30 - THE iNTERVIEW
VITOR SARAIVA, MADJER
“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.