25 Feb 2013


Driving one?s life to the World Cup

It is not difficult to understand what it takes to shape a World Cup Champion squad: Hard work, discipline and talent stand as the sine qua non pillars of any team aiming to the top. If the external conditions turn to be as little hand-giving as the ones in Russia, then your devotion to these guiding lines needs to be even stronger. One man embodies all this sacrifice, all this faithful and silent fight to be among the best when your surrounding seems not to be completely at your side: the Russian dynamo Yuri Gorchinskiy.  

His name might not pop up to the Beach Soccer fan?s mind when he or she thinks about his or her favourite players, he might hardly be found in a Best-goals video or the individual awards handing, but he is the kind of player all coaches and beach footballers want to see by their side, wearing their same colours.

His path to the Beach Soccer peak is the story of hard labour, ups and downs, and a huge effort which has not always been properly rewarded. But the end of the way has been absolutely worth it...

As most of the beach soccer players, Yuri Gorchinskiy began his footballing career at the eleven-a-side football. He took his first steps at the Moscow based Medik-Krylatskoe, but he soon moved to one of the city?s powerhouses, FC Dynamo Moscow. After playing up front during his first years, he settled as a full-back, but despite a lot of struggle, his dream of becoming a professional footballer seemed too unattainable, what made him decide to concentrate on other aspects of his life.

In his 16s, Yuri entered the Faculty of Law and began the military service, in a moment in which he could not clearly foresee what was to be his life about during the upcoming years. Amid all these doubts, Gorchinskiy decided to become his father?s personal driver in the Muscovite Health Department, to began earning a living. ?It was a really difficult period of my life. I did not know what I was  good for, what was what I was supposed to do in life, but I kept going?, he admits. 

Of course, he never turned his back on football, a sport he loves, despite endless working days behind the steering wheel during more than 11 years.

In 2005, Yuri had the first contact with the sport that would end up lifting him to the top of the world. Some of his friends, who already were beach soccer regulars, invited him to put his skills to the test on the sand, and he immediately adored it. That moment changed his story. ?When beach soccer appeared in my life, it was just a hobby. But little by little, it became my life. I can?t imagine being someone else without what beach soccer means to me, the supporters, my teammates?, etc. Beach soccer changed me?.

At the age of 27, and after having proven a really reliable player in national and amateur championships, Yuri was called up by Nikolayi Pisarev, Russian National Coach at that time, to do a test with the team. ?I was absolutely thrilled, but the first games were hard for me. I found it difficult to be up to that top-flight international level, but I finally get used to it and found my place within the team?.

That was, as Gorchinskiy himself declares, the beginning of the creation of the Russian Machine. That was where the current champion-of-everything were born. Those were really difficult times for everyone, with all the players having to do great efforts to keep training, to keep growing. He himself had to work as a taxi driver for months, and that fight strengthened the group as a team.

?The lads have become my closest friends, my family. We cannot stay long without seeing each other. We stack together and underwent the sorrows of sport and life, as we soon understood that we had to keep fighting and move on, as it is not the triumph what makes you big, but the process to it?, he assures. 

This has precisely been the team?s guiding philosophy all these years, with a terrific outcome, as last seasons? records set very clear. But despite being crowned the World Champions, and having won almost all the tournaments they have taken part in, the Russian players, and his coach, have the feet well settled on the ground. ?We still behave the same. Nothing has changed, only that we still are closer than before?.

With all the trophies claimed, and 35 years old, Yuri Gorchinskiy still keeps the passion that has turned him into what he is, and he still plans to be many years over the sand? And that?s not only great news for Mikhail Likhachev and the rest of the pack, but for all beach soccer lovers.

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