Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2014
02 Nov 2014
Guga: We are ready and willing to take on this big challenge
The UAE is set to host marquee event and the new coach has his sights set high for the Emirati
The UAE’s new national beach soccer coach, Gustavo ‘Guga’ Zloccowicz, says his team is ready to take on the world’s best teams when the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup 2014 kicks-off on Tuesday, November 4, at the Dubai International Marine Club.
The UAE is grouped with the defending champions Iran, Portugal and Morocco, but that doesn’t seem to concern the newly appointed coach. Guga believes the team has got what it takes to go all the way in this tournament.
“The UAE is one of the most important teams in the World, not only in Asia, and we feel we have the talent and the structure to become one of the top 5 teams worldwide,” says the 37-year-old Brazilian-born coach.
When asked about the team's objective in the competition, Guga, who took control of the team in April, says it’s crystal clear.
"The UAE always comes into a competition with the idea of being the champions. Our first thought is to advance to the semifinals and then fight as much as we can for the highest prize possible. We have a very tough group, but all teams in the competition are really strong. We have been training really hard here in Dubai, and playing some friendly games, and testing new players, as well. We are ready!”
The UAE played several friendly matches over the last week against Lebanon, Oman, Azerbaijan, and Hungary and drew 2-2 with the world champions Russia on Saturday night.
Guga’s history with beach soccer speaks for itself. He coached Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Russia, Portugal, but his greatest success came in 2012 as the head coach of the Brazilian National Team when he guided the samba boys to victory in the prestigious COPA America.
With so much experience behind him, Guga says there is no room for improvisation. The key to success is understanding your opponents.
"Portugal has always been a tough team, and they have been playing great beach soccer this last season. Iran is the defending champion, which means quite a lot, and they have been playing together for a long time, which makes them a terribly tough team. Morocco, in turn, are a growing force in the African and worldwide panorama, and will make our life very difficult, too,” he says.
The tests will begin on November 4th and the fireworks will not stop until November 8th when a team will be crowned champion.