BAREFOOT: The Beach Soccer Mag

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Everything about beach soccer’s most spectacular evening of the year.

KICKING OFF Editorial by Joan Cusco, BSWW Executive Vice-President




We have captured some of the key moments from the past few months.

Brazil prove a cut above in Dubai, collecting their second Intercontinental Cup in style.


All the facts and figures from the beach soccer season so far.



HOME, SWEET HOME Just why does everyone cherish Dubai so much?

54 FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORKSHOP 2016 The future of the sport up for discussion.




Ten weeks of beach soccer summarised in two pages…

THE ROAD TO THE WORLD CUP Get clued up on how four European sides secured their spots at the global showpiece.



Review of the first Continental Beach Soccer Tournament.






Are Brazil back to their best?

68 HERE TO STAY! Women’s beach soccer takes major steps in 2016.


Discover the new venues in this 2016 season.


What to eat before a game?



60 INSIDE BEACH SOCCER What brought Saganowski back to the sand?


Have a look at the best #beachsoccer pictures taken by our fans. Absolute gold!

GERT AND STEF Is there room for love in a beach soccer squad?

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Check out our upcoming competitions.


KICKING OFF To beach soccer fans everywhere, It is my pleasure to be able to write to you in this, the very first edition of BAREFOOT, a venture we are confident will add another dimension to our attempts to spread the word about our wonderful sport. The idea of a magazine for followers of beach soccer is something we have been thinking about for a number of months now and I am truly proud that we have reached a position where we have been able to launch it fully. Released quarterly, the bulletin will feature the latest beach soccer news from across the globe as well as exclusive interviews, top-quality images and hints and tips for those who play, or wish to start playing. We’re also going to ask you, the readers, to do some of the work for us by contributing to our Fan Pics section, and becoming the interviewers to our stars on the sand. After all, you are the lifeblood of beach soccer and we’ll be keeping an eye on the #BeachSoccer hashtag on Instagram for the best and most exciting pictures, which will then be used in our magazine. We hope you enjoy the first edition of BAREFOOT but, obviously, if you have any suggestions or queries then feel free to get in touch with us via www.beachsoccer. com or social media. Elsewhere at Beach Soccer Worldwide, we have another busy few months ahead following the Samsung Intercontinental Cup in Dubai with the Copa Libertadores and the Copa America to come in Brazil as well as CAF qualifiers for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup to be held in Lagos in December. AFC, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL qualifiers are also on the horizon as we build towards the World Cup in the Bahamas. Remember to take a look at our calendar in the back of this magazine to see what’s going on globally in our sport. Best wishes and enjoy your beach soccer, wherever you may be…

Editorial director Iñaki Uribarri Editor-in-chief Matthew Rogerson Design director Laura Cuscó Design managers Marta Cuscó, Lucas Danilas Photography Lea Weil, Manuel Queimadelos, Marcello Zambrana Contributors Lautaro Alborelo 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


WHEN WE SAY THAT HICI PUBLINAT IAW SAND IS OUR HOME... CATUAM VIRMIUS ...we´re not kidding. Gabriele Gori (ITA) battles the sand to keepuntiam the ball Estriore es!with Sente cusquem under controlconvolus in Jesolo. potam ublie ad in teres

niceris scerfeculem din sedoquodiis sulessi mihicips, cules arit; nos num demunti publiniquam te, utem etorsus moratis sentia? Palicau dacibes in tum aris, eris adet Cupiond amquam tus, cum habus


IRAN FANS SHOW THEIR SUPPORT Iran fell just short in the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup final against Brazil, but their fans provided plenty of atmosphere as Dubai International Marine Club reached fever pitch.


WHATEVER IT TAKES... Safe to say the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017 - Qualifier Europe Jesolo was a hard-fought battle throughout...


HEAD OVER HEELS Oman’s Yahya Al Araimi demonstrated his acrobatic talents with this celebration at the Continental Beach Soccer Tournament in Ordos, China.


THIRSTY WORK As temperatures soared in Jesolo, Ukraine´s Vitalii Sydorenko takes a moment to cool down.





views on Beach Soccer TV. The exclusive videos on our You Tube channel were viewed by one million people during 2016. Apart from that, the Beach Soccer official channel got 3,538 new subscribers‌ thanks everyone.

372 matches have been played in 2016 in 18 different events, including the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2016, to which we van add the numerous friendly games taking place all over the world, and the upcoming CAF Beach Soccer Championship Lagos 2016, the Winter Beach Soccer Cup Prague 2016 and the Copa Libertadores 2016.



visits to, which strengthens its position as the go-to place for beach soccer fans all over the world. The numbers keep growing season after season.

2,597 Goals! We have always said that beach soccer is all about goals. And the numbers speak for themselves. During 2016, beach soccer fans have been treated to 2,597 goals, with Swiss forward Dejan Stankovic standing above the rest, with 63 from 28 games this season. That equates to 2.25 goals every match he plays… pretty scary, especially if you´re trying to mark him! Italy’s Gabriele Gori follows him, with 51 goals in 26 games - an average of 1.97 goals per match.


million viewers on Livestream. The matches broadcast through our Livestream window (embedded at had more than 1.32 million hits, which makes for an amazing 53 per cent increase on last season!




ortugal legend Madjer was named beach soccer’s MVP for the second consecutive year at the Beach Soccer Stars gala in Dubai following the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, after being named ahead of fellow candidates Gabriele Gori from Italy and Switzerland´s Dejan Stankovic. The legendary Portuguese skipper has enjoyed a stellar campaign, which saw him score his 1,000th international goal and reach 500 caps while also helping his country to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Despite the season being far from perfect for Portugal, after losing both their European Beach Soccer League and BSWW Mundialito crowns, Madjer is still considered the best on the sand by many of the sport´s coaches and captains. Brazil’s Bruno Xavier, the man Madjer succeeded as the best player in the world in 2015, handed the Portugual talisman the honour. After a round of applause, Madjer was quick to thank his family, his wife, Beach Soccer Worldwide and the whole Portuguese National team, without whom “it would have been impossible to be here again this season”. As well as being named the best player in the world, Madjer was also voted as part of the Best Five - the sport´s premier squad as voted for by coaches and captains alongside Andrade (POR), Ozu (JPN), Bruno Xavier (BRA) and Stankovic (SUI).year


The Portuguese ace was voted the best player in the world for the second time




ortugal stopper Elinton Andrade picked up the prestigious Best Goalkeeper award at Beach Soccer Stars night.

The event saw Andrade named among the winners after impressing for his country during a strong international campaign. For the experienced goalkeeper, 2016 brought about another stellar season as he helped Portugal qualify for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup while also lifting the Euro Beach Soccer Cup and collecting a handful of individual awards across the Euro Beach Soccer League season. Andrade - also named in beach soccer’s Best Five counted on votes from his fellow players and coaches to ensure him a place in the sport’s history.

Colleagues and captains all over the world decided the Portuguese was the Best Coach of the Year


here was another award for the Portugal contingent in Dubai this month as boss Mario Narciso was voted beach soccer’s best coach, having guided his side to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and kept them number one in the world. The Portugal coach has enjoyed another impressive season in the sport, with his team not only maintaining their position at the top of the world rankings but also adding Euro Beach Soccer Cup silverware. Although Portugal suffered Euro Beach Soccer League and Mundialito dissapointments, coaches and captains of across the world maintain he continues to set the standard in the dugout. Narciso beat off competition from Switzerland’s Angelo Schirinzi and Marcin Stanislawski of Poland to claim the title for the second consecutive year.



Andrade, Ozu, Bruno Xavier, Madjer and Stankovic... they would make quite the team


f you were a beach soccer coach and could pick any five players to take on all comers in the sport, who would you opt for?

Well, this is exactly what we asked the coaches and captains from across the beach soccer world – give us your best five players for one all-star team. We totted up all their votes and this is what the team looks like... Goalkeeper Elinton Andrade (POR) is joined by Ozu of japan, Portugal legend Madjer, Brazil´s Bruno Xavier and Swiss hitman Dejan Stankovic. Not a bad line-up, huh?





DUBAI, BEACH SOCCER’ BEST EVENT OF THE YEAR HE Saeed Hareb received the award from Anton Sealey, Bahamas FA president


he Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2015 was chosen again as the best event of this past season, thus confirming its place as one of the most prestigious and classy locations in the sporting calendar. Despite fighting against two great beach soccer spectacles - the BSWW Mundialito Cascais 2016 and the Copa Pílsener Fútbol Playa El Salvador 2016 - the Intercontinental Cup prevailed thanks to its unique combination of assets and qualities. The level of excellence this event projects has made it the most admired showpiece - a first-class venue, a cosmopolitan city, a wonderful packed stadium and the best teams in the world…

The Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup features just about everything you could hope for when planning a truly multifaceted beach soccer experience. HE Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of the Dubai Sports Council, received the prize from Anton Sealey, president of the Bahamas Football Association, host of the upcoming FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017. Mr. Hareb, after that, wanted to thank all his team at the Dubai Sports Council, as well as the Dubai International Marine Club for being such great partners.




odrigo Soares da Costa cemented his reputation as one of the sport´s most exciting prospects as he was voted Rising Star, hours after helping Brazil to the title in Dubai. The talented forward had already become a real nightmare for defenders during recent seasons, but this year he confirmed himself as one of the best players in the world, both at club and country level. After receiving the trophy from Joan Cusco, Executive Vice-President of Beach Soccer Worldwide and FIFA Beach Soccer Committee Member, Rodrigo thanked his family and friends, as well as his teammates, for having supported him and helped him to become the player he is today. At just 23, this is only the beginning for Rodrigo...


t´s the BSWW Mundialito 2016 in Cascais, Portugal. It´s the fourth minute of the second period between USA and China. Nick Perera is awarded a free-kick close to the sideline.

Having placed the ball down carefully, the US skipper experiences a lightbulb moment, turns to his coach and asks: “Do you mind if I chip it?” When the response comes, “just send it in, do whatever you like”, the rest is history. users all over the world voted Perera’s magnificent lob as the best goal of the year, overcoming other nominees in the form of Portugal´s Leo Martins and Olli from Germany. users voted the US skipper’s amazing lob as the best goal of the season




“WHEN YOU PLAY WITH THE BEST, IT IS EASIER TO WIN AWARDS” Vitor Saraiva, known to all in the sport as Madjer, keeps adding to his legendary status. For the second consecutive year, the Portuguese ace was named the best player in the world. And the first thing that crossed his mind after being honoured once more was to pay tribute to his family and for his teammates. But, what does Madjer really think about another MVP Award? Beach Soccer Worldwide caught up with him to ask exactly that. How does it feel to be named, for the second consecutive year, the best player in the world? It is something I did not expect and precisely for that reason, it became a greater joy… it is something that makes me feel very proud of the hard work, and very privileged. So you really did not expect it? Honestly, not. I was even making jokes with Stankovic before the gala, telling him, are you ready to collect the prize? And he was telling me, “No, the prize is yours…”. It was unexpected, and it was a great surprise. What do you think makes people vote you? I think the collective achievements had a lot to do. Despite the loss at the Euro Beach Soccer League, Portugal won the Euro Beach Soccer Cup, the Copa Pílsener, the Sal Beach Soccer Cup, etc. Actually, I truly believe that without my teammates I would have never won this award. When you play with the best, it is easier to win individual prizes… You talked about Stankovic, one of the other nominees. What do you think about him? He is a truly phenomenal player, one of the most decisive players in the world. He has a terrific shot that not only allows him to score from anywhere on the pitch, but also makes him very dangerous on free-kicks. I admire how calm he is when in front of the goalkeeper. He never hesitates. And he is very good with bicycle kicks, as well.

And what about Gori? He is a player with huge potential. He is very young, still with a long trajectory ahead. I especially like him because of his attitude, he is never afraid to fight, no matter the defender he has in front of him, he never feels any fear. And, apart from that, he has one of the best bicycle kicks in the world, and a spectacular nose for a goal… Amongst all the new players that we see in beach soccer, who do you think has what it takes to become the best player in the world? There are many... I could not name just one. Fortunately, in beach soccer we are not short on talent, and many players have the level to be considered the best. Not only players such as Bruno Xavier, who won the award already, or Ozu, always in the Best 5, but also lots of youngsters, such as Ott, who has been playing at a great level for Switzerland, or 2016’s rising star Rodrigo... Even in Portugal, there are some good players that I think could become the best in the world in the near future. Jordan, for example, or Coimbra, although it seems that giving this award to a defender is tough.. But I think they could eventually win that honour. What did you think about when you heard your name again in the Beach Soccer Stars 2016? Obviously, the first thing that came into my mind was my family. I cannot be with them all the time they deserve, and when I win such awards, it is also theirs, because they put their effort too in making things work for me. And, of course, my teammates and coaches, who support me and help me a lot. I felt that all of them came with me onto stage when I received the award tonight. And, finally, what can Madjer do to win the award for the third consecutive year? [Chuckles]. Well, the only way is to keep working hard, with the people I have been working with all those years, and to keep learning. Next year, the big objective is the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup again.

“I take this award as a recognition to Portugal’s team performance”





razil deservedly reclaimed the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup in Dubai with a dominant 6-2 win against a spirited Iran side, confirming what everybody suspected: this is the best Brazil we have seen in years. Gilberto Costa’s men - last champions in 2014 added to this year’s successes at the Mundialito and Supercopa da Nacoes with a degree of comfort as Bokinha and Catarino each registered braces. Mesigar had got Iran in front but Brazil responded with five goals in a row and never looked back, landing their second Dubai title following an impressive campaign. After Mesigar opened the scoring with a closerange finish, much to the excitement of the Iran fans in the stadium, Catarino angled a shot into the bottom corner as the game got off to a breathless start. Mao was called on to thwart Akbari before tournament MVP and Top Scorer Bruno Xavier rattled in a penalty to complete the turnaround. Brazil went on to boss proceedings either side of the first break and had their reward when Bokinha’s curled effort took a slight deflection to beat Hosseini in the Iran goal. Mao continued to impress for the Selecao while, at the other end, Bokinha found the bottom corner after a sumptuous backheel assist from Lucao. The goals continued to flow as Brazil hit their stride although Ahmadzadeh stopped the rot with a penalty for Iran. Akbari’s audacious overhead kick, which drifted just wide, was the opening chance of a hectic endto-end final frame, which saw Catarino register his second when he finished off a wonderful team move. Mesigar’s red card made life more difficult for Iran, who were unable to throw a spanner in the works,

with Brazil ultimately easing to their third title of a hugely successful season. Former champions Russia bounced back from their failed title defence by beating Tahiti 4-3 in the third-place play-off. The 2015 winners were blown away by the Verdeamarela on semi-finals but, despite falling behind to Bennett’s early strike, the world’s second best side hit back in style with four unanswered goals to put them in a strong position going into the final few minutes. Late goals from Jo and Tavanae made life awkward for the Russians but Mikhail Likhachev’s men stood firm for the win. Poland finished with a flourish by beating Egypt 2-0 on penalties after their fifth-place play-off ended 3-3 in normal time. The Poles - in the midst of preparing for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup next year - were pegged back from 3-1 up as Egypt scored late on through Hashim and Samir. However, Samir and Ahmed both missed from the spot as Gac and Ziober ensured fifth spot for Poland. Hosts UAE salvaged pride from their campaign by deservedly beating the USA 4-3. In the absence of influential skipper Perera, USA battled from a goal down to lead 2-1 going into the final period. However, a brace from captain Kamal and Waleed’s second effort gave the home fans something to cheer as their side settled in seventh place. There were thousands of supporters from a host of different countries in the stadium over the course of the five days, devoted and passionate, as the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup scaled new heights in its quest to be the best.


UBAI 2016

The Seleção gave the likes of Iran and Russia no chance




he Beach Soccer Stars Night returned to Dubai on November 5th as the the red carpet was once again rolled out for the great and the good in the sport´s community.

heads turning in Dubai with a very special atmosphere, including awards and music performances, which the whole beach soccer family enjoyed in a very genuine manner.

Set against a backdrop of excellent facilities, perfect beaches and the pristine waters of the Persian Gulf, the event counted once again on Dubai’s wonderful hosting duties in a city that has quickly become a key location in the beach soccer calendar after hosting important events, key functions and high-profile competitions regularly over recent years.

In total, 11 separate awards were distributed across seven different categories, with Dubai itself swiftly honoured early on in the evening.

The beach soccer family has been proud to call Dubai home for recent editions of the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup and the accompanying Stars Night, with this year’s gala event no different. Bigger and better than ever before, Stars Night provided again a fitting location for the season’s beach soccer celebrations and had

The 2015 edition of the Intercontinental Cup was named the Best Event of the Year in another nod to to the region´s affinity with the sport before prizes were handed out for Best Goalkeeper, Best Player, Rising Star, Best Five, Best Coach and Best Goal. With legends both on the stage and in the crowd, it proved once again a perfect backdrop for the sport to come together and celebrate another successful season. See you soon, Dubai...

Stars Night provided once again a fitting location for the season´s beach soccer celebrations...




n the 5th of November, shortly after the curtain fell on the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, a new edition of the prestigous Stars Night lit up the Dubai sky. ´The beach soccer family came toegether once again to enjoy a very special evening together with celebrations, recognition, awards and musical performances. More than 300 people attended the gala, held in the gardens of the Westin Hotel, including international pop star Bo, a very close friend of beach soccer, who serenaded guests with a very exclusive and intimate version of Dreams by Gabrielle. Players, coaches, promoters and stakeholders all walked along the red carpet, and contributed to a celebration that confirms just what the sport is all about. We are beach soccer.


More than 300 people enjoyed a very special evening below the sky of Dubai



he UAE has long been synonymous with grand events, excellent facilities and top-class sporting occasions and the past few days has seen Dubai once again cement its place as a leading light in the beach soccer world. The annual trip to Dubai is now a key fixture in the sport’s calendar thanks to a consistently strong relationship between the Dubai Sports Council and Beach Soccer Worldwide, with the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup and the V FIFA Beach Soccer Workshop held in the most stunning of venues. Beach soccer has swiftly become part of the sporting fabric in Dubai, while, in turn, the Emirate has played an integral role in developing

the sport on a global scale. Thanks to the support and vision of the Dubai Sports Council, beach soccer and Dubai now enjoy a solid bond that has been more than a decade in the making. This began with friendly events and smaller competitions before growing stronger via the continental qualifiers for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and later the showpiece event itself in 2009. Ever since, Dubai has become enshrined in beach soccer legacy by hosting the prestigious Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup - a competition second only in standing to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup as the best teams from each continent vie for supremacy.

Beach soccer and Dubai now enjoy a solid bond that has been more than a decade in the making...

OCCER MEETS EXCELLENCE However, Dubai isn’t all about the action on the sand - as exhilarating as it always is. Amid the thrills and spills on show in games between many of the world´s premier players, the fifth edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer Workshop also took place as coaches, players and stakeholders from the sport discuss issues affecting beach soccer and participate in a forum regarding how to improve it further. This year, topics dealt with development of the women’s game, commercial and brand strategies as well as the upcoming FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, while discussions will also take place surrounding how to go about making beach soccer Olympic.

Furthermore, Dubai was again be the proud host to the Beach Soccer Stars Night, which honours the best of the best within the sport. Awards were given out to the game’s MVP, Best Goalkeeper, Best Coach and Rising Star while the world´s top players formed the Best Five and the Best Goal was revealed after a public vote, as the sport paused to reflect on the year´s action and honour those who have raised the bar in 2016. Dubai has consistently set itself apart as the perfect beach soccer location and after this year’s activities, 2017 promises to be no different.



“THE BOND BETWEEN BEACH SOCCER AND DUBAI WILL LAST FOR A LONG TIME” What makes Dubai so attractive to visitors? Everybody sees Dubai as a place where anything is possible. Whatever you imagine, you can make it happen in Dubai. This is because the city not only treasures state-of-the-art facilities, topclass hospitality and premium accommodation but also efficient and functional infrastructures as well as a sports-passionate citizenship. What matters is not just what Dubai has, but also how it offers that to its visitors and people in general, with the warm hospitality we are known for. This is something we all feel very proud of. Not many people are unaware of Dubai, which has become one of the top destinations in the world. Does this make your job easier or harder? I would say... both. The fact that everybody knows Dubai, and what they can find here, is obviously an advantage, since the projection of our city is undeniable. But it also brings with it a challenge to live up to everybody’s expectations. Awarded 2nd Best City of Hosting Sports events by the International Sports Events Management company, and recognised as one of the most prestigious sporting and touristic destinations in the world, you need to deliver at the maximum level at all times, without mistakes or setbacks. As they always say, it is harder to remain at the top than to become the best. What is the importance sport has for Dubai? Dubai has become one of the most highly-regarded sports destinations in the world and it is thanks to a combination of factors. People in Dubai are passionate about sports, not only because of their desire for entertainment, but also because of their capacity to teach values of companionship, team spirit and self-growth. For the Dubai Sports Council, it is key to strengthen these principles, following the vision of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.Earlier this year, the Council launched the Sports Creative Lab, an innovative lab that attracted all international and national professional guests in 6 respective fields such as: Women in Sports, Sports Events and Tourism etc. to discuss, strategize and plan the Emirate’s current problems and future solutions to develop the sector. As a result, 9 initiatives were born out of this Lab, initiatives that will be implemented within the next few years that will see an exponential growth in the market and further Dubai’s sporting ambitions worldwide. And how does Dubai manage to make it better? Dubai Sports Council wants to show sport and events at their best, and it is through excellence, top-class work and a professional approach that you achieve that. There is no other way. It is our philosophy, and our way of doing things. Two of the main objectives of the Dubai Sports Council are to develop and improve sports in Dubai and create a comprehensive sports environment. How does the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai contribute to these? We have always believed that beach soccer and Dubai are a perfect match, with all the values we seek. Beach soccer has become a

better, more international spectacle in Dubai, and the DSC has contributed to make it shine on our soil. At the same time, the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, beach soccer’s most important yearly competition, contributes to create that comprehensive sports environment that Dubai is known for. Beach Soccer and Dubai have forged a strong relationship over the years, what does this relationship look like now? I think this relationship is now in one of its best moments. With the experience we have accumulated during these years, and the growth we have jointly shown, I can say that this relationship is more mature than ever. We have been working with Joan Cusco and his people for more than a decade, and you can clearly see how this partnership is helping us jointly deliver better, brighter events, built on philosophies we both believe in. Now, besides the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, Dubai is also the home of the Beach Soccer Stars, the big celebration gala of beach soccer… This is proof of what we have been talking about. Beach soccer feels Dubai offers all the possibilities, and Dubai sees beach soccer as a valuable companion. This translates into a relationship where both sides want to do more and more. Most of the players and coaches always pick Dubai when they talk about their favourite beach soccer venue. How does that feel? It is something that makes us very happy. And it proves that we are achieving what we are working for. We want to showcase Dubai as a dream sports destination, and the feedback from athletes all over the world is highly satisfactory. And do you see this changing? As long as we keep working hard, hopefully not. Dubai still has plenty to offer and many high-level sporting experiences to stage. It is our job not to let this go unnoticed. What is your best memory involving beach soccer over the past decade? That is a difficult question to answer. Obviously, having hosted a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is something that needs to be at top of your list. Especially because it was a highly successful one, one which everybody talks about. The Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup gets better every year, and that itself stands as a very unique memory. But I would hope my highlight with the sport is still to come, because the relationship between beach soccer and Dubai will last for a long time, with many new exciting chapters. Trust me, the best is yet to come. And what are your plans for the future? How can this relationship get stronger? I have no doubt that beach soccer and the Dubai Sports Council will keep walking side by side. There are a lot of projects to take on, many challenges to tackle, what will make the relationship stronger. There are still plenty more objectives to achieve, and we looking forward to that.

HE Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of the Dubai Sports Council




nce again, the FIFA Beach Soccer Workshop took place in the Dubai Room of The Westin Mina Seyahi Hotel as a host of experts and beach soccer figures discussed the sport’s vision for the next few months. The event - held annually alongside the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup - is regarded as a key centre for discussion within the sport as it seeks to create opportunities to shape the beach soccer’s future. First up at the workshop was Jeff Ehrenkranz, President at Octagon Marketing International, who spoke about the issue beach soccer faces when it comes to attracting big name brands on a regular basis. Having talked of the value sponsors place on having measurable commercial assets and owning a property within an event, he said: “Beach soccer is in great shape, it is. If you’re creating a sport, you would want great content and engaged fans and a product that worked on TV, something that is relatively in expensive and something that looks great. “We’re coming from a great place but how do we make these key things happen in our sport? How do we evolve? That’s what we all have to ask ourselves.” Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of the European Games in Baku and now in the same role for the Dubai Expo in 2020, then recorded a video message for the workshop. With discussion centering on making beach soccer an Olympic sport, he said: “It’s a very exciting sport, fast moving.

“It’s great for me to be here, to come down and see this stadium and the amazing beach soccer players. I very much look forward to coming back. This would be fantastic in the Olympics. It’s important that people in the beach soccer community dream of that. Maybe one day that dream will come true.” Adding to that theme, Beach Soccer Worldwide’s Executive VicePresident Joan Cusco, continued: “The content [of beach soccer] is phenomenal. Look at the games here, the passion and tension and the show we saw was unbelievable. We have an amazing sport. “Every regional committee has an influence in these [IOC] memberships. Most of the world, when we talk about beach games, beach soccer is number one. This is the road map we need to follow to influence the IOC. We need your help in this area, this is where you can help. We have beach soccer in 140 markets around the world, that’s 140 lines of communication.” Following a short break, Brent Rahim of the FIFA Development Department took guests through the FIFA Teaching Manual and FIFA Forward Programme, both of which serve to lay the foundations of the sport. “We hope this tool [teaching manual] will help raise the level of the game,” he said. “It’s crucially important that coaches and technical staff understand the intensity has to be of a certain level. It is not the same to train at a competition intensity than doing it on a lower one. All instructors are trying to give that kind of tactical detail

R FUTURE TOGETHER More than 120 guests and speakers enjoyed an event where very relevant ideas were discussed

44 - QUARTERLY REVIEW that can make the difference in a game. And it really is like this. This little difference in training can end up making the result change. “We try tailor the content to trends the game, so we analysed the last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and use that in the coaching tool to take the game forward. “Funding is available within the FIFA Forward Programme and if beach soccer is a priority for federations, then it’s a possibility. You guys have a chance to think about this and see where there may be possibilities.” The penultimate speaker was Anton Sealey, President of the Bahamas Football Association, who will host the ninth edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in April and May next year,

with Nassau becoming the centre of the beach soccer universe for more than 10 days. Sealey, who explained how the build up to the showpiece is going in the Bahamas, assured that everything is now on track after the difficult weeks Hurricane Matthew brought. “We will be ready for you,” the BFA president explained. “Our preparations have begun in earnest and we are satisfied with where we are right now. “We have a working session with FIFA and BSWW soon where we will accelerate our progression, I’m sure. The whole country has embraced this wonderful opportunity given to us by FIFA to host this event.” After guests were given a run-through of planning for the event,

BSWW Deputy Vice-President Gabino Renales concluded the discussions by detailing what the schedule for the next 12 months looks like. “Federations are investing more and more efforts to make the sport grow in their regions,” he explained, referencing the huge number of countries set to hosts tournaments in the coming months. “We are also trying to implement more women’s competitions in the European season, the Euro Winners Cup was successful and we want to repeat that. I encourage everyone to create tournaments for women and increase the number of participating teams and players.”

Issues such as the 2017 calendar and the steps to get beach soccer closer to the Olympics were debated



“The children love the experience of beach soccer and at the same time it is very beneficial for them”


he Foundation holds Beach Soccer Clinic with disabled children from the Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities

Beach soccer stars competing at the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup took time out to put on a skills clinic for local disabled youngsters in Dubai this month. Players from all eight nations headed down to the stadium at Dubai International Marine Club for the traditional Beach Soccer Worldwide clinic as 14 children got the chance to enjoy an unforgettable time on the sand. The young children, from Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities, got the chance to take shots at goal as well as taking part in passing and goalkeeping exercises as the power of beach soccer once again made for an incredible morning. Clinics - held at many of Beach Soccer Worldwide’s tournaments

across the globe - form part of the Beach Soccer Foundation, with Beach Soccer Worldwide Executive Vice-President Joan Cusco clearly delighted at the impact events such as these continue to have. “Everyone loves the action in matches when we put on tournament such as this but we also recognise our social responsibility,” he said. “Clinics like these really put a smile on young people’s faces and it’s something we feel very proud to organise.” Ikram ul Hasan Jalali, physical education teacher at the centre, added: “The children love the experience of beach soccer and at the same time it is very beneficial for them. “It is something they look forward to during the whole year, as it is a very special date in our calendar. Also, all the organisation and the players were just fantastic.”






eptember saw the first four teams guarantee their spots at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup as Italy, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland came through the 10-day competition ahead of 23 others. Europe’s qualification campaign was the first of the continental tournaments to be held ahead of the showpiece event in the Bahamas next year and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Indeed, locals, tourists and beach soccer fans on the Italian coast

were treated to 82 thrilling matches during 11 non-stop, topnotch beach soccer days. An initial group stage saw eventual qualifiers Italy, Portugal and Switzerland top their groups with 100 per cent starts while Poland were one of seven to progress as runners-up. Hungary and Belarus also kept alive their hopes with third-place finishes as 12 teams moved into the second group stage, where the action really heated up.


ERE WE COME! Poland sprung their first surprise with a 4-3 win over recentlycrowned Euro Beach Soccer League champions Ukraine although there were to be no such shocks in store for Portugal, Switzerland or Italy, who all began their second group campaign with wins. A day later, Italy and Portugal edged closer with narrow victories against germany and France respectively, while the Swiss also battled their way to a second win by beating Azerbaijan 7-6. But Poland became the first side to reach the Bahamas as they

stunned two-time World Cup winners Russia with a 5-3 win that shocked the beach soccer community. Veteran forward Boguslaw Saganowski was a particular inspiration, playing through the pain of a shoulder injury to steer his side through. The remaining trio also booked qualification a day later, with Switzerland holding their nerve against Spain in a critical game in the context of the group. Italy and Portugal beat Hungary and


Poland amazed the beach soccer world, securing a berth in the World Cup and reigning supreme in Jesolo

Belarus respectively in front of a watching delegation from the Bahamas. A host of key figures watched on from the VIP section in Jesolo, including Mr Daniel MD Johnson, Bahamas Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, and Mr Anton Sealey, President of the Bahamas Football Association, as the continent´s best teams sought to put on a show. While all four sides were confirmed for the event by Friday evening, the final two days still offered plenty of thrills and spills as Portugal and Italy, the two highest-ranked sides in the semifinals, were both beaten. Instead, Poland and Switzerland were the two to contest the final and - in fitting fashion for an event in which the former provided the biggest shock - the Poles turned in a another disciplined, clinical display to ensure first place. Led by skipper Witold Ziober and inspired by the evergreen Saganowski, Poland capped a supremely impressive campaign by lifting the trophy, with Saganowski named as the tournament’s star performer while team-mate Szymon Gasinski picked up the Best Goalkeeper award. Dejan Stankovic claimed top scorer honours after his 25 goals helped Switzerland progress. All four sides will now begin final preparations for their trip to the Bahamas, with a number of competitive events on the horizon to serve as warm-ups, while elsewhere across the globe, teams from Asia, Africa and the Americas will all look to join the aforementioned nations during their respective qualifiers over the coming months. The road to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup has only just begun…





he European season began in late May on the sunny shores of Catania - the first of two events to be held in the Sicilian resort - as 44 clubs from across the continent battled it out for the Euro Winners Cup. Twelve of those sides took part in the inaugural female competition while the remainder sought to add their name to the list of European club champions in the men’s event. Some of the world’s best players put national allegiances to one side for the week-long event, which saw defending champions BSC Kristall of Russia surrender their title to Italian side Viareggio. The champions ultimately claimed victory on penalties in a dramatic

final against Artur Musi, with stars Ozu and Gori, amongst others, playing a key role in the bianconero success. Grasshopper Club Zurich guaranteed a place in beach soccer history as they defeated BeachKick Ladies Berlin 5-4 to become the first women’s Euro Winners Cup champions. Focus swiftly turned to the international arena in June as the Euro Beach Soccer Cup landed in Belgrade for Serbia’s maiden international appearance. The hosts finished bottom of the pile but showed plenty of signs of promise as the traditionally stronger sides battled it out in the latter stages, Portugal ultimately ending their 10-year wait for a seventh

T... NEW STORIES European title with victory over Italy while Russia beat Hungary in the third-place play-off.

who have won this same competition on more occasions over the last two decades.

Around a month later, the world champions hosted the Mundialito in Cascais, which, for the first time, included a women’s event featuring Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, England and Greece.

Ultimately, the men from South America showed their quality to win a thrilling finale 6-4 on Carcavelos Beach as the always-impressive Mundialito delivered once again. The same weekend saw another first for the beach soccer calendar as Hungary won the Talent Beach Soccer Tournament in Siofok - the first under-21 event to feature in the sport’s schedule.

Spain were crowned winners after beating Switzerland 2-1 in the final, played in front of thousands of beach soccer fans, while hosts and World Champions Portugal and Tetracampeões Brazil dominated the men’s event - both recording big wins against USA and China to set up a much-anticipated final between the competition’s traditional powerhouses, actually, the two teams

In between Belgrade and Cascais, the first two stages of the Euro Beach Soccer League took place in Moscow and Sanxenxo respectively. The opening leg in the Russian capital saw the hosts gain early momentum by topping Division A, Group One, while

Stadium view at Playa de Silgar, Sanxenxo (ESP)


Group Two winners Spain claimed maximum points. Moldova were the winners in the second tier before the competition moved to Spain. World champions Portugal joined the party in Galicia but they were beaten to top spot in Division A, Group Two by Switzerland while hosts Spain turned on the style for the home fans by winning all three matches to claim Division A, Group One. Czech Republic and England were the winners in the second tier - both booking their places totCatania with one event to spare. That final leg took place in Siofok, Hungary, as Marco Octavio’s Belarus proved the surprise package in the top division, beating Russia and Portugal en route to winning the group while Italy recovered from defeat against Ukraine to top Division A, Group Two. Azerbaijan claimed Division B to ensure their place at the Promotion Final in Catania, where they would cap a process of rapid recent improvement to move into Division A. The Azeri ascension was confirmed against Hungary both sides posting 100 per cent records in their group campaigns before Azerbaijan claimed promotion with a 4-3 victory on penalties. Portugal and Ukraine battled it out in the Superfinal, as the former recovered from defeat to Russia to top their group while the latter posted wins against Spain, Belarus and Germany. In the grand showpiece, Ukraine gained revenge for their defeat to Portugal in 2015’s final by sealing a gutsy 2-1 win, which ensured their first Euro Beach Soccer League title. Russia and Spain completed the top four, before all the nations present in Catania headed to Jesolo for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualification showdown. The 10-day event would send four nations to the Bahamas for next year’s showpiece event, with Poland undoubtedly the biggest surprise package. Led by inspirational veteran Boguslaw Saganowski, Poland beat Russia and Ukraine to progress to the World Cup first, before being joined by world champions Portugal, Switzerland and hosts Italy. Poland would go on to cap their qualification by beating Italy in the semis before clinching the title with a 6-3 win against Switzerland, rounding a European season full of surprises and shocks.





fter two years away from the Polish National team, beach soccer fans all over the world will have been surprised to see Boguslaw Saganowski’s name back on the team sheet for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifier in Jesolo.

“She came back to my life at the right time, and the right place,” Saganowski added.

Many, no doubt, asked the same questions: What can he give to the team now? Is he fit enough for top-level beach soccer? Can he deliver at a World Cup Qualifier after so many months away?

Not only did Urszula provide the quietness, calmness and peace he needed, but also restored the spirit and fight that allowed him to become the competitor he wanted and needed to be.

But ‘Sagan’, a born beach soccer fighter and a gritty competitor, proved any doubters wrong on the Italian sands this past September, not just with his never-say-die attitude, but his undeniable talent.

With a burning ambition to feature at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifier, and maybe even the main competition, Saganowski hit the gym in a big way.

Not only did he lead Poland to their second FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup by upsetting the likes of Ukraine and Russia, he also inspired wins against Italy and Switzerland en route to lifting the title, while being named the competition’s MVP.

Endless hours of physical preparation five days a week, alongside Poland training, helped deliver the Saganowski of old in time for Jesolo.

Quite the week for Poland´s star man. His renaissance is even more remarkable when you consider that two years ago, Saganowski had all but given up on beach soccer, his enthusiasm for the game enduring something of a lull, making impressive displays such as the ones in Jesolo seem little more than a pipe dream. It was a tough time for the Polish skipper, who revealed all to Beach Soccer Worldwide pitchside in Jesolo. “I had personal and physical problems, and I was not 100 per cent focused on beach soccer,” he acknowledged after his side´s remarkable win against Russia. “My mind was not there, and obviously this was reflected on the sand. I could not keep playing in those conditions.” After a number of months of introspection and soul searching, the man who had proven so inspirational for Poland´s national side managed to address many of the issues that were proving problematic. In short, he got a new life... a new family life that got him back on track, and this new life had one name. Well, two: Urszula Sikorska.

“After 20 years, it was amazing to see that the love we felt for each other was still burning. That moment changed everything.”

Even a painful shoulder injury against Russia could not keep him from helping his side achieve what seemed all but impossible before the competition. “I want to be there at least one more minute! Let me in, please,” Saganowski shouted to the sidelines while clutching his right arm, imploring his coach to ignore the advice of the doctors shaking their heads close by and let him play. But, shielding his arm against tough, physical marking from the Russian defenders, Saganowski marked his return to top form with a trademark display of strength and skill. The 39-year-old fired the goal that sent Poland to the World Cup - a decade on from their last qualification in 2006. It represented something of a finale to his personal and professional journey. Those hours in the gym, the weeks of mental preparation, the months spent striving for improvement on and off the sand - all made worth it with one strike of a ball. Celebrations from Saganowski and his jubilant Poland team-mates showed just what it meant to Marcin Stanislawski´s side, although his squad must now prepare for a new, more arduous journey. The World Cup will represent another step up in class for Poland to deal with next year they will have their star man back to his best.

Urszula and Sagan’s love story began more than 20 years ago. They met in primary school and what began as a good friendship became something else. While their lives followed different paths after high school, she remained something of a constant and, when they met again years later, the spark returned.

In the Bahamas, Saganowski, at 40 years of age, will again lead Poland the only way he knows how - with strength, passion and a competitive spirit that makes him an example for team-mates and opponents alike. And, as ever, Urszula, his soulmate, will be there to offer Boguslaw all her support.

A love story brought back the gritty competitor Saganowski has always been known for.





hen looking back on 2016 as a whole in beach soccer, this past season will likely be remembered for, among other positive steps, the development of women’s beach soccer. Two brand new all-female events took place this year, starting with the Euro Winners Cup in Catania, and continuing with the six-team Euro Beach Soccer Cup in Cascais - an extension to the prestigious Mundialito. Catania played host to the Euro Winners Cup in May as 12 teams from across the continent sought to win the inaugural event. Finalists Grasshopper Club Zurich and BeachKick Ladies Berlin finished first and second in their groups respectively to reach the quarter-finals before the former saw off hosts DomusBet Catania 9-7. BeachKick were 4-3 winners against Portsmouth Ladies from England while WFC Zvezda and Catanzaro were the sides to fall in the semis. In an event that showcased the best of a rapidly improving part of our sport, the final was played out in suitably exciting fashion as Grasshopper edged it by the odd goal in nine to write their name into beach soccer history. Two months later, focus within women’s beach soccer turned to the international stage as hosts Portugal provided the stunning backdrop to the Euro Beach Soccer Cup in Cascais. Led by legendary men’s coach Mario Narciso, the world’s champions’ female counterparts were grouped with Spain and the Netherlands while Switzerland, England and Greece made up Group B. The Spanish and the Swiss finished top of their groups, with a normal-time win and a further victory in extra-time, to set up Sunday’s final. After the Netherlands hammered Greece 7-0 to claim fifth, Portugal tied up third by edging past England 2-0 on penalties. Tournament MVP Carolina Gonzalez then ultimately settled a low-scoring final late on in Spain’s favour as Joaquin Alonso’s side become European champions against a plucky Swiss outfit. With qualification already underway for next year’s Euro Winners Cup, women’s beach soccer is certainly on the up, with the foundations firmly in place for further growth.

Twelve clubs took part at the Euro Winners Cup, as six national sides squared off in Cascais



ASIAN DOMINANCE FOR IRAN IN CHINA Amir Akbari was the star of the show for Iran, claiming two individual awards for his displays


each soccer is now a truly global game, played in all four corners of the globe, and August saw the sport land close to Mongolia for the first time for the Continental Beach Soccer Tournament. The inaugural competition took place in Ordos, Northern China, alongside a host of other sports and activities as part of the hugely prestigious Naadam Fair. Alongside hosts China, the national teams of Bahrain, Japan, Oman, Iran, Thailand, Lebanon and Vietnam put on a show for locals in Ordos, with the quarter-finals witnessing 37 goals, including one thriller that went to extra time. Oman needed an extra three minutes to see off Lebanon, hosts China eased past Vietnam, while Iran and Japan saw off Bahrain and Thailand respectively with big wins. Iran and Oman were able to negotiate their semi-final tasks with relative comfort to set up a final that again demonstrated just how entertaining our sport can be. Amir Akbari was the star of the show for Iran, as he turned in another impressive display that helped him land the MVP and Top Goalscorer prizes while Peyman Hosseini earned himself Best Goalkeeper honours. It ensured Iran a place in the history books as winners of the first Continental Beach Soccer Tournament with the remainder of the standings also ironed out on the final day. Japan salvaged something from their campaign by beating Vietnam 8-4 and securing third place although hosts China were unable to finish on a high - slipping 5-1 against fifthplace Thailand. Bahrain condemned Lebanon to eighth spot after edging a seven-goal thriller, as beach soccer’s first foray into Mongolia proved a roaring success. After three days of top-drawer beach soccer, played in front of healthy crowds, it surely won’t be long before the sport returns to Ordos.



fter victories at the Supercopa das Nações in Santos and the Samsung Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup in Dubai, Gilberto’s new-look Brazil side appear in prime condition ahead of a crucial few months. Having claimed the BSWW Mundialito in August, the Brazilians tasted success on home sand in Santos last month before maintaining their rich vein of form in Dubai. Those triumphs have left many in the sport contemplating whether this multi-talented Brazil squad are ready to reclaim the world title in Nassau, should they qualify as expected. In Santos, Japan gave Brazil a tricky start as Marcelo Mendes’ men took the 13-time world champions to penalties before falling short. But after that hard-fought win, the Brazilians clicked into gear with two emphatic wins over Mexico and Italy to ensure Gilberto’s side smore ilverware ahead of their trip to Dubai. With confidence understandably high, the likes of MVP and top scorer Bruno Xavier, as well as beach soccer’s young prodigy Rodrigo, inevitably featuring prominently. Along with the likes of Datinha, Bokinha and goalkeeper Mao, Brazil comfortably finished top of Group A before seeing off Russia and Iran to complete another successful tournament campaign. Former Belarus coach Gilberto - never one to get carried away by his side’s imperious form - appears to have things well on track. The challenge for Brazil now, with the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017 – CONMEBOL Qualifier on the horizon, is to maintain their current level or even improve it. Achieving either will surely see them feature, and indeed challenge strongly, in the Bahamas.



Main pic: Sal (CPV). From left to right: Cascais (POR), Ordos (CHN), Belgrade (SRB) and Sanxenxo (ESP)



he 2016 season has seen beach soccer conquer new frontiers, with top-class international events happening in all corners of the world.

This season, 25 international competitions have shaped the Beach Soccer calendar, with events happening in 16 different countries. And this is without counting, of course, the numerous international friendly games and national championships held across the globe. Out of these 16 countries, five new venues have joined beach soccer’s world tour, adding their individual flavour and special colour... their unique sounds, their very personal touch. The first newcomer to the beach soccer circuit was Sal Island, in Cape Verde. The Sal Beach Soccer Cup, held between April 29th and May 1st, became a colourful and exotic beach soccer festival that offered a clear reminder, if one were needed, what Africa can offer to the sport. Some weeks later, one of the most important capitals in Europe, the Serbian city of Belgrade, hosted a magnificent Euro Beach Soccer Cup from June 24th to 26th. The three-day event will be remembered as the first ever toplevel beach soccer experience ever to be hosted in Serbia, and also offered the first chapter of what promises to be an exciting new relationship. Still in Europe, Sanxenxo, in Spain’s northwest coast, hosted the second phase of the Euro Beach Soccer League from July 8th to 10th. Galicia has always been considered one of the cradles of the sport in Spain, home to beach soccer maestro Ramiro Amarelle, amongst others, and the event mirrored that, exceeding all expectations. Indeed, star La Liga footballers Denis Suarez and Iago Aspas, of Barcelona and Celta Vigo respectively, stopped by to catch a glimpse of the action. Besides Spain, Portugal has always been a country where beach soccer enjoys great recognition and a friendly welcome. And Carcavelos beach in Cascais was home this year to one of the longest-lasting and most prestigious competitions, the Mundialito, staged between July 29th and 31st. Alongside the traditional event was the first ever Women’s Euro Beach Soccer Cup, as the new competition rounded a beach soccer weekend to be remembered. One of the countries that has been most active in hosting beach soccer events of late, China, offered a new venue in Ordos. Close to the border with Mongolia, Ordos was the setting for the first ever Continental Tournament, featuring some of the premier teams in Asia. In the new year, we will open a new page in the sport´s history, with hundreds of possibilities for beach soccer. Where will the sport head next?


From two hours prior to the match, we have to forget solid foods and focus on liquids


ARE CARBOHYDRATES TRUE FRIENDS? 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.


aking care of diet and nutrition before a match or competition can be the key to providing an extra edge once on the sand.

The right approach to dietary matters not only helps athletes to combat fatigue and injuries more efficiently but also improves performance. When planning a nutrition schedule during competition, there are a number of aspects we need to take into account, including the time of day when the match will take place as well as where the competition is happening. For example, the optimum diet for a game in the evening will differ from the one most suited to playing before noon, in much the same way as how we need to take into consideration the heat and humidity when deciding what to eat or drink.

Give me carbohydrates, and something else‌ Carbohydrates give us the energy we need for physical activity and therefore they become key allies when talking about nutrition before competition. Rice or pasta, preferably wholegrain, are excellent sources of energy, especially when coupled with vegetables. They help us reduce the glycemic index, and assist in preventing sugar being assimilated too soon before competition. Athletes should also ensure the consummation of protein such as meat or fish, although greasy sauces, stodgy casseroles and fried food are all off the menu. Notwithstanding, remember to take it easy when it comes to protein, as studies have shown that huge amounts do not have any effect in boosting performance. Hydrate yourself! No nutrition plan is complete without muscle hydration. In fact, from two hours prior to the match we have to forget solid foods and focus solely on liquids. Drinks with sugar content, such as juices or isotonic drinks, are ideal and if we drink them in short sips, then even better. Be careful with salt levels in your meals, too! Excessive salt is the enemy when it comes to hydration, as it neutralises water molecules and increases dehydration and thirst.





t is often said that beach soccer is like one big family and that is literally the case with Gert Oosterbroek and girlfriend Stef Saaltink, coach and captain of HTC Zwolle respectively.

It is a rare occurrence, not only in beach soccer but across sport, however, Gert and Stef were part of the Zwolle side that competed in the most recent Euro Winners Cup Catania, as the Dutch side finished ninth in the inaugural women’s competition. The coach and his skipper met around eight years ago as part of the HTC Zwolle football team, and have been together for around three of those years. In this beach soccer boy-meets-girl tale, Gert was the one to make the first move, aided by Stef’s sister, who gave him Stef’s phone number and encouraged him to call her. One day, after a training session, the team got together in Gert’s bar, and the rest, as they say, is history. With the relationship still going strong three years down the line and HTC Zwolle one of many European clubs enjoying the growth of the women´s game, life is good for Gert and Stef. But how do they cope in the team environment with jokes flying around the dressing room? “It is normal,” Gert told Beach Soccer Worldwide after seeing his side compete in their final group game in Sicily. “We do not really care about that sort of thing, as

we both like to take part in the jokes as well. They are always well-intentioned… we know that the girls are fully okay with the situation”. While relationships such as these may not be too common in sporting circles, family connections are prevalent across many disciplines, with highprofile examples prevalent in the likes of football and tennis. The question asked by many, in regard to this kind of situation, is surely there must be a hint of favouritism? But there´s no chance of that, according to the coach. Gert adds: “If she doesn’t train hard, if she is not good enough, then she will not be on the pitch for the next match.” Firm but fair. While their relationship does not impact team matters, Gert did acknowledge it can have an effect in the opposite direction, with disappointments and frustration on the sand sometimes creeping into home life. “She sometimes will go to bed without talking to me,” Gert says, when asked whether his other half can harbour a grudge. But, while the pair may have the occasional disagreement regarding Zwolle and beach soccer, they will always have at least one thing in common - their mutual football appreciation of all things Feyenoord...

“If she is not good enough, then she will not be on the pitch for the next match”




Flying.... from dusk until dawn.


Beach soccer in the mist!

Beautiful drawing on a wall in Ukraine...

Beach Soccer art!

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Tie the knot, throw the bouquet, take the photos...and then get on with the game. A beach soccer wedding!

Simply beach soccer.


Wherever you are on the pitch, find the net. Wherever you are in the world, find the net.

No goals? No problem!

80 -

GIOVANNA LEE (ESP) This dancer from the Canary Islands was one of the cheerleaders adding a special touch to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifier Europe Jesolo.

MARKUS LUKK (EST) When on the pitch, the Estonian goalkeeper catches everyone’s attention, and not only for his saves...



BEST GOAL OF THE YEAR 2016! We have compiled the 10 best goals from across the season for you, stretching back to last year’s Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup. Enjoy again and again...

MADJER SCORES HIS 1,000th GOAL Portugal ace Madjer made history in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifier Europe Jesolo, scoring the 1,000th goal of his career. See how the Estoril-born talisman made beach soccer history.


The stars aligned in Dubai for this annual event that honours the sport´s best players, coaches and events. Relive the magic of the evening with our exclusive footage.

INTERVIEW WITH ANTON SEALEY The president of the Bahamas Football Association explains to us how preparations for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas are going.

TOP FIVE GOALS SAMSUNG BEACH SOCCER INTERCONTINENTAL CUP 2016 Across five days of action in Dubai, fans were treated to 179 goals and some of them were absolute crackers. It wasn´t an easy task but we tried our best to pick the best five for you, so head to the video, check them out and see if you agree with us.


DEC 13th-18th 2016 CAF AFRICAN BEACH SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP LAGOS 2016 The road to Bahamas goes via Lagos, Nigeria, for the eight African sides coming from the preliminary continental rounds. Only the finalists in the Nigerian showdown will make it to the global showpiece next year. Alongside the hosts Nigeria in Group A are Egypt, Ghana and Ivory Coast while Madagascar, Libya, Morocco and Senegal make up Group B for what promises to be a keenly contested qualifier. With just two nations able to secure their place at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas next year, it´s all or nothing for the continent´s best sides. Keep up to date with the action via and our social channels.

DECEMBER 2017 COPA LIBERTADORES BEACH SOCCER & COPA AMERICA Two events will take place in Brazil, the Copa Libertadores (6th11th Dec), featuring the best clubs from across the continent, and the Copa America (13th-18th Dec), with the 10 CONMEBOL nations. Both events are scheduled to happen in Santos. The Copa Libertadores is the first event of its kind to take place in the world of beach soccer and promises to fit seamlessly into the calendar, especially in a beach soccer heartland such as Santos. The Sao Paulo city hosted the Supercopa da Nacoes recently in front of a passionate home crowd and we´re sure there will be more of the same when the Copa America Beach Soccer comes to town. CONMEBOL´s best national sides will come together to battle for the title and you can keep on top of all the goals with us at

After Dubai, the beach soccer ball continues to roll with a host of competitions scheduled across the world

FEB 5th-12th 2017

FEB 20th-26th 2017



Asunción, in Paraguay, will host the CONMEBOL qualifying rounds for the World Cup. With three spots at stake, the South American battle is always an electric spectacle.

Sixteen teams will compete for the regional championship in Nassau (Bahamas), targeting one of the two available spots for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017.


COMING SOON! BEACHSOCCER.COM/STORE Look the part next time you head onto the sand with our array of official Beach Soccer Worldwide merchandise. As well as official match balls, used by the world’s best beach soccer stars across the world, we also have t-shirts, hoodies, caps and towels for sale in our new online store. Made to the highest quality and priced affordably, all items in our new shop would make ideal gifts for friends and family, or even a treat for yourself. Various colours and sizes are available and all products come with international shipping and distribution options.


Whether you’re walking your dog, grocery shopping or at the gym, the new Samsung Gear Fit2 with advanced GPS tracking technology tracks your every step in style. More reason for you to get fitter faster.

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