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20 Jul 2017
Mundialito ready to rock in Cascais
All four FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup champions kick off on Friday.
The star-studded 21st edition of The BSWW Mundialito gets underway tomorrow, with all four nations having completed their preparations on Thursday ahead of what promises to be a very special event.
For the first time, all four participants will be FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup winners, with current world and Mundialito champions Brazil seeking to add to their impressive trophy collection.
However, hosts and five-time Mundialito winners Portugal will have other ideas as they seek to avenge defeats to Brazil both in last year’s final and also in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017 quarter-finals.
France - the first winners of the global showpiece back in 2005 - are enjoying something of a resurgence of late with the likes of Jeremy Basquaise spearheading their exciting attacking brand of beach soccer.
They will hope to upset the competition’s two traditional heavyweights as will Russia, who make their maiden appearance at the event.
The 2011 and 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup champions missed out on the 2017 edition and will be eager to make a statement here in Cascais over the next few days.
Russia head coach Mikhail Lichachev said: “We’re very happy to play in this tournament, it has a big history and it’s our first time here. This year there are some big teams and we’re very happy to be here with the other FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup winners.”
Brazil captain Bruno Xavier said: “I already played against Portugal and Russia, but never against France. I think the only player from our team that has played against them is Mao.
"Portugal are one of the best national teams in the world, Russia as well and they came refreshed for this event. France are resurfacing now with [Stephane] Francois [assisting the coaching setup].
"I feel very at home playing in Portugal, we have the same language, the people from here are great and I have great hopes for the tournament."
Portugal captain Madjer said: “[The Euro Beach Soccer League stage victory in] Nazare was very important because we won and we won against great teams so for the team confidence it was really important but we know this is another tournament with different teams.
"We want to win for sure, because we didn’t last year - this year we are ready to fight for it.
"This is the top level that players want to reach - to play against four FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup winners - and we hope people will come watch because for sure, from the first to last, it will be great."
France midfielder Baptiste Bizot said: “We are going to try our best in each game to be serious contenders then we’ll see what happens. We have to do what we know we can do and show how we can play beach soccer, as well as enjoying it, then hopefully we can show our best.”