DUBAI 2009: FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

Brazilian Football by SBSenior Analyst INovember 25, 2009

The U.A.E continued to assert itself as, the up and coming Mecca of sport, by recently hosting a very  impressive and entertaining top event - The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

In only its fifth edition, since becoming part of the FIFA family of events, the Beach Soccer World Cup proved to be a huge crowd puller, as fans flocked to see the top contenders lock horns.

Portugal, Italy, Argentina, Uruguay and the eternal crown kings Brazil were all there and the large public at hand were treated to a tournament of the highest level.

It was a bit of a pity that countries like the U.S.A. and former host nation France were unable to qualify this time around as popularity continues to grow in this fast, skillful and entertaining version of the world's most popular sport.

For those unfamiliar with the beach Soccer World Cup; the sport started at the Leme beach in Rio de Janeiro in the early 90's and has steadily grown to become an event televised in 170 countries throughout the world.

Many former greats and internationally renowned players such as Eric Cantona, Julio Salinas, Romario, Junior and Zico have played and excelled at this very agile version of football, played on the sand.

The Beach Soccer World Championship was first organised in Copacabana, Rio and ran annually from 1995 to 2004. Jorginho, the current assistant coach to Dunga's Seleção, scored 12 goals in the 2004 final, to secure the top scorer award.

The FIFA era began in 2005 also at Copacabana with France being crowned the first champions of this new beginning.

In 2008 the World Cup moved to Europe for the first time and was held at Marseille, France.

This year's final was packed with excitement as newcomers Switzerland were able to make it all the way to the final only to be stopped by in Samba Kings in a thrilling affair at Jumeirah beach.

Brazil's top player, Benjamin missed the final match due to dubious booking picked up in earlier matches, but in the end it made little difference as the Seleção blasted 10 goals  past their Swiss counterparts in an open affair which ended 10-5.

For the second consecutive year Portugal secured third place in another high scoring, open affair, which saw Uruguay on the losing end of a 14-7 thriller.

Swiss player Dejan Stankovic was the tournament's golden boot (even though players play barefooted) with 16 goals and Portugal's Madjer second with 13.

A curious fact is that even though Brazil, as a team, scored the most goals throughout the tournament, no individual player managed to get top scorer honours, thus proving that beach soccer is definitely a collective effort.

Brazil have now won every title in this sport, invented in the land of football, save the 2005 French upset.

Star player Buru, had this to say after the final match, " The other countries need to train hard, they need to come to Copacabana and play with the best because there is definitely a gap between Brazil and the rest of the world".

After their 14th. world title out of 15, few can argue with him.


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