUP HAIKOU 2

AZERBAIJAN DOMIN

Despite the results, China showed solid improvement


2018

NATE IN CHINA

L

ast April, the beach soccer crew went back to China for a new showdown in the land of The Red Dragon. The CFA Belt and Road International Beach Soccer Cup brought all the passion, the magic and the drama of beach soccer to the city of Haikou, on Hainan Island. In this intercontinental joust, Azerbaijan landed their first international honour, following a perfect performance that had them consistently seeing off the rest of the contenders: hosts China, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Ramil Aliyev had a lot to do with the Azeri win. The forward was in inspired form in Haikou and his 5 goals contributed to his country’s decisive success. Hungary, in turn, brought a very interesting blend of young talent and experience to Haikou, and their recipe almost proved successful. Only one defeat on the first day of the competition, against champions Azerbaijan, forced the Magyar’s hand away from the cup. The event was also very valuable for team China, who find themselves in a period of development and experience gaining. Coached by beach soccer legend Ramiro Amarelle, the Chinese side showed some signs of evolution, letting everybody know that they will soon be ready to compete for bigger prizes. After Ordos, in 2016, beach soccer returned to China, confirming the sport is a perfect fit for a country where passion for football is growing. The devotion of the fans, the competitiveness of the local players, and the excellent beaches the country boasts make it hard to deny that China will play a major role in the beach soccer panorama. The Chinese Football Association is looking in the same direction for the future. We will have more beach soccer in and from the Asian Giant soon.


30 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

PERSIAN CUP BUSHEHR 2018

IRAN REIGN SUPR I

nternational beach soccer returned to Bushehr in January, when the second edition of the Persian Beach Soccer Cup pitted eventual champions Iran against Spain, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Iran remains one of the sport’s most passionate heartlands and the defending champions used the competition to introduce a number of less experienced, younger players against an inform Spain, 2016 European champions Ukraine and a talented Azerbaijan outfit. Spain and Ukraine kicked things off in Bushehr, with the recently crowned Copa Lagos champions beginning with a comfortable 6-2 win thanks to a brace from Llorenc Gomez and further goals from Riduan Dris, Pedro Garcia, Antonio Mayor and Eduard Suarez. Later, Iran squeezed past Azerbaijan with the help of a Mostafa Kiani double and Sunday saw both the hosts and the Spanish pick up their second wins of the competition. Spain got past Azerbaijan 3-1 while Iran clicked into gear during a 6-3 win against Ukraine, setting up a winner-takes-all clash for Monday evening, which would be played out in front of a packed stadium in Bushehr. The first match of the final draw saw Ukraine hold off a plucky Azerbaijan side in a 4-3 win thanks to a late strike from Maksym Voitok before the main event began amid a fevered atmosphere. Iran, who had grown steadily throughout the competition with their much-changed side, enjoyed a healthy 2-0 lead going into the break thanks to strikes from Moslem Mesigar and Mohammad Ahmadzadeh. Spain initially struggled to deal with their talented, robust opponents but got onto the scoreboard through Antonio’s header, only for Ahmadzadeh to steal momentum for his side once more, four seconds from the final period. Llorenç provided hope with an early strike in the third but Iran stood firm under intense Spanish pressure before Ahmadzadeh’s hat-trick goal killed off the match inside the final minute. It sealed a deserved title triumph for Iran, under the temporary tutelage of Abbas Hashempour, with absent head coach Marco Octavio pleased with the performance of his much-changed team. “I am very happy with our performance in the Persian Beach Soccer Cup,” he told The Tehran Times. “We improved our tactical system and won the title with new players. I am in Brazil at the moment to solve some family problems. I will return to Tehran as soon as possible to start our preparation for the next Beach Soccer World Cup.


REME IN BUSHEHR The Persians retain the title after standing strong against three solid competitors


32 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

The carioca retained the South American throne in Asunciรณn


BRAZIL, COPA AMERICA KINGS th FOR THE XII TIME T

he Verdeamarela extended their invincibility run to an incredible 57 matches to secure yet another South American crown

Brazil seem to be well settled into their “cut above the rest” status in the beach soccer world, something they built on in the last CONMEBOL Copa América de Fútbol Playa held in Asunción (Paraguay) last March.

Since the very first day (in which they beat Colombia 7-2) with the first magical performance by the event’s MVP Rodrigo Costa, Brazil would vanquish every single opponent they were to take on in Asunción: 4-0 over Argentina, 13-1 over Chile and 10-6 over Paraguay, 6-2 over Ecuador in the semi-finals, closing the contest against Paraguay once more, with a second win over the hosts. 7-3 this time.

Gilberto’s lads marched through the event with no one up to the task of stopping their solid trajectory, which extends their reign of invincibility to 57 games. Not even the hosts and undisputed number 2 of South American beach soccer, Paraguay, who Brazil took on both in the group stage and the final.

Uruguay snatch bronze The Uruguayan National Team left the 2018 Copa America deservedly rewarded with a place on the podium. Despite being edged out of the final with a bitter defeat to Paraguay, the Celeste pulled themselves together and managed to overcome Ecuador to clinch third place.

Despite resting some of their first team options, offering some promising new talent the chance to feature in the competition for the first time, Brazil did not struggle to pass through the rounds.

The event was an important step for the Charrúa, who seem back to their old, competitive selves after some years of inconsistent performances.

Modular Grandstands FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Tahiti 2013

Contact us for your next Beach Soccer event Digital Scoreboards FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Dubai 2009

Cryotherapy UEFA EURO 2016 - France

Inflatable for Fan zone

Tel : +33 6 47 11 98 51 armel.kerjean@akertime.com Goalposts & field items FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Bahamas 2017


34 - SPECIAL PREVIEW

A SUPERCHARGED FE

EURO WINNERS CUP IS BACK IN PORTUGAL WITH RE

E

uro Winners Cup is back in Portugal with recordbreaking participation!

A grand total of 78 teams will take part in the 2018 series of competitions in Nazaré, Portugal, including the Men’s Euro Winners Cup, the Women’s Euro Winners Cup and the Nazaré Beach Soccer Cup The Euro Winners Cup just keeps growing every year. The biggest, top level beach soccer showdown on the Old Continent has taken a brave new step forward, confirming more teams than ever before as it warms up to turn Nazare’s Praia da Vila upside down. In the coming 2018 edition, the number of participants will reach a new record, with 78 teams taking part across the three competitions being held in the Portuguese resort of Nazaré from the 25th of May until the 3rd of June. Overall, 27 countries will be represented, with teams from nations who have never been to the event before, such as Norway, joining the ranks too. The Euro Winners Cup, which celebrates its 6th edition this year, will see a total of 32 teams, including 24 European national champions and eight teams who will qualify through the Nazaré Beach Soccer Cup, which will take place between the 25th and 27th of May. Previous champions, such as SC Braga (2017) and BSC Lokomotiv Moscow (2013), are among the 26 teams who have already qualified, whereas the 2014 and 2015 champions, BSC Krystall, and 2016 winners, Viareggio BS, will need to earn their spot at the Nazaré Beach Soccer Cup.


ESTIVAL IN NAZARÉ!

ECORD-BREAKING PARTICIPATION!

78 teams will take part in the competitions held at Praia da Vila


36 - SPECIAL PREVIEW

In this year’s Nazaré Beach Soccer Cup, which will serve both as a tournament in its own right as well as an opportunity to qualify for the Euro Winners Cup, 32 teams from 16 different countries will vie for the chance to join the big event coming up the following week (28th of May - 3rd of June). The Nazaré Beach Soccer Cup will crown a champion, of course. The eight teams qualifying for the Euro Winners Cup will fall into two groups (G and H), battling to secure the only Round-of-16 spot at stake for each of the groups. There, the two best ranked teams of each group will square off for a place in the quarter-finals, at the same time it will also decide who the Nazaré Beach Soccer Cup winner is. In turn, the Women’s Euro Winner Cup, which gets underway that same Monday, breaks its own participation record, with 20 teams from 12 different countries flying to Nazaré, including, of course, the 2017 champions BSC Havana Shots Aargau, runners-up Portsmouth BSC and 3rd place finishers Higicontrol Melilla. It is worth remembering that 2018 will mark the third consecutive edition of the Women’s competition, which clearly showcases the importance that women’s beach soccer is gaining on an international level.


38 - INSIDE BEACH SOCCER

VIAREGGIO BS: IN LO MEMORY OF MATTEO

THE STORY BEHIND THE FOUNDATION OF THE BIAN


OVING O VALENTI

NCONERI

O

n the 8th of November 2004, a young Italian man was involved in a terrible work accident in a wax factory. Tragically, he died four days later, as a result of suffering severe burns. His name was Matteo Valenti and he was just 23 years old. This may seem an uncharacteristic and sad tone to begin on, but, as we will discuss later, Matteo left behind a great legacy… Like most of his peers, in the summer Matteo Valenti loved playing beach soccer in his hometown of Viareggio, known as a popular seaside resort, as well as being the home of a famous carnival. Marcello Lippi, the manager who led the Italian national football team to victory at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, was also born here. Matteo’s untimely death deeply shocked the entire city but beneath the ashes of despair a phoenix was stirring. In 2010, ex-professional footballer, Stefano Santini, decided to found a beach soccer team in memory of the young man who loved the sport so much. Following a similar ethos to that of the Spanish La Liga team, Athletic Bilbao, the team was entirely made up of young, local players, many of whom were friends and family of Matteo, and Santini has been coaching Viareggio Beach Soccer (VBS) ever since. Giacomo Valenti, Matteo’s younger brother, plays in the team and marks every goal he scores by raising his eyes and arms to the sky - celebration with dedication. “Everything started with him”, says “Jeky”, the nickname given to Giacomo Valenti in the beach soccer world. Employing his signature bicycle kicks, Jeky was decisive during the conquest of the 2016 Euro Winners Cup. That year, Viareggio also won the Serie A and the Coppa Italia, completing an historic tripletta. In 2006, a stadium on the beach was set up for the first time. It was named after Matteo Valenti and every year it hosts important events, such as a Serie A stage and a tournament in memory of him, the first edition of which took place in 2005. Since then, the competition has experienced steady growth. In fact, last year an amazing 38 teams, spanning various age groups, participated. “We just have to thank Matteo for what he was able to generate”, Santini admits. Dario Ramacciotti, one of the stars of Viareggio and of the Italian national team, and recently named as a beach soccer ambassador by Beach Soccer Worldwide, states that, “Here in Viareggio, beach soccer was born to keep the memory of a much-loved, young man alive.” Indeed, beach soccer for the Valentis is a matter of family: Lirio, Matteo and Giacomo’s father, serves as the Bianconeri vice-president. Like the rest of the club players and members, he wants the team to compete at the highest level. For this reason, the club expanded their squad with the addition of international stars such as Swiss Sandro Spaccarotella and Brazilians Bryan Rangel and Anderson Dias Lima, to add to their terrific local talent. Various players have come and gone over the years, but the spirit and foundation of the club remains as strong as ever.


40 - THE INTERVIEW

“WE HAD LITERALLY NO CLUE OF WHAT WE WERE GETTING INTO” DICK WHALEN, NASSC TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR

T

oday, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the NASSC, we also celebrate how all the effort, all the passion, all the belief, and all the hard-work have paid of, with the Virginia Beach event becoming a beach soccer festival praised worldwide. The story of the NASSC is the story of pursuing a dream…. But let me tell you how it all began… The several conventional club soccer clubs in Virginia Beach seeking to generate funds for a new 75 acre Soccer Complex in Virginia Beach, VA in the early 1990’s literally had “no clue” about what they were getting into! After reviewing existing  amateur beach/ sand tournaments in Europe, South America, and Scandinavia, those now - “graybeards” knew that, to accomplish their mission, whatever they came up with had to be fast-paced competition for both sexes, geared for most levels of soccer skills, and with a main objective of providing “fun in the sand”. With fingers crossed, and after mailing 10,000 applications, the “North America Sand Soccer Championships” were born in June 1994 when 26 brave youth and adult teams gave the emerging sport a try.   Now in its 25th year, a thousand youth and adult teams will hit the sand June 8-10 to compete in over a thousand matches stretched over 25 seaside fields. Thus far, the huge sports festival has played host to 200,000 athletes, from 8 years of age to grandmas and grandpas both still

playing and watching their grandkids attempting those colorful bicycle kicks. What but a few amateur beach events existing in the USA in the ‘90’s, over 60 formal sand events now dot the country’s sports calendars. In affiliation with BSWW, the Virginia Beach festival is highlighted by it pro/am US OPEN cash division wherein 16 international and USA-based entries compete for in a packed outdoor stadium where spectators both learn the sport and enjoy the competition played at its higher levels. US OPEN teams competing in 2018 include Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA.   In Virginia Beach, the North American Sand Soccer Championship is organized as a “charity” fundraiser by the “Hampton Roads Soccer Council”. The City of Virginia of Beach is also a solid proponent of the annual festival which generates up to $9 million dollars in positive economic impact funds. In a recent formal Citywide survey, over 70% indicated they were in the City exclusively for the beach soccer event!  In his visit to NASSC, BSWW Executive Vice President Joan Cuscó remarked that the horizon- to- horizon Virginia event was something in which every beach/sand soccer family should participate at least once”.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!… and on to the next 25 years!


42 - SPECIAL REPORT

HENRIK RAEKJAER

THE TOUGHEST M IN DENMARK


MAN

A

fter all that he has been through, it’s hard to deny that Danish Beach Soccer International Henrik Raedkjaer is one of the hardest men in his country.

The 31-year-old Copenhagener left his job as a Money Transport driver in the Danish capital for a couple of days to become a National Hero, after proving himself against 30 other participants and win Korpset. This national TV show is inspired by extreme military training that pushes the human body to its limits - far beyond anything that could resemble a so-called “comfort zone”. The tests include exercises such as blindfolded climbing of a 14-meter wooden post, to then perform a kind of “leap of faith” to test your nerve, a 30km march on a sandy beach with a 25 kilo backpack, undergoing intense interrogations in very uncomfortable situations, after not sleeping for days and being wet for over 16 hours in low temperatures, “In Korpset I learned that human beings are capable of doing more than what they think they can. During the tests, we were put to the limit, without food, without enough hours of sleep, managing high stress levels… And you can only do that if your mental strength is solid enough. This is the biggest lesson I took from the show: you can achieve whatever if you want it badly enough.” Debut in Malmö Henrik Raedkjaer has been playing beach soccer for years, and he achieved his first cap for Denmark in 2013, taking part in the BSWW Tour - Sweden Cup 2013 held in Malmö. This was a major step for his progression as an athlete. “Beach Soccer helped me a lot to endure the suffering and the demanding physical tests. It has helped me be fit, and that was of great importance in the show.” Since his debut, Henrik has been taking part in many international beach soccer events, of which he has especially fond memories of the Euro Beach Soccer League stage in Siófok (Hungary) last year. “I gave a notable performance there, and managed to score in every game we played, becoming one of the top scorers in that stage”. Since he got to know more about beach soccer, he was immediately hooked by it: “I like everything about beach soccer. It is a lot of fun. I like the game, the team spirit, etc., but also how it provides the opportunity to travel around and meet new people from different cultures”. Henrik is a new man after that eight days of enduring huge physical and mental strains, and this is something that will show when he hits the sand with the Danish National Team as well: “Having gone through all that will absolutely help me. Now I feel I know my body 100%, I know how hard I can push it, and how will it respond”, he told Barefoot. With this in mind, he now wants to “continue improving, developing and growing. I am looking forward to participating in the coming Euro Winners Cup, and, after that, in the Euro Beach Soccer League”. We’re all ready to see him back on the sand. Maybe the Spanish defenders, who he says have been his toughest opponents so far, will find it a bit harder to stop him this time.


44 - QUARTERLY REVIEW


“Beach Soccer has helped me a lot to endure the tests�


46 - SPECIAL REPORT

ANA, THE QUEEN OF L

The fantasy she wore weighted 300+ kilos


LAS PALMAS

A

na Suárez, one of our beach soccer cheerleaders, saw one of her dreams come true last February, when she was named the Queen of the Carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Wearing a fantasy (name given to the special dress/ costume that the candidates wear) which she named “A mi manera” (My own way) as well as tons of charm, Ana enchanted everyone, winning both the official jury’s and the popular vote ahead of eleven other candidates.  And it is not easy to look charming and comfortable when you are wearing a fantasy which weighs more than 300 kilos, and walking up and down smiling and waving at everyone… “I had to improve my strength, because wearing the fantasy was truly exhausting, so some months ago I decided to sign up to Crossfit to get stronger”. Despite having been practicing rhythmic gymnastics since she was eight, and having devoted many years to synchronised swimming, she needed to be at the peak of physical strength. But it was all worth it at the end… “When I heard my name, I felt immensely happy, it was a dream I had always had, and I could not help thinking about all those people that had been backing me: my family, my agency… Carnival here in Las Palmas is much more than a festival, it is a way of life”.  Debut in Dubai Ana, who is also a professional model and is also currently finishing her Nutrition and Dietetics degree, joined beach soccer as a cheerleader in 2016. She made her debut on the sand at the Intercontinental Cup of Dubai and it immediately became her favourite event and favourite destination… “It was such a unique experience…”, she recalls.  After different beach soccer competitions, Ana declares herself an true fan of beach soccer, highlighting that “every event is a different and unique experience, and seeing how the crowd reacts to our performances is just amazing”.


48 - THE INTERVIEW


IKPEBA

“THE YOUNG BOYS SHOULD DEFINITELY TRY BEACH SOCCER. IT WILL HELP THEIR SKILLS A LOT” Former Nigeria football international Victor Ikpeba is hopeful of continued beach soccer growth in Nigerias, as he says young people in the country should be encouraged to play beach soccer as part of their sporting development. Ikpeba was among a host of former Super Eagles stars who turned out in the celebrity match at the Copa Lagos in December last year, with the 44-year-old a regular on the sand over recent years. The former Monaco and Borussia Dortmund forward also stuck around to watch a number of matches at the tournament, including those of the Gidi Sharks - a newly raised team comprised of local youngsters, many of whom had little to no experience of the sport prior to the event. And, with such newly discovered talent having had a taste of the action at Copa Lagos, Ikpeba is confident the future looks bright for the Super Sand Eagles - traditionally one of Africa’s strongest teams. “For the guys here to go around Lagos, form a team and play here to a good level is fantastic,” he said. “It’s not just showcasing the players either, it’s the city too. It’s beautiful, it’s colourful. “The young boys should definitely try beach soccer, I know many want to play football but beach soccer is very popular and can help with a lot of aspects of your game.” “You go to South America and parts of Europe and they all play it on the beaches, so we need to try and encourage our younger stars to combine beach soccer with football. “I’m sure that will continue to happen here and I’m sure the younger generation will continue to represent Nigeria in beach soccer.” Ikpeba also praised the continued impact that Copa Lagos has in the region, adding: “It’s fantastic, I love the sport and what the Copa Lagos does for the city is amazing. “It was brilliant to see all the people out here with their families and their kids having a great time. I’ve been playing this event for the last six years or so with my team-mates and it’s great to see the former Nigeria players coming out and having fun with this amazing sport. It’s fun, it’s great.”


50 - RANKING

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS BSWW OVERALL WORLD

RANKING


A brilliant victory in Bahamas propelled the Azteca in the table


52 - FUELLED

“Alcohol will definitely not help you improve your performance”


CAN ONE DRINK BE ALREADY TOO MUCH?

HOW HARMFUL IS ALCOHOL FOR ATHLETES?

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 all (well, at least most of us) enjoy a drink or two from time to time. We tend to think that drinking in moderation won’t do too much harm, and that’s more or less accurate. However, what is undeniable is that alcohol should have no part in the diet of an athlete. Let me explain why:

Alcohol causes dehydration, meaning that your body loses liquids, vitamins and minerals that are essential for practicing sports.

Alcohol also diminishes your liver’s capacity to produce glucose, making your glucose blood levels drop (hypoglycemia). This, in turn, results in clumsiness and fatigue. Put simply, hypoglycemia is a nightmare when it comes to increasing stamina and endurance.

Alcohol can also bring about a lower tolerance for effort and exertion, consequently handicapping sporting performance.

Alcohol affects cerebral activity, harming our co-ordination, our body balance, and our physical output.

So, after all this… is that extra gin and tonic really worth it?


54 - FROM THE ARCHIVES


FIGUEIRA DA FOZ, 1997 The BSWW Mundialito is one of the longest running events‌ Here you have a spectacular aerial view of the stadium in Figueira da Foz (Portugal), 21 years ago‌ And there were no drones at that time!


56 - FAN PICS

FAN PICS

YOU ARE OUR BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS!

Costa Rica, not a bad place for beach soccer, right?

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#weareBeachSoccer

FC Bayern full back David Alaba knows how good training on beach sand can be.

#BeachSoccer


Scan this code to check out our Instagram @beachsoccerworldwide

Beach soccer in black and white.

#BeachSoccer

#sandisourhome

Sun, sand. Beach soccer.

#IAmBeachSoccer


58 OZU MOREIRA (JPN) Samurai spirit, in a samurai body… See now why is he so difficult to beat on the picth.


LORENA DE FELIPE (ESP) This Law student and professional dancer spends her life between Ibiza, the Canary Islands and the beach soccer events. During the summer months, you can find her dancing at the world-famous Ushuaia Club.


60 - COMING UP

25TH MAY - 3RD JUNE NAZARÉ BEACH SOCCER CUP 2018 EURO WINNERS CUP NAZARÉ 2018 For another year, Nazaré will become the epicenter of the beach soccer world, with 78 teams taking part in the Nazaré beach soccer extravaganza… The best European clubs will compete in Praia da Vila for what has become one of the biggest prizes of the beach soccer world. For a third year, the event also features a Women’s Competition, with 20 clubs from 12 different countries vying to snatch the European crown. With a Beach Soccer Foundation activity also scheduled during the three-day event, it’s an event the sport is eagerly awaiting.

8TH-10TH JUNE NORTH AMERICAN SAND SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP - US OPEN Virginia will host, for the 25th year, one of the most thrilling pro-am events in the world, with more than 11,000 beach soccer players, from all different ages (ranging from U9 to Pro), and including both men and women. The event also features an elite division, the US Open, featuring many international players amongst the 12 squads that compete.


15TH-17TH JUNE BSWW MUNDIALITO ALMADA 2018 The BSWW Mundialito Beach Soccer will land in Portugal again this summer, but with a new venue for its XXIInd edition. The traditional beach soccer showdown moves to the village of Almada, on the Costa da Caparica, close to Lisbon.  Hosts Portugal will take on neighbours Spain, CONCACAF giants, Mexico, and Japan, who are making their a come back after their last competition in Espinho in 2014, where they finished as runners-up of the competition, behind Portugal.

22TH-24TH JUNE

After their last editions in Vilanova de Gaia (2013), Espinho (2014), and Cascais (2016 and 2017), the beautiful Costa de Caparica will take the baton, hosting a beach soccer competition every team, every player, dreams of winning.

EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE BAKU 2018

Portugal, playing in front of their own crowd, will get the extra energy they need to clinch a new honour to add to their breath-taking records. The competitive opponents they are about to take one will not make it easy.

This season’s Euro Beach Soccer League kicks off in Azerbaijan, with Portugal, Belarus, France and hosts Azerbaijan (Group 1), and Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine and Germany (Group 2) squaring off at the European Olympic Games Stadium.


BEACHSOCCER.COM #IAMBEACHSOCCER

BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag - ISSUE 06  

Edition number six of BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag is out! As usual we have the latest opinions and insights of the beach soccer world, a...

BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag - ISSUE 06  

Edition number six of BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag is out! As usual we have the latest opinions and insights of the beach soccer world, a...