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THANK YOU ALAN! LEFT-FOOTED ACE PLAYED HIS LAST GAME FOR PORTUGAL AFTER 20 YEARS

#07

15 YEARS OF BEACH SOCCER IN ITALY A SUCCESS STORY OF HOW TO DEVELOP THE SPORT

EURO WINNERS CUP BREAKS NEW RECORD READ ALL ABOUT A NEW UNFORGETTABLE EPISODE

EBSL REGULAR PHASE DIGEST

THE CONTINENTAL LEAGUE HEADS TO ITS CONCLUSION


02 - CONTENTS

IN THIS ISSUE...

36

ALAN SAYS GOODBYE After a successful two-decade international career, the Portuguese sorcerer played his last game for his country in the very same competition that saw him put on the Quinas jersey for the first time: The BSWW Mundialito (by the way, the longestrunning beach soccer event in the global panorama).

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It was in Almada (Costa da Caparica, Portugal) and BAREFOOT was there to talk about his feelings on saying goodbye, his expectations for the future and his memories of such a brilliant career. Don’t go too far, Alan, your talent and magic still have a lot to give to beach soccer! Your goals, assists and that stunning touch will be always remembered!

15 YEARS OF ITALIAN FOOTBALL

Italy, with the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti, has always been a great example of how to develop and project beach soccer. Discover the insights behind this success story.


26

18

US WOMEN IN THE EWC

Five women from the States enjoy the “experience of their lives” in Nazaré. Learn more about them on page 26.

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XXIInd MUNDIALITO REVIEW

The Portuguese resort of Almada hosted the longestrunning beach soccer competition for the first time. And this one was special….

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MOROCCO BEACH SOCCER CUP

EURO WINNERS CUP DIGEST The Euro Winners Cup broke records once again. Read all about the most successful and thrilling edition of the European Clubs top competition to date.

24

40

The Atlas Lions claimed silverware on home soil, brilliantly edging all their opponents. Read all about the Agadir showdown.

58

NASSC 2018

11,000 players came down to Virginia Beach, USA, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of a beach soccer festival like no other.

3 SAMURAIS

WOMEN’S EURO BEACH SOCCER CUP

Three players flew 11,000 km, from the other side of The third WEBSC showcased a new step forward in the the world, to take part in the Euro Winners Cup Nazaré development of Women’s beach soccer, as well as a new 2018. European champion.

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TALENT CUP SIOFOK 2018

Some talented youngsters proved that the future of the sport is in good hands... or feet!

68

FANPICS

Seeing beach soccer through your lenses is just awesome… Enjoy the best pics shot by our fans!

72 EBSL REGULAR PHASE DIGEST

The EBSL has travelled to five different countries during the summer. Fancy recalling all the action in the regular phase of the continental league?

THAT EXTRA BOOST

Prozis experts give us some key tips on how to supplement your nutrition to make the most of your performance.

COMING UP

The European season comes to a conclusion. What are the key dates still to come?


04 - KICKING OFF

KICKING OFF Dear friends, The Euro Beach Soccer League inches to its conclusion the year of its XXth anniversary, and once more we have had the chance to enjoy several months of electric beach soccer in all its dimensions. We have done our best to cram all the action from these months into the pages of your new issue of Barefoot: The Beach Soccer Mag. A European season that began in Nazaré, one of beach soccer’s preferred landing places, with another stunning edition of the Euro Winners Cup, which not only broke new records, but has also granted us moments and achievements, that we will never forget.  The continental season enjoyed its latest chapter in Minsk, the venue of the coming European Games 2019. Beach soccer, just as we experienced in the first ever EBSL stage hosted in the Belarusian capital, will have a very relevant place in the Games. Everything, from the talented organising committee, to the beautiful city of Minsk, with its affectionate, warm and passionate people, points to a truly unforgettable showpiece next June. We cannot wait to be there again, under the Olympic Rings, having beach soccer do what it does best: provide an amazing spectacle.  We have also wanted to have our friends from the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti have a very prominant place in this issue. The Italian Beach Soccer Championship turned 15 this year, and we felt that this story of success, devotion, professionalism and passion, was one well worth telling.  While we’re on the subject, we would like to thank again LND president Cosimo Sibilia, as well as his predecessor Carlo Tavecchio, and all the professionals that are part of the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti, with Coordinator Roberto Desini, our friend Ferdinando Arcopinto, and all the team. Grazie ancora, amici! We really hope that you find everything we have put together for you in this issue interesting and entertaining. Now sit back and enjoy the read!

Editorial Director Iñaki Uribarri Editor-in-Chief Matthew Mills Design Director Laura Cuscó Design Manager Marta Cuscó Photographers Lea Weil Manuel Queimadelos Mikhail Shapaev 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


06 - SNAPPED


LIKE A RENAISSANCE PAINTING NazarĂŠ, its beach, its lighthouse, the waves and the seagulls... Can you think of a better background?


08 - SNAPPED

A GLOBAL SHOW 46 nationalities from 5 continents were represented in the last edition of the Euro Winners Cup!


10 - SNAPPED


CLOSED DEADLOCK Dona (ESP) will not let that ball in...


12 - SNAPPED


COACH RECOGNITION

Russia Women’s National Team coach Ilya Leonov is tossed in the air by his players and technical staff after winning the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer Cup.


14 - SNAPPED


WHEN EMOTIONS SHOW THROUGH...

Madjer cannot help getting emotional during his friend and teammate Alan’s farewell speech in Almada.


16 - IN FIGURES

THE EURO WINNERS CUP 1200+ atheletes

1060 goals

78

in 190 matches

teams 210+ hours

of online broadcast

550,000 viewers


P IN NUMBERS 55,000 spectators

+30,000

meals

+10,000 room nights

800+ pieces of news in over 40 countries

TV reach of 600,000 households worldwide


18 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

EURO WINNERS CUP 2018

RECORD BREAK PARTICIPA


ATION IN NAZARÉ – AGAIN! 78 teams, including 20 women’s teams, took part in the 2018 edition


20 - QUARTERLY REVIEW


T

he Euro Winners Cup returned in style this year. Regular rivals went head to head yet again, and newbies cut their teeth on the biggest of club beach soccer stages.

In the 2018 edition, once more we saw a new record of participating teams, with 78 taking part in total, including the preliminary round – this year known as the Nazaré Beach Soccer Cup – and of course the women’s competition. In a similar system to the one we saw in 2017, 24 teams qualified automatically after winning the league in their countries. But with more available spots, 24 would soon become 32 as the Nazaré Beach Soccer Cup got underway… The preliminary competition started on the 25th of May, and the opening game on pitch two really set the bar high in terms of goal-scoring, as Casa Benfica de Loures put no less than 17 goals past Atletico Licata BS. Casa Benfica would go on to top their group and secure a place alongside their fellow Portuguese clubs Sporting CP, GR Amigos Paz, ACD Sotão and SC Braga, in the Euro Winners Cup. Boca Gdansk (Poland), Catania (Italy) and BSC Kristal (Russia) would also assert their dominance on day one, each winning by at least nine goals and going on to comfortably secure passage to the Euro Winners Cup by topping their groups. Falfala Kfar Qassem (Israel), Viareggio (Italy), Artur Music (Ukraine) and Playas de Mazarrón (Spain) may not have enjoyed wins of such impressive proportions on day one, but each got the essential victory and also went on to join their fellow grouptoppers in the last eight. As the 32 teams were confirmed, the main competition was ready to get going. But 32 had to be reduced to 16 and the hosts, ACD Sotão, were one of the first casualties, after being unable to pick up any points in the group stages. Last year’s champs and Portuguese league winners, SC Braga, as well as Sporting CP, came out on top of their groups, progressing to the round of 16. Joining them as group winners were KP Lodz (Poland), Vybor (Ukraine), Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia), Bate Borisov (Belarus) and Sambenedettese (Italy), as well as Falfala and Kristall from the Nazaré Cup groups. Qualifying as group runners-up came Kreiss (Latvia), Spartak Varna (Bulgaria), Nõmme (Estonia), West Deva (Romania), Alanya Belediyespor (Turkey), Melistar Melilla (Spain) and Dinamo Batumi (Georgia). In the knockout stages the quality grew as each round passed and arriving at the semi-finals, there was a real possibility of an all-Russian final. But Braga defeated Lokomotiv to secure their place against Kristall who had made their way all the way through the Nazaré Cup to get to this point. The final was a close-fought contest, neither side willing to blink and the goals that were scored were truly impressive to witness. It took a while for the scoring to be opened, but when it was there followed an intense five-minute period in which four goals were scored. Botelho took the lead for Braga, only to see it cancelled out by Datinha. Two minutes later Bokinha restored the lead for the Portuguese side but up stepped the 2017 world player of the year, Mauricinho, to square things up. The Brazilian then doubled his tally to put Kristall in the lead for the first time but a last minute penalty dispatched by Filipe


22 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

SC Braga (POR) retained the crown, with WFC Zvezda (RUS) seizing the cup in the Women’s competition.


meant that the teams would go to extra time. But even that couldn’t decide the winner so the final went to penalties. Eight penalties were converted until it was the turn of Mauricinho, the man who had scored a brace to equalise and then take the lead already once today, to take his penalty. He placed the ball on the edge of the area, prepared the sand for the shot, took a slow run up and… blasted the penalty painfully over the bar. When Botelho scored the last penalty, it was all over. Braga had successfully defended the title and the Portuguese crowd went wild… It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Mauricinho, as he picked up the Best Player (MVP) award for the tournament, while Top Goalscorer went to Spaniard Llorenç who scored 16 goals for Falfala. His Spanish national side teammate, Dona, SC Braga keeper was presented with the Best Goalkeeper award. At the women’s competition, 2017’s champions Havana Shots (Switzerland) kicked off this year’s campaign with a nervy 2-1 win against Madrid CFF. However, the Swiss defending champions could consider themselves lucky to make it into the knockout round, with just one win in the group stages. Another favourite going into the tournament was Portsmouth Ladies, who finished runners-up in 2017. They managed to rack up an incredible goal difference of 29, scoring 34 and only conceding five in the group stages. Spanish side, Higicontrol Melilla also stormed through the group stages to pick up nine points, while WFC Zvezda (Russia), Beachkick Ladies Berlin (Germany) and AIS Playas de San Javier (Spain) also topped their groups but with six points. There was an early shock knockout for the reigning champions Havana Shots who were seen off by the would-be competition winners, in the quarter-finals. Portsmouth kept up their winning momentum by beating Polish side Lady Grembach EE Łódź on penalties to make it through to the semi-finals and they were joined by WFC Zvezda, AIS Playas de San Javier and French side, CSO Amnéville. Portsmouth beat the French side when their number ten, Molly Clark, rifled in a glorious, long-range winner with fractions of a second to go. When WFC Zvezda beat the Spanish Playas to reach the final, they had already secured their best ever finish in the women’s Euro Winners Cup, having come fourth and third in the two previous years. In the final, the merciless goal-scoring that had got Pompey through and won them very decisive victories seemed to fail them against such a strong opponent. The WFC Zvezda keeper found the back of the net within 15 seconds and this initial impact appeared to panic the Portsmouth ranks. In more and more desperate attempts to pull level, shots were flying high and wide and the clinical finishing that had served the English ladies so well, was nowhere to be seen. When a second flew in for WFC Zvezda, and Portsmouth Ladies were unable to respond, time finally ran out, and the Russians were named as the new European champions. Portsmouth’s Molly Clark picked up the MVP award, Amnéville’s Melissa Gomes earned the Top Goalscorer award with 14 goals and Viktoriia Silina of WFC Zvezda won Best Goalkeeper. The future is looking brighter and brighter every year for women’s beach soccer, and it’s exciting to see a new European champion crowned in Nazaré. Congratulations to the winners!


24 - SPECIAL REPORT

They flew 11,000 Kms to take part in the event everybody wants to be a part of


SAKI, OZU AND GOTO

THE THREE SAMURAIS OF NAZARÉ!

T

he Euro Winners Cup is a truly global beach soccer festival. A world agora where different cultures meet, mix and interact.

Different ways of understanding life, sports, and beach soccer, coming from 46 different countries and five different continents. Three beach soccer players in particular can claim to be the ones who have come the furthest distance, though: Japanese Saki Kushiyama (Lady Grembach Lodz), Ozu Moreira (Falfala Kafar Qassem) and Takasuke Goto (ASD O Sotão) have travelled all the way from the other side of the world, flying 11,000 km to join a beach soccer competition that every player in the world wants to play in. However, Ozu and Goto already have experience in this competition, with the latter claiming the cup in his first ever appearance, in the ranks of Italian side Viareggio (2016), but this year was the first time for Saki at the Euro Winners Cup. Her arrival to the competition came thanks to Ozu and Bernardo Botelho, who have a good relationship with the Grembach Lodz management. A key player at Dorsole Kitakyushu, the team of her hometown of Fukuoka, she was immediately gripped by beach soccer, and looked for a way to join a European club, a chance she finally encountered. She had some experience playing on the sand, but had never competed at the highest level, and the first moments it was hard for her to cope with the pace, and the demanding level of physicality. But in a matter of days, she became a key piece in the team, thanks to her lightning speed and her eye for goal. With Beach Soccer, Saki is living a true passion. “It is very difficult, but very fun at the same time, and I love actions such as the bicycle kick”. Her landing in the Polish team, despite the language barrier, has been very smooth. “She is highly regarded by her teammates. Not only because of her skills and how fast she is, but also because of her behaviour within the team. “She is an example”, points Marek Miller, member of the Grembach Lodz management structure. With Ozu and Goto, two players she admires, she has two excellent examples to follow in her procedure of learning about the game. And without a doubt, she will make the most of it.


26 - SPECIAL REPORT


AMERICAN WOMEN AT THE EURO WINNERS CUP

“WE TAKE A HUGE LESSON HOME TO OUR TEAM”

F

ive American women represented their country at the Euro Winners Cup and enjoyed a “life-changing” experience

The Euro Winners Cup keeps bringing stories that make it clear that beach soccer, and its people, are a special kind. Elizabeth Eastman (Higicontrol Melilla), Jennifer Muñoz (HTC Zwolle Beach Soccer) Paxton Scott (Portsmouth BSC), Luisa Meza and Jeane Marie (Sporting Clube Portugal) are the protagonists of yet another inspiring story to come out of Nazaré and the Euro Winners Cup. These players, coming all the way from the United States, came to Nazaré with a common goal: honing their beach soccer skills and learning as much as they can in order to help women’s beach soccer develop back across the Atlantic. Elizabeth Eastman has been taking part in the competition since its first edition in Catania, back in 2016, but this is the first (hopefully of many!) Euro Winners Cup for Luisa, Jeane, Paxton and Jennifer. They loved every minute of their experience in Portugal: the games, the event, the city, the atmosphere and, of course, the mass convergence of players from all over the world… In short, they experienced what being part of the beach soccer family truly entails, and that week in Nazaré will be a chapter of their lives that they will never forget. “We are absolutely loving it. It is a life-changing experience. There is a lot of learning we can take back to our team… It’s just the best experience”, Jeane explained. “This is, simply, the highest level I have ever played against”, says Luisa Meza. “We have played a lot of competitions in the States, in California, and there is nothing like this. And being able to play in a real stadium with spectators makes it a whole new experience for a lot of us. It makes us really proud and being treated with such professional standards is just amazing.” “It is not only the players you get to play against, it’s also what you get to see and learn from all the teams and players, both men and women, that play here”, Jeane adds. “The passion of the crowd and the people, the sport culture you become a part of, is something that really brings you to another level. It is just astonishing. Have you seen the Viking-kind salute with our fans at the end of the game? It is unbelievable”, Luisa recalls. “The professionalism in the competition, at all levels, is something that also amazed me”, Paxton added. The story of how the girls enrolled into their teams perfectly demonstrates how the people in beach soccer are entwined and connected to each other.


28 - SPECIAL REPORT

“It’s been a life-changing experience, with a lot of learning”


Luisa, whose mother is Portuguese-born from the Açores, got her opportunity from none other than Sporting Clube legend, Madjer. Luisa has played here in Portugal in the past, and one day she received the call from Madjer asking if she wanted to join Sporting. She immediately accepted, bringing her teammate at NorCal, Jeane Marie, with her. A friendly game in Trinidad and Tobago was the beginning of the story for some of the others. This is where Jennifer Muñoz met Annelies Martijn, the Portsmouth BSC and the Netherlands National Team goalkeeper. Several weeks ago, Annelies contacted her to see if she was available to play for her former club, HTC Zwolle: “I’m in” was her immediate response. Similarly, Paxton, another member of the NorCal team, got her big break from that friendly game in Tobago last November. “We played against Portsmouth, and several weeks ago we started having conversations with Perry Northeast, the Portsmouth coach.” Her answer could not have been clearer: “I’ll be there whenever you need me!” Liz, in turn, already knew many players from past editions of the Euro Winners Cup, and her connection came from some of the Spanish National Beach Soccer Women’s team, who, when playing in Switzerland last summer, asked her if she would join Higicontrol Melilla for the 2018 edition. “I am excited to see more and more Americans coming to play in the Euro Winners. It is great for us, and, it helps us in our way to see a US Women’s National Team become a reality”, Liz added. Whereas the language barrier might not have been a problem for Paxton or Jennifer, communicating was a bit more challenging for Luisa, Jeane and Elizabeth: “Aixata [her Higicontrol teammate]

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

translates everything for me, she’s been awesome. And the rest of the girls are always there to help each other out. As we have often said, we are like a big family, and we support each other to make things as easy as possible”, she explained. After the competition came to its conclusion, and they prepared everything to fly back home, along with their team’s jerseys, they also packed their bags with lots of lessons, news skills and friends, a wider understanding of the game and bags of experience and aspirations too. These imported goods will be shared with their teammates and colleagues back in the US, making their spell in Nazaré profitable for others and help spread the beach soccer love. And this is just the beginning: “There’s going to be more of us joining in coming editions, we are absolutely certain of that”, Jeane concluded. The common dream of the five players is seeing the US National Team become a reality, and for it to start competing internationally like so many other nations. With this idea in mind, the role that these five beach soccer pioneers from the US played in Portugal is huge. As Jennifer Muñoz explains, “We know that we are here representing our club, of course, but also representing our nation. This is something Brian Easler, my coach, who has always been so helpful and supportive, told me every day: ‘Just go there, learn a lot, enjoy it as much as you can, and represent us well”. This is exactly what she, and the other four girls, did. In reality, every one of them added an essential piece to a global project: the development of women’s beach soccer in their homeland, and around the world.

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


30 - SPECIAL REPORT

BEACH SOCCER IN ITALY

IT’S BEEN FIFTEEN YEAR


RS…

I

t’s been fifteen intense years, constantly growing as we have moved on, learnt and developed; fifteen unforgettable seasons for all those who believed in a dream which has come true.

The years go by, but the FIGC-LND Beach Soccer stays young thanks to all of those improvements and new additions that have propelled the Italian summer’s favourite sport. Ours is a sport that everyone recognises for its dynamic nature and its continuous evolution. It is precisely this potential that LND President Carlo Tavecchio saw in this discipline back in 2004. Nowadays, the vision of a Presidente Manager like Cosimo Sibilia, together with the strength added by the Beach Soccer Department Coordinator Roberto Desini, a top-class sports professional with innovative ideas, and the professionalism and devotion of the idea-generator, as well as LND Beach Soccer marketing strategist Ferdinando Arcopinto are the best guarantee of a bright future for a sport that keeps evolving. The Lega Nazionale Dilettanti saw, when many did not, the potential of this sport, that has added a breath of fresh air to the football world, involving the fans during summer. The LND have always firmly believed in beach soccer, which has been much more of a reality than a project for many years, managing to integrate the Beach Soccer Department within the Federal statutes. This was a key step for the institutional recognition of the discipline, and, at the same time, a crucial move to strengthen its foundations and provide it with the necessary elements to develop it further both nationally and internationally. The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2011 The peak moment of this process in Italy came in the same year, 2011, with the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, organised by FIFA in collaboration with FIGC-LND and BSWW. The success of that event opened the door to a new era which allowed the launch of big projects thanks to the investment and support of the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti. In 2013, the involvement of the Comitati Regionali, the key force behind the spread of beach soccer in Italy, led to the creation of the Serie B, in the tenth year of the Institutional life of beach soccer in Italy. After that pioneering stage, some years ago, beach soccer gained a new maturity, in which the hype became even more intense, always respecting the guidelines by the LND, whose objective is, precisely to spread sport’s culture and foster its practice. The LND has also gone one step further than many other countries when it comes to Women’s Beach Soccer. In fact, this season will see the eighth edition of an unrivalled national championship take place. The Italian beach soccer structure has gained prestige and recognition at an international scale, also thanks to the constant organisation of international events. Besides the aforementioned FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2011, the LND together with BSWW, always under the FIFA umbrella, has organised more than 20 beach soccer events, at least, one per year, including many Euro Beach Soccer League stages, two EBSL Superfinals, three Euro Beach Soccer Cups and three FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifiers. This has decisively helped project both the “maglia azzurra” and beach soccer in strategic locations such as the Circo Massimo in Rome or the Napoli coast, amongst others.


32 - SPECIAL REPORT

t


Pres. Sibilia: “Beach soccer gives football fans a great time during summer months”

Moreover, in 2013, the LND organised the first edition of the Euro Winners Cup, which after the maiden edition in San Benedetto del Tronto returned to the Italian beaches on several future occasions. Growth both on and off the pitch Beyond the international activity, LND’s Beach Soccer Department has also developed innumerable innovation projects over these fifteen years. Amongst them, the SABBIA (Smart Arena Beach Best Innovation Available), fine-tuned by UMPI, an Italian company which today is amongst the most important technology enterprises in the world. The Beach Arena in San Benedetto del Tronto achieved the prestigious objective in 2013: becoming the first “intelligent and sustainable” beach facility in the world. In 2010, following the framework of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup - Europe Qualifier Bibione, the campaign “La Frutta in gioco, la salute in campo” attained great success. It was designed to raise awareness, both in the public opinion and the athletes’ sphere, about the importance of a balanced diet and the correct nutrition. At the same time, the LND has also demonstrated the alternative potential of a sport, reaching way beyond the athletic activity. Beach Soccer has helped improve and ameliorate the state of health of hundreds of beaches in Italy, renovating them and restoring new life into the shores. The president of the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti, Mr. Cosimo Sibilia, intuited the quality and potential of the discipline from his very first day in the job: “with beach soccer, LND’s football covers the whole year, entertaining the fans during summer. In fifteen years, this sport has made giant steps and it still has space in which to grow and improve. During summer, beach soccer, which represents a unique combination of intensity and spectacle, gives its Italian fans the time of their lives, with the great stars in the Serie A bringing mind-blowing skills, spectacular goals and extending the sports season when football takes a deserved rest”. “I am really proud of having been named Coordinator of FIGCLND’s Beach Soccer Department by President Cosimo Sibilia, and, especially, for having been given this privilege in the fifteenth anniversary of the sport’s conception here in Italy”, explains Roberto Desini. “Three lustres that have seen the discipline grow from all points, beginning with the 20 teams that consistently structure the Italian Championship but also in terms of organisation and the quality of the game itself, and I consider all that just the first letter of introduction when it comes to embracing the coastal summertime activities, including, of course the islands. “I still remember the day I was appointed, when President Sibilia came to me to clearly identify the main objective of our program: bringing beach soccer to all the regions in Italy. And I will give my all, together with my colleagues in the Department, to accomplish this dream, this mission.” Desini is already working in many projects at this very moment, indeed: “After the conclusion of 2018, including the EBSL Superfinal taking place in Alghero between 6th and 9th of September, we will immediately get to work with all the LND Regional Committees to spread the beach soccer practice even further, beginning with small competitions, and ending with real regional championships, which will be the basis of the newmodel Serie B. During these months as head of the Department,


34 - SPECIAL REPORT

“We immediately understood that beach soccer represents a very unique formula”


I have already been able to feel the interest in a sport that finds its place outdoors, in the sunshine, in summer and in wonderful locations. After fifteen years, it needs to keep looking ahead, willing to get better and better, always through the wonderful collaboration with the clubs, to make the competition even more appealing. The future of beach soccer is inevitably related to the young generations: “Another fundamental step will be bringing all possible incentives and support for the growth of the young categories, to ensure a future home-bred beach soccer, which will undoubtedly benefit the National Team. Always under that vision, we will also work to bring the project to the Technical Direction Board in Coverciano (Italy’s National Team headquarters) so to design specific coaching courses that will help raise the formative quality standards. Growth and support are the formula that will get us closer and closer to great international achievements including the World Cup title – why not aim high?” A matter of vision In these fifteen years, the marketing and commercial strategy has fallen under the responsibility of Ferdinando Arcopinto, who has also been acting as a member of the FIGC-LND Beach Soccer Department and member of the FIFA Beach Soccer Commission, besides being the Azzurri’s Beach Soccer National Team Manager. “It’s been a lovely story, born almost by chance when I was leafing through la Gazzetta dello Sport, and this story is turning 15 today… When I was reading some of the news, I came across a piece of dealing with an event, organised by the “Viaggi del Ventaglio” and sponsored by the FIGC-LND Divisione Calcio a 5, which took care of that discipline”, Arcopinto recalls. Beach Soccer, though, had its own event within the event, with a very different format to the one we have today, including former professional football players, competing on the sand in a context involving music and entertainment. I decided to talk about it with president Carlo Tavecchio, with a vision to convince him to organise a true championship, with the official beach soccer regulations, and the board of that time quickly accepted my proposal. It was the beginning of a great adventure: “It all came true, also thanks to the contribution of a great sponsor such as Enel, together with other brands of national and international reach, who have supported the modality. Over these years we have managed to organise many international events, including the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2011, which was praised by many people, with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter at the helm. A great effort has been put together throughout these 15 years, always incorporating other aspects such as healthy sports nutrition, solidarity, environmental sustainability or sports tourism, an area in which ambitious objectives have been attained, with impressive economical results both in terms of business activity and sponsorship. These are still just the early days in the discovery of the potential of our sport, but we are already working on many different activities to ensure the further development of the different headquarters of the National Federation, where the different clubs and associations will be able to organise their own beach soccer teams and competitions. Indeed, we are close to seeing different beach soccer schools blossom in different parts of the country. And all that without forgetting, and now I am talking as the Team Manager of the National side, about the dream of winning the World Cup soon.”


36 - THE INTERVIEW

“I WILL ALWAYS BE TIED TO BEACH SOCCER” ALAN CAVALCANTI The four letters of his name are already a key part of Portugal’s Beach Soccer history. After two decades, in which he has contributed to make the team Das Quinas one of the best teams in the World, Alan Cavalcanti has called it a day, at the exact same event where he made his debut on the sand: the Mundialito. Almada saw his final passes and his last goals for Portugal, but beach soccer will always be a part of his life. Those who had the chance to see him play, know that his legacy will last long after his retirement… It’s 20 years since that Mundialito in 1998… What do you remember about that event? My first event is a wonderful memory. It was the first time I played beach soccer outside Brazil. I was really amazed… Everyone on the National team gave me a very warm welcome and this is something I will never forget. This is the reason I have always been here. I cannot thank all of the people that were there at that time enough: Ze Miguel, Carlos Xavier, Isaías, Sotil, Madjer, who is still in the team, Hernani, Nunes,... It was a wonderful team. And how did you start playing beach soccer? It is a long story. I was playing eleven-a-side football at the time. Alexandre Julião, the National coach at that time, asked me to join the team for the Mundialito in 1998. I came here, kept on playing,

became a Portuguese citizen, now my heart is Portuguese… and it will always be. Could you choose the most special moment in your career? Choosing one moment is truly difficult… Obviously, there are two of them that I will never forget: Winning the World Championships in 2001 and, of course, winning the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in front of our crowd in 2015. Ok. Now a bit more of a difficult one... If you had to choose the most important person in your long beach soccer career, who would it be? Without a doubt, it has to be Alexandre Julião. He knew me because, apart from playing eleven-a-side, I had been Brazilian Futvoley champion on two occasions, and he was the person who gave me the chance to join the National team and who brought me to Portugal. He was the one who brought me to beach soccer, so he is definitely the most important person of my career. Although we always try to forget the tough moments… Which would you say your worst moment in beach soccer was? I do not think there is a bad moment… Because I think that every time that you do not succeed, it becomes a learning experience. At


38 - THE INTERVIEW

“Alexandre Julião brought me to beach soccer. He is the key person in my career”


least it is how I see it. But it is true that there was a very bitter moment, in which we didn’t qualify for the World Cup for the first time, in 2012. That game against France meant the first time we would not be in the World Cup, so I could consider that the worst moment of these 20 years. You are a Portuguese citizen, but born and raised in Brazil. And everybody knows how important the Brazilian National Team is for every Brazilian… Did you ever think about having missed the chance to play for the Brazilian National side? Not really… I gave up eleven-a-side football to join beach soccer and I did it here in Portugal, so I consider this my home. I only had my thoughts in Portugal all the time, and, as I said, my heart was turning more and more Portuguese. I live here in Portugal, my children are Portuguese, my whole family is Portuguese… It is a wonderful country and I do not think in leaving! Another difficult one here... You have scored hundreds of goals over the two decades… Some of them, really stunning hits. But, which would you say is the best goal you have ever scored? I remember one in 2011, in the Mundialito de Clubes. It was against Lokomotiv Moscow in the semi-finals of the competition. It was a beautiful technical gesture… And it is what I always say, it is not about strength, it is about the technique. What would Alan like people to remember about him? What is the mark you want to leave? I am satisfied with what we have already achieved with the National Team over all these years, all the effort and hard work we have put in together. I’m stopping playing for the national team, because I choose to, but I still want to play for some more years at club level. When you look at everything that we’ve done, the way that the National Team has grown over the years, it is truly gratifying to hear people talk about how we have contributed to making it happen, but not only Alan, also Madjer, and all the others… People still come and recall that moments, back in 1998, that National Team, that Mundialito… and this is truly satisfying for me. What will your relationship with beach soccer be in the future? I know that I will always be tied to beach soccer, and I love teaching… I have been playing for twenty years, I know the game like the back of my hand, and I think I can add value. Nowadays I am thinking more about teaching the technique to the young ones… Becoming a coach? Why not, maybe in the future. What is the tournament prize you regret not having won? The only thing I missed is something that everybody in beach soccer looks forward to winning: Being a part of the Olympic Games. Everybody who is a part of this sport would really like that to happen. Alan will not experience it, well maybe as a coach, but winning an Olympic Medal is still a dream. I really hope it happens soon, because beach soccer is doing a great job, it is growing and getting better, and I hope that, someday, we will be a part of the Olympic Games. I really think it would be a great fit.


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WOMEN’S EBSC NAZARÉ

DEBUTANT RUSSIA RUN CLAIM CUP TITLE


N RIOT TO

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or the third edition of the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer Cup we headed to Nazaré, Portugal, where old foes would meet once again and fresh faces would be tested to the limits.

The six teams taking part were divided into two groups of three: Czech Republic, England and Spain in Group A and Netherlands, Russia and Switzerland in Group B. Despite being a newcomer to the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer Cup, Russia needed no time to ease themselves into the fight, opening their account in the first game of the competition with a 6-8 win over last year’s runners-up, Switzerland. The reigning champions, England, then dealt the Czech Republic a 5-3 defeat to kick off their title-defending campaign. On day two, the debutant Russians knocked in six goals to sink the Netherlands, who don’t lack experience in this competition, having played in every one of the three editions. The Czechs then had the opportunity to make up for the previous day’s defeat to Perry Northeast’s England, when they played Spain. But the Spanish were ruthless and Christian Mendez’s side dominated. Conceding eight, including hat-tricks from the captain, Mirón, and Mellado, the Czech Republic would have to settle for a play-off place, being unable to progress to the final. The Swiss then edged the Dutch in a tight 3-2 victory, and neither could now qualify for the final. When Spain met England in their second game of the day, they asserted early dominance when Pascual opened the scoring in the first period. This would be all that separated the teams until the final period where the Spanish netted three times to end hopes the English had of title retention. With two wins each under their belts, the final was decided; Spain versus Russia. Mendez’s team had won the first edition of this competition back in 2016 but that clearly didn’t intimidate the new Russian arrivals. The game was close throughout, with either side unable to break the deadlock. As the time ticked on, it became clear that the Spanish were spending most of the game defending and Leonov’s Russian ladies were knocking at the door. However, it seemed that Cherniakova became tired of knocking and blasted in a sublime strike from distance and after having defended so ardently, Spanish heads dropped. A second unstoppable shot, this time from Fedorova, sealed the title for the Russians in the final minutes and Europe crowned its new champion… Predictably, the individual awards recognised the Russian domination and the MVP went to Marina Fedorova, while the Top Goalscorer was awarded to Anastasia Gorshkova who had netted five times. The Best Goalkeeper trophy, however, had a Spanish name on it. After putting in a stellar performance in the final against such dangerous Russian attacks, the award was presented to Spain’s goalkeeper, Maria José Pons. In the play-off matches, England lost 3-6 and, after winning the cup last year, had to settle for fourth place, as Franziska Steinemann Swiss side took third, as the Czechs just hung onto a 2-1 lead to clinch a fifth-place finish, leaving Gert Oosterbroek’s Dutch side to finish sixth. So, a new year, a new winner. It is so exciting and encouraging to see the talent bursting through onto the women’s beach soccer stage at such a rate, as well as consistent participation from nations who are fast becoming veterans in the tournament. We’re already looking forward to next year!


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EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE 2018

FIRST STOP, BAKU!

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Portugal and Ukraine topped the two Division A groups in this opening EBSL stage

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he colossal stadium of Baku Aquatic Centre in Azerbaijan was the backdrop for the launch of the Euro Beach Soccer League 2018. The league’s first event took place between the 22nd and 24th of June, where eight Division A teams started their campaigns to reach the Superfinal in Sardinia. The teams were split into two groups. In Group A were hosts Azerbaijan, Belarus, France and Portugal, and in Group B were Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Ukraine. Day one got underway with a juicy game between Switzerland and Ukraine, in which the Swiss were just muscled off the points as Ukraine claimed the EBSL 2018’s first points. In the rest of the day’s action, there were wins for Portugal, Italy and hosts Azerbaijan who delighted the home crowd with a decisive 4-1 win over France. Day two saw Switzerland make up for the previous day’s lack of points by putting ten past a lacklustre German side. Madjer scored a hat-trick as Portugal continued the winning run to beat France 5-3 and then Italy and Ukraine came together in a clash of beach soccer titans, in a match that Ukraine would snatch on penalties. In the final game of the second day, the hosts lost out to Belarus, who ultimately proved too strong for them. On the final day on the competition, the opening game saw Ukraine cruelly steal away any hope of points in Baku for Germany with a Pachev winner, just two minutes from time, winning the game 4-3 and cementing their position as group winners. There were also decisive victories for Switzerland and Portugal who beat Italy and Azerbaijan by six goals. The Portuguese comfortably topped Group 1, with Belarus finishing in second after claiming two wins, while the hosts Azerbaijan came in third place and France, after failing to pick up a point, finished fourth. Ukraine won Group 2, behind them came the Swiss and Italy finished in third. Germany, like France, finished in fourth after being unable to secure a victory despite some strong performances and close contests. Switzerland may not have topped the group but they could hold their heads high after both Stankovic and Ott received individual awards for finishing the event’s top scorers with six goals each. Portugal claimed the other awards, as Leo Martins was presented with the award for Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Elinton Andrade picked up the trophy for Best Goalkeeper. The event in Baku was just the start of this year’s league journey for these eight teams, as Portugal all but sealed their place in the Superfinal (to be held in Sardinia, Italy in September) while Germany and France have a real struggle on their hands to make up for lost points. A very special beginning However, before all the action kicked off, some of the young guys from the Rehabilitation Centre for People with Down Syndrome in Baku arrived at the stadium to try their hands (or feet!) at a spot of beach soccer at one of Beach Soccer Worldwide’s famous clinics. Eight of our beach soccer stars from four different national selections (Azerbaijan, France, Germany and Italy) came together with the group to show them some of their best skills and help them to perform and develop their own. There were smiles all round as the boys got the chance to have their photos taken with the players and get to know them a bit..


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EBSL NAZARร‰

BACK IN BEACH SOCCER A stunning bicycle kick by Llorenรง had Spain upsetting Portugal in extra time


R TOWN

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he second installation of the Euro Beach Soccer League 2018 took place in Nazaré between the 6th and 8th of July, just a matter of weeks after the beautiful, costal town had played host to the Euro Winners Cup. Many of the players who had represented their clubs here in early June, now returned to do the same for their countries. A total of eleven teams travelled to compete in the EBSL Nazaré, four from Division A and seven from Division B. In the Division A group, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine would battle it out in a round robin competition. Hosts Portugal had already taken nine league points out of nine in Baku and with a home crowd behind them, Mario Narciso’s side would take some stopping. In Division B, the seven teams in Nazaré who were fighting for their chance to make it to the Promotion Final in Sardinia, were split into two groups. Division B - Group 1 was made up of Andorra, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Norway, while the three teams in Group 2 were Estonia, Romania and Serbia. Norway kicked off day one with a 5-3 victory against Czech Republic, sealing three precious points on the road to Sardinia. The second game of the day, another Division B bout between Serbia and Estonia, would end 0-0 after extra time, which is in itself a real rarity in beach soccer. The following 24-penalty shootout would eventually hand a hard-fought point to Serbia. Bulgaria went on to put ten past Andorra to take their first points in Division B, and in Division A the hosts dispatched Turkey by three goals to five, to the delight of the home crowd. Braces for Edu, Chiky, Korniichuk and Borsuk made for a tight and high scoring game between Spain and Ukraine, which would be settled in the day’s second penalty shootout, earning the Spanish a point. Norway made it two wins out of two on the second day when they saw off Andorra, and Serbia made it two penalty shootouts in two days, but unfortunately unable to replicate the previous day’s result, and giving Romania the point. Bulgaria handed Czech Republic their second defeat in as many days, and Spain breezed past Turkey in Division A. Ukraine showed no politeness to their hosts by beating them 3-4, and ending Portugal’s unbeaten league run. On the final day in Portugal, Andorra suffered a third defeat to the Czechs, cementing their finishing spot at the bottom of Division B – Group 1. Bulgaria topped the same group with a win against Norway, and both teams did enough to confirm a place in the Promotion Final in Sardinia. In Group 2, Romania also qualified by beating Estonia to clinch a top spot finish. It took the Ukraine until extra time to vanquish Turkey but they did by two goals in the end, earning two points. The hosts were upset once more, as a Llorenç bicycle kick deep into extra time saw them lose a second game, and finish the group in third position. Spain topped the Division A group and Bulgaria the Division B groups, all but securing their places in the Superfinal and Promotion Final. The Top Goalscorer prize had to be shared four ways as Chiky (Spain), Antonio (Spain), Korniichuk (Ukraine) and Keskin (Turkey) all scored four goals each. Bé Martins picked up the MVP while the Ukrainian Vitalii Sydorenko was awarded Best Goalkeeper.


46 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

EBSL MOSCOW

RUSSIA DOMINATE ON H Three wins virtually gave the defending champions a place in the Alghero Superfinal


HOME SAND

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ound three of the Euro Beach Soccer League 2018 got underway in the Russian capital, where eight teams would be hunting for points from the 20th to the 22nd of July.

The city was still buzzing from the excitement of the world’s biggest sporting competition, the FIFA World Cup. As defender from the women’s Russian national team, Alexandra Samorodova, so aptly put it, “It’s great that beach soccer caught the wave of the World Cup in Russia and also became popular.”Russia may have offered their guests a warm welcome but not on the sand… Mikhail Likhachev’s team didn’t permit any of their challengers a single point in Moscow, as they saw off each one to take the Division A title and secure passage to the Superfinal. The eight teams were split into two groups, one for Division A and the other for Division B. The Division A participants were Russia, Azerbaijan, Poland and Switzerland and in Division B were Greece, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and Moldova. But the weekend’s EBSL action kicked off in Division B, where Greece took the event’s first points against Lithuania. Kazakhstan then went on to just edge a stubborn Moldova and go level with the Greeks at the end of the first day. In another close contest, Poland just managed to defeat a strong Swiss side by a single goal, and to end the first day, Russia demonstrated a show of strength against Azerbaijan, and Likhachev’s side opened their Euro Beach Soccer League account with a comfortable three points. Lithuania suffered their second defeat on day two, this time at the hands (or feet) of Moldova, while Greece lost to Kazakhstan, who moved to the top of the group having taken an impressive six points out of six. In Division A the table started to take shape too, as Azerbaijan were unable to resist the attacking prowess of Angelo Schirinzi’s Switzerland, and therefore took their place in fourth position. But the hosts were flying, denying Poland the opportunity to build on their hard-won points from the day before, and moving into first position. On the final day, Kazakhstan made it three out of three by defeating Lithuania to definitively secure their finishing position as top of the group and confirming their spot in the Promotion Final. Greece took Moldova to extra time but lost out to finish the Division B group in third. Azerbaijan put in an inspired performance against Poland in a riveting, 15-goal game, to take their first points in Moscow. Switzerland took their hosts to extra time after a high in quality bout ended at 2-2 after normal time. To the jubilation of the home crowd, the match winner came from Krasheninnikov to take two points for Russia. The results in the final day left a few people scratching their heads trying to work out the final standings of the other three Division A teams, who each had three points. But it was the Swiss who would finish runners-up, followed by Azerbaijan and then Poland. Noel Ott’s seven goals were enough to clinch the Top Goalscorer award, while the Russians Dmitrii Shishin and Maksim Chuzhkov picked up the prizes for MVP and Best Goalkeeper. The hosts and Switzerland did enough to join the other Division A teams (Italy, Portugal and Ukraine) who already had their places confirmed in the Superfinal. From Division B, the teams confirmed for the Promotion Final thus far were Bulgaria, Norway, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Romania.


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EBSL MINSK

BELARUS CLAIM THEIR O STAGE IN STYLE! Two stunning comebacks in extra time gave Nico Alvarado’s side the title


OWN EBSL

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here are many different ways of winning a Euro Beach Soccer League stage for the first time. But the one that Belarus chose to claim as their first ever EBSL stage, in front of their own crowd, was special. The hosts needed two extra time victories, after coming from behind, to secure the essential points that had them lifting the Cup on Sunday. The games were ultimately won (and lost) from distance, as Belarus scored two stunning, long range missiles of free kicks from their own half of the pitch, to see off Poland, on Saturday, and then Italy, again on Sunday, to take the increasingly precious points. In the game against Poland, in which Belarus had been trailing for most of the time, Kanstantsinau’s screamer secured a win that gave the hosts the chance to fight for the Cup on Sunday, against an Italian team that had enjoyed a perfect run thus far. On Sunday, again with the same formula, the Most Valuable Player of the competition, Ihar Bryshtel, turned things around for Belarus in a game in which things looked pretty difficult for the hosts, with the Azzurri commanding a 1-4 lead by the end of the first period.   This is how the Nico Alvarado-headed side remained unbeaten and secured their spot in the Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal in Alghero (6th-9th September), as the first, second or third team in the overall EBSL rankings. Job well done, all they has to do now is watch and wait for the results to come from Russia and Spain in the fifth and final stage of the regular phase, held in Warnemünde (Germany) three weeks later.  In the lower part of the table, Turkey desperately needed to get some points to keep their options as open as possible and avoid having to play to defend their Division A status in the coming Promotion Final. As the games went on, their chances of Division A safety were getting slimmer.  But finally, in their last game in the competition, the Turkish managed to catch Poland by surprise and take away a 9-7 win in a thrilling game that really shook up the league table. One of these changes was that the Poles dropped out of a qualifying position for the EBSL Superfinal. After clinching a win in the last game, Turkey had now to wait to see if Germany or France got better results than them in the following event, the EBSL Warnemünde, to see if they finally skipped the risk of relegation... And they did.   This Euro Beach Soccer League stage in Minsk was also special because it took place in the same stadium that will see the beach soccer action in the coming European Games Minsk 2019 next summer. In fact, this EBSL stage became the official inauguration of the facilities that will play a key part in the approaching Games. In these games beach soccer will be, just as it was in the first edition in Baku (Azerbaijan), one of the event’s biggest attractions. In short: you could hardly find a better way to have your first experience as an Euro Beach Soccer League host... Belarus showed the world everything that they have to offer, and this leaves great perspectives, great expectations for the years to come, both with the coming European Games, but also on the entire European beach soccer stage. Way to go!


50 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

EBSL WARNEMÃœNDE

SPAIN SEAL HEAD OF TH

The German side lost the three games and fell into the Promotion Final


HE TABLE

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he last stop of the Euro Beach Soccer League regular phase tour, was the windswept coast of Germany, in the little town of Warnemünde.

The tournament took place between the 24th and 26th of August and was the last chance for hosts Germany to pick up points and avoid the Promotion Final where they would have to fight for their Division A survival. But the Spanish were on fire, and the cold weather of northern Europe couldn’t put it out as three more wins meant that they ended the regular phase events unbeaten, claiming the top spot in the final standings ahead of the SuperFinal in Sardinia. Meanwhile in Division B, England also enjoyed an unbeaten tournament, taking nine out of a possible nine points, with promotion to Division A firmly in their sights. On the first day in Germany, Spain met the reigning champions, Russia and someone’s unbeaten streak was about to come to an end. It was Mikhail Likhachev’s side which seemed unusually out of form and Spain won the game 6-2 despite the Russians taking an early lead. France played Germany on the opening day, and the hosts could be have forgiven for seeing this fixture as their best opportunity to secure Division A beach soccer for the coming season, as France were the only other team yet to register any points. Beating them would mean that not only did they earn three crucial points, but also ensuring that their rivals stayed rock bottom. Unfortunately for Matteo Marrucci’s side, the French were not about to be swept aside and handed the Germans a 4-1 defeat in front of their home fans. There were also wins for England and Hungary on day one in Division B and the late race for the Promotion Final was heating up. When both sides won again on day two - with England’s 19-yearold Cameron O’Rourke scoring his second hat-trick in two days! - the Division B top spot would be decided when England met Hungary on the final day. Elsewhere on day two, Germany put up a spirited fight against Spain, Alonso’s side eventually won with a comfortable fourgoal cushion. Russia, meanwhile, beat France to make up for the defeat the day before. The final day saw Germany vying desperately for last minute points against Russia but they just couldn’t find the net and were sunk by four goals, ending the league without a point and facing potential relegation at the Promotion Final. Hungary and England met to decide who would finish Division B unbeaten in a real nail-biter where two last minute goals from Lawson and then Aaron Clarke (his ninth of the weekend) snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for Mitchell’s men who celebrated wildly before seeing out the remaining 14 seconds to victory.At the bottom of the Division B group, Denmark beat Georgia for the three remaining points in what acted as a playoff for third place in Warnemünde. Spain rounded off a perfect run with close fought tie against Gerard Sergent’s French side, where an Antonio brace and a Llorenç golazo were just enough to overturn an early two-goal lead taken by France. Spaniards Llorenç and Antonio claimed the awards for Top Goalscorer and MVP whilst the Russian Ostrovskii won Best Goalkeeper. The regular phase tournaments are over and stage is set for the grand finale in Sardinia… are you ready?


52 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

HOSTS POR TITLE IN ALAN’S F


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he 2018 Mundialito Almada took place between the 15th and 17th of June, welcoming teams who had travelled from three different continents to perform and compete on the Almada sand. The four teams that would be testing their weight were hosts, Portugal, Japan, Mexico and Spain. But this event was special for another reason. The 2018 Mundialito in Almada marked the exact event, 20 years ago, that Alan, the Portuguese star, made his debut for the national selection, and this competition would, fittingly, mark his last. The campaign to send their beloved number six off with a trophy began well for Portugal, as they beat Mexico by three goals to nil, while in the other game of the first day, Spain put six past Japan, so the two Iberian powerhouses finished day one on three points each. On day two they would swap opponents, and Spain gave Mexico a similarly strong performance to the one they offered Japan, scoring five times to secure three more points. Portugal, however, struggled against a tough Japan side who kept pace with their hosts all the way through normal time, when the score ended 3-3 after a Goto hat-trick. But the points were cruelly snatched away from the Japanese in extra time, when Jordan found the back of the net to the delight of the packed stadium. Having dropped a point by being forced into extra time, Portugal were trailing to Spain who had taken six out of six, and occupied the top spot. But the final fixture would choose the tournament winner, as they went head to head in the decider. First, Japan had to play Mexico to see who would finish third. An Okuyama brace, as well as another Goto hat-trick, meant that Ruy Ramos’ side would go home with three points, whereas the Mexicans would make the long trip home empty handed. The decider would be a much closer affair… Bé Martins drew first blood as he found the back of the net in less than a minute. Soon after Jordan scored from a free-kick and as the crowd cheered, Joaquin Alonso’s side had to be careful not to lose their nerve. A response came from Edu, who scored a brace, and then a third from Llorenç put the Spaniards ahead in the final period with just minutes to go. But who else to step up at the crucial time than the big number seven, Madjer who equalised to take the game to extra time. But in the end, it was penalties that would decide this one, and when Antonio and Chiky failed to convert theirs, Portugal leapfrogged their rivals into first position.

MUNDIALITO ALMADA

RTUGAL CLAIM FINAL MATCH

It was a big cocktail of emotion during the celebrations on the final day, as Alan commemorated an illustrious 20-year career with a Mundialito title. Jordan picked up the MVP award, and Portuguese teammate Elinton Andrade won Best Goalkeeper. Goto, with six goals, took home the trophy for Top Goalscorer. All that remains is to say goodbye and good luck to Alan, truly one of the greats, and you can read his farewell interview with Barefoot on page 36.


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BSWW TOUR GOALFUN CFA BEACH SOCCER CHAMPIO

URUGUAY BACK WA


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he Uruguayan National Team collected in China their first international honour in years. The Celeste side had been giving unmistakable signs of improvement over the last seasons, with a competitive outcome in the last Copa America, where the Charrúa clinched the third place, and finally confirmed in Tangshan that they are ready to win a competition again. The Pan-American powerhouses of Uruguay, CONCACAF runner ups Mexico and Chile arrived in Tangshan, in the Northeast of the Chinese Hebei province, for a new beach soccer showdown in the country of The Red Dragon: The BSWW Tour Goalfun CFA China Latin American Beach Soccer Championship Tangshan 2018. Three wins out of three had the Uruguayan prevailing in the competition, with a perfect 9-points-out-of-9 record. The Celeste hit the sand giving hosts China a tough defeat in the opening of the competition, and were faced to Mexico in the second matchday. After a fierce combat, Aguirre’s side resisted the Azteca’s late attempts and sealed three key points that had them really close to the cup. There was only one step left, and Uruguay would make sure they did not miss the chance of adding a new trophy to their cabinet after many years without doing it. In a day that got underway earlier than scheduled due to a hurricane threat, Chile appeared as the only possible barrier between the Celeste and the title. A win (provided it was with a 3-goal difference or wider) could even get La Roja’s hands on the cup. The first period ended in stalemate with neither side able to find the net. But it only took seconds for Miguel Aguirre’s team to take the lead in the second period and, although Chile managed to pull one back, Nicolas Bella scored a brace to widen the gap. A final goal from Marcelo put the game to bed in the last period and the uncatchable Uruguayans ended a perfect campaign on nine points. Mexico upset the hosts in the last game of the competition to secure the second place. The Azteca, knowing that Uruguay had already secured the first position in the first game made China pay for it, grasping a big 11-goal win to drop the curtain in Tangshan.

The Celeste won all their games in the competition

A CHINA LATIN AMERICAN ONSHIP TANGSHAN 2018

TO WINNING AYS IN CHINA

After the results on that final day, Chile ended up in the third position, with the hosts, China, closing the table, with no points bagged. Notwithstanding, this BSWW Tour Goalfun CFA China Latin American Beach Soccer Championship Tangshan 2018 need to be regarded by the hosts as a new opportunity to put themselves to the test against more experienced teams, and this is the only formula there is to keep growing in the sport. And this is something that the man ahead of the team, Ramiro Amarelle, is fully aware of. As per the Individual awards, The Uruguayan number five, Gaston Laduche picked up the award for the competition’s Best Player, while countryman Gustavo Martín Sebe won the award for Best Goalkeeper. The Mexican Ramon Maldonado won the Top Scorer trophy with eight goals whilst the Best Referee went to Shao Liang.


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MOROCCO BEACH SOCCER CUP AGADIR 2018

YEAR TWO SEES HOSTS

C com


PREVAIL

After taking place in Casablanca last year, the mpetition moved to Agadir

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orocco is increasingly becoming a top beach soccer venue nation, as the second edition of the Morocco Beach Soccer Cup saw hosts fend off challengers to claim the top spot on home sand.

While last year’s event took place in the country’s capital of Casablanca, this year the competition travelled to Agadir, being held between the 13th and 15th of July. However, in 2017 it was the Swiss who dominated the games, leaving their hosts to settle for second place. But this year, Morocco were out for revenge and, in the absence of Switzerland, wreaked it on their travelling opponents: first Ukraine, then Oman and finally Germany. On day one, Matteo Marrucci’s Germans faced an Oman team who were eager to kick off the cup campaign with a win. Oman drew first blood in the closing stages of the first period and the first whistle blew with them enjoying a slender lead. But Nisslien found an equaliser, giving Germany hope until three more well taken goals meant that Oman took the first points of the tournament, winning by four goals to one. Up next it was the hosts’ turn to impress in front of their supporting crowd. And impress they did, as a tantalizingly close game provided skills, drama and no less than 14 goals! Two late goals from Iazal secured all three points for Morocco in their opening match and Germany and Ukraine went into day two yet to pick up points. If you thought that 14 goals in one game was juicy beach soccer, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the game between Ukraine and Germany produced a whopping 22, as the Germans claimed an 8-14 victory! The second day also saw the hosts forced to extra time in a contrastingly low-scoring match, where Morocco snatched a goal to take their day two point tally to five. On the final day, Oman could potentially go top with a victory in normal time, and then hoping that Germany could put a stop to an unbeaten Moroccan run. They did all they could, as a young Ukrainian team just couldn’t keep pace and the scoreline ended at 1-5, with Ukraine ending the weekend without a point, but lots of hard-earned experience under their belts. Even though Oman had won and sat in first position on six points, Morocco would reclaim the crown, assuming that they didn’t lose to Marrucci’s men. The pressure was on, and standing in their way was a stubborn German side who were now full of confidence after putting 14 past Ukraine the previous day. But the host team proved too strong, and after an initially close looking match, a 3-1 victory was enough to confirm them as first place finishers, having dropped just the one point over the whole tournament. Not only did the weekend’s action give a valuable opportunity to some budding, beach soccer stars, such as Ukraine’s Yevhen Petrenko who took the Top Goalscorer award with seven goals, but it also gave Morocco as a country a chance to develop itself as a host. You can bet that you’ll be seeing more action from this great beach soccer nation before long…


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VIRGINIA BEACH

NASSC TURNS 25 IN A N SOCCER FESTIVAL

Shoreline BSC claimed the Women’s US Open as Maryzilians seized the cup in the men’s competition.


NEW BEACH

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rom the 8th until the 10th of June 2018, Beach Soccer mania descended upon the town of Virginia Beach in what stands as the 25th edition of the National Association Sand Soccer Championships. The popularity of our beloved sport is going from strength to strength over in the States, and many familiar faces here on the European beach soccer scene, make the trip across the pond to take part in the world’s biggest beach soccer festival… Let’s just break that claim down into a few facts and figures, just to give you an idea of the status and scale of the event… This year the festival celebrated its 25th birthday – a lot of this year’s players weren’t even born when the first NASSC (North American Sand Soccer Championships) were being played! NASSC has recently been cited as one of the top sports tourism attractions in the United States by Discovery/ESPN’s “BRAND USA”. The event saw a huge boost in the numbers of players, spectators and general popularity when they increased the scale of the event to include women’s competitions. In fact, this year they welcomed 11,000 players and 200,000 people were involved over all. In the final of the men’s NASSC US Open, it was Michigan against Maryland as the teams Great Lakes Beach Soccer made it through to the final showdown against Maryzilians. The Men’s Final kicked off at 2:30pm local time, on a warm June afternoon in Virginia. Perhaps it was the mid-summer heat but the Great Lakes were just unable to handle the skillful Salvadorian internationals. These included the likes of Frank Velásquez and Tin Ruiz, in the Maryzilians squad, and the team from Maryland prevailed to lift the trophy and enjoy the well-earned celebrations. In the women’s competition, the final was fought between California-based, Shoreline BSC, and MD BSC. Any true beach soccer fan would recognise some of the better-known faces in women’s beach soccer among the ranks of the Californian side. Shoreline boasted such players as the duo from the England nation team, Sarah Kempson and Katie James, as well as Dutch national keeper, Annelies Martijn in goal. Ultimately, the star-studded Shoreline were too much for MD BSC who had trouble containing such attacking prowess, and the Californians joined Maryzilians as champions of the NASSC US Open. It is amazing to see such interest in beach soccer in the US, and the numbers clearly show that this popularity in increasing year by year, for both the men’s and women’s sports. It’s fair to say that the future looks bright for state-side beach soccer. And this is great news. Dick Whalen, the man behind this beach soccer festival, steps down this year. His son, Matt, is fully committed to carrying on with what he and his father have achieved: “It will not be easy to fill my father’s shoes, but we will keep working hard, trying to make the NASSC bigger and bigger”, he told BAREFOOT.


60 - QUARTERLY REVIEW

Spain claim their first U20 title, following 2017 winners Hungary

TALENT CUP SIÓFOK 2018

THE NEXT GENERATION STRUT THEIR STUFF


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H

ungary took another big step towards becoming one of Europe’s biggest beach soccer venues, as it hosted another Talent Cup between the 15th and 17th of

June.

The city of Siófok, which sits on the banks of Lake Balaton, was the backdrop for the competition which would see four young, promising collections of talent, from around Europe, come together to show what they could do. The U20 selections that competed were hosts, Hungary, France, Poland and Spain. The event kicked off when France took on Spain in the opening game of day one, and Christian Mendez, who also coaches Spain’s women’s team, saw his young Spaniards net five times to breeze to victory against France. There was upset in the opening game for the hosts on though, as Poland muscled them off the precious three points. Day two brought more luck for hosts Hungary though, as they went equal on points with the Spanish by beating them three goals to one, whilst in the day’s other game, France lost a second match, this time to Poland, who made it two wins out of two. As the sun set on the second day, Poland were leading the way with six out of a possible six points, Spain and the hosts had three each and France were yet to get off the mark, as they sat on the bottom of the table. However, the neatly structured standings would be totally disrupted on day three by a bizarrely identical set of scorelines… In the first game of the last day, Spain met Poland. Wojciech Polakowski’s side were aiming for a perfect run with a win, but a Mohamed Mizziani brace helped Mendez´s men pull level on points with the Poles, by defeating them seven goals to four. Poland and Spain were now out in front with six points apiece, but in the final game of the competition, France were eager to avoid going home empty handed while the hosts were equally eager not the let their group rivals pull away from them. This fixture finish with the exact same scoreline as the first, as the hosts handed a 7-4 defeat to the French, despite Les Bleus having taken an early 2-0 lead. France finished in fourth place, but the remaining three contenders all had six points each. However, Spain, having beaten Poland by at least three goals, claimed the top spot. The Poles came in at a respectable, and very close, second while Hungary came in third ahead of France. The MVP went to Santiago Bernal Lopez of Spain, whilst the Top Scorer of the competition was Donat Deak from Hungary, who netted seven times in just three matches. In turn, the award for the Best Goalkeeper went to Polish goalie, Krystian Karolak. With so much fresh talent coming through the ranks, the keen eyes of the trainers of the senior selections will be watching events like the Talent Cup closely. Remember some of these names, because you just know that we’ll be seeing some of them on even bigger stages in the not-too-distant future…


62 - SPECIAL REPORT


BSWW AND MYCUJOO: FOUR-YEAR AGREEMENT

NEXT-GENERATION STREAMING IS HERE!

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ycujoo and Beach Soccer Worldwide have teamed up to sign a four-year partnership for the live-streaming of 1500 beach soccer matches from 2018 to 2021, giving birth to a new universe of digital broadcasting. Beach Soccer TV, the exclusive beach soccer channel on Mycujoo, will livestream all the BSWW organised and sanctioned competitions.  Beach Soccer, under the auspices of BSWW, has steadily grown in both its organisational standards, and its popularity - with an estimated viewership of 250 million households. This audience will now have unprecedented access to their favourite beach soccer entertainment, as a minimum of 1500 beach soccer matches will be streamed live on Mycujoo before the end of 2021. “Mycujoo has streamed beach soccer competitions before, organically, but we are now diving into this partnership headfirst” said Pedro Presa, CEO of Mycujoo. “Our vision to support the digitalisation of football is perfectly aligned with Beach Soccer Worldwide’s objectives to grow the discipline. We believe in the potential for beach soccer to find strong fan base, and Mycujoo will help BSWW in extending the reach of their community”. In turn, Joan Cuscó, BSWW Executive Vice-President, highlighted the advantages that this new partnership will also bring to beach soccer fans. “As we could already see in the Euro Winners Cup, the partnership with Mycujoo offers a whole new set of possibilities for beach soccer fans, as it opens the door to a new live streaming concept for the beach soccer competitions”. Under the agreement, both organisations are pledging to promote one another in an effort to reach more and more fans of beach soccer content across the globe. This corresponds with Mycujoo’s vision of providing a digital platform for mass participation in football and to involve the whole footballing family. With more than 450 million football players globally - youth, women’s, futsal, beach soccer and many others - Mycujoo wants to provide a space that welcomes and values them all.   About Mycujoo Mycujoo is a streaming platform designed to help federations, clubs and competitions at all levels to broadcast their sport, as well as building stronger relationships between players and fans at the same time.   The name “Mycujoo” was inspired by “cuju” - an ancient Chinese sport recognised by FIFA as one of the earliest forms of football.  Using their own streaming technology, Mycujoo offers a free-touse service that gives viewers unparalleled access to their team.

1500 matches will be streamed live between 2018 and 2021

Mycujoo actively streams content from more than 65 countries across six continents. More than 2,250 clubs and teams have been streamed on Mycujoo since the beginning of the platform, and the company works directly with hundreds of partners federations, leagues, clubs. In 2017 alone, Mycujoo streamed more than 4,200 matches live for a viewership of more than 35 million video views over the year. And In 2018, Mycujoo is planning to stream more than 14,000 matches worldwide, many of them being beach soccer!


64 - RANKING

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS BSWW OVERALL WORLD

RANKING


Their win in Agadir made Morocco the Movers of the Month


66 - FUELLED

EXPERT TIPS TO BOOST YOUR NUTRITION

SUPPLEMENT YOUR PERFORMANCE!

T

he physical demands of beach soccer, along with short recovery periods, constant travel, and exposure to extreme weather conditions, make the athlete’s nutrition needs to be higher than those of the general population. That is why an unbalanced diet will have a negative impact on sports performance and may result in exercise intolerance, as well as in slowing down recovery and increasing the injury risk. A beach soccer player’s diet should contribute to delay fatigue and enhance sprint speed, mental focus, and recovery. To achieve this, it is necessary to maximize the body’s energy pool and prevent dehydration, which is responsible for the decrease of intensity during the game. The preparation for the game begins on the day prior to it, when we should increase the carbohydrate intake (rice/potato/ pasta/fruit/ham) while foods loaded with fibre and fats should be avoided. Athletes can complete their diet with products adding extra vitamins, magnesium and potassium, at the time they should also start the match well hydrated, drinking an adequate amount of water/fluids to keep urine  colourless  or light yellow. During the game it is important to look after a correct hydration as well, and isotonic drinks help us a lot in that. It is important that these drinks provide a high amount of maltodextrin, palatinose, vitamins and essential minerals. These will make sure we get our energy levels back, rehydrate and ensure a good recovery. Athletes should also use gels or bars, which provide high doses of essential amino acids, complex B vitamines, caffeine and beta-alanine, thus enhancing stamina and performance. Also, to ensure the repair of muscle damage and the refilling of the body’s energy supplies, as well as the minerals lost through sweat, the meal after the game must be a combination of protein and fast-digesting carbs, like chocolate milk, for instance.  Protein shakes including vitamins, magnesium and potassium become a great ally!


68 - FAN PICS

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70 EVGENYA KASHUBA (BLR) This Economics student was one of the dancers supercharging the show in Minsk.


ANTHONY CIANNI (FRA) The looks of the French goalkeeper catch the attention both on and off the pitch...


72 - COMING UP

6 -9 TH

TH

SEPTEMBER

EURO BEACH SOCCER LEAGUE SUPERFINAL & PROMOTION FINAL ALGHERO 2018 The XXIst Euro Beach Soccer League will see a new European Champion crowned in Alghero (Italy). After travelling far and wide to the continental cities of Baku (Azerbaijan), Nazaré (Portugal), Moscow (Russia), Minsk (Belarus) and Warnemünde (Germany), the EBSL will finally come to a close on the pristine sands of Sardindinia Italy, in a year in which the Transalpine country is celebrating the 15th anniversary of their national beach soccer competition will host a new Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal, following last year’s finale in Terracina, where Russia conquered the throne again. It will be the third consecutive Superfinal held in Italy, indeed, as Catania (Sicily), another regular beach soccer stage, hosted the season’s decider in 2016. After those five regular phase stages, Spain ended atop of the table in the top division of the continental league, thanks to their perfect performance over the season, without losing a single

game. Russia, with just one defeat (precisely against Spain) comes second, followed by Belarus, Portugal, Ukraine and Switzerland. Italy sits in seventh position (although their berth was secured as the hosts of the EBSL Superfinal, and Azerbaijan grasped the last ticket, thanks two their two wins (over Germany and Poland). Precisely, Germany failed to bag any points, and will need to fight in the Promotion Final to skip relegation to Division B. This leaves some thrilling groups for this coming Superfinal will have Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Azerbaijan in Group 1. Nothing less than 11 editions of the EBSL have been won by them… Group 2 will see hosts Italy, defending champions Russia, Belarus and 2016 champions Ukraine battle for this 2018 European crown. It is absolutely impossible to foresee who will be in that fight on Sunday… After the last stage in Warnemünde, England, Bulgaria Kazakhstan and Romania will be in the Promotion Final as the champions of each stage, together with Hungary, Norway and Moldova, the three best secondranked sides. Germany will be the team from Division A battling with them to skip relegation. The door to the European Games 2019 But much more will be at stake in Alghero this coming week, as the six best teams in the Superfinal and the best Division B team of the Promotion Final will earn a ticket (alongside with hosts Belarus) to the coming European Games 2019, to take place in Minsk next June.


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BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag - ISSUE 07  

The seventh issue of BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag is out! Enjoy the most exclusive contents of the beach soccer world, with interviews, re...

BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag - ISSUE 07  

The seventh issue of BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag is out! Enjoy the most exclusive contents of the beach soccer world, with interviews, re...