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18 May 2017
Portugal ready for Sal Beach Soccer Cup defence
The former world champions meet hosts Cape Verde, England and Germany in Sal this week.
The second edition of the Sal Beach Soccer Cup gets underway on Friday with holders Portugal looking to defend their title amid competition from hosts Cape Verde, England and Germany.
Held on the pristine sands of Praia Santa Maria, the four nations will compete in a league table format with Germany’s inclusion in place of Spain the only change from the inaugural line-up in 2016.
The hosts finished last in last year’s event but showed signs of promise with some impressive displays against more seasoned opponents, although Polidio Brito will hope to make further improvements this time around on home sand.
Alongside Cape Verde, former world champions Portugal are another nation likely to be popular with the home crowd.
Madjer and co return to the sand for the first time since surrendering their FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup crown to Brazil in The Bahamas earlier this month.
Mario Narciso has elected for a slightly rejigged squad this week, with experienced stars such as Nuno Belchior, Bruno Torres, Alan and Be Martins all rested while the likes of Ricardo Batista and Pedro Silva come in.
England finished third in the event last time out and have a new coach this week in the form of Angel Lopez Torres as well as debutant forward Jaz Camara.
Lopez Torres was part of the Spanish delegation last year but will seek to help England continue their progress, having recently finished second at the Tulip Festival Beach Soccer Tournament in Istanbul.
Germany complete the line-up and also have a new coaching setup in place following the departure of Nils Boringschulte.
Sebastian Ullrich is the new man in the dugout, assisted by captain Oliver Romrig, as the Germans seek to start their 2017 campaign with a bang.
Fixtures, results and standings available at the Sal Beach Soccer Cup event page.