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Press conference marks the start of Moscow stage
Officials, coaches and players met the media ahead of the third Euro Beach Soccer League stage.
Ahead of the third Euro Beach Soccer League stage in Moscow, which begins today, Thursday saw an introductory press conference held at the Yantar Stadium in Strogino.
Speaking at the event were a host of officials, including Beach Soccer Worldwide’s Deputy Vice-president Gabino Renales and RFU Vice-president Sergey Anokhin as well as Russia’s Head Coach Mikhail Likhachev.
The host nation’s captain Anton Shkarin was also on hand to answer questions alongside Switzerland forward Noel Ott and Greece goalkeeper Aristeides Thomas.
BSWW Vice-president Renales, who spent the morning watching local children enjoying the sport at the stadium, began proceedings by stating: “I was lucky enough to watch the lessons of the children from the football school today.
“I can say with confidence that this is our future! Seeing this gives me a certain guarantee that beach soccer in Russia will continue to develop at the highest level.”
His RFU counterpart, Anokhin, added: “I am sure that next season we will put in the regulations of the All-Russian competitions the provision that the youth teams should take part in at least regional competitions.”
Moving ahead to this week’s action, Likhachev said: “We hope for a great spectator interest and, in turn, we will do everything possible to please the fans with good games and excellent results. The Euro Beach Soccer League this year is especially important for our team.
“At the stage in Moscow we will try to solve the main problem - to be selected in the Superfinal, and there we will try to achieve the maximum result. I hope that we will show high-quality football, which will achieve a good result. I think our mood allows us to look with optimism at the next three days.”
His captain, Shkarin, added: “We did not score points at the Euro Beach Soccer League stage in Belgrade, so we want to show a good game and win at the Moscow stage. All the guys are very motivated and full of desire to win.
“I think that we will have two principled rivals - Belarus and Switzerland. These teams are fundamentally different and, accordingly, our football will also be different. With Switzerland, spectators should expect attacking football and a lot of goals, but with the Belarusians it will be more difficult - it will be a game from the defense”
Swiss representative Ott, who was part of the side who lost to Russia on penalties at this stage in 2016, was next up, noting: “Matches between the national teams of Russia and Switzerland give the audience more pleasure. The fans, of course, will hope that this weekend’s meeting will turn out the same as last year.
“But we hope that we will win calmly, in regular time, without penalties. Right now, we are concentrated only on Friday’s match. What will happen on Sunday - we'll see.”
Last but not least, Greece goalkeeper Thomas - eager to end his side’s losing streak in the Russian capital added: “We just always play with very strong teams. Last year we met with the Spaniards and Italians, this time we are playing with Russia and Switzerland.
“We have a very experienced team, which sometimes lacks strength. We played great at the stage in Nazare, but the results were not so good. In any case, we will try to show our best and fight with each opponent.”
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