Beach Soccer: A constantly developing sport
It is easy to see why, as it comprises Frenchman Henri Emile (70 years old), a member of France’s beach soccer backroom staff between 2006 and 2008 and a FIFA instructor ever since; Ramon Raya (45), coach of Mexico’s beach soccer side, runner-up at the 2007 tournament and also a FIFA instructor; and the Portuguese Madjer (36), runner-up in 2005, the competition’s record goalscorer and still an active player. FIFA.com spoke to the trio to find out their opinions on the events in Tahiti, as well as how they view the future of the sport. FIFA.com: You have all been involved in the game since the first editions of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Raya: As a spectacle the game has changed because some teams couldn’t produce such breathtaking moves and in order to compete we had to improve physically. Nowadays everyone has a tactical system, they know all about the opponents, know where their weak spots are and how to defend themselves.
Emile: For me the biggest difference is that the teams have greater quality in their squads and are better prepared for the latter stages of the tournament. Every continent is trying to develop beach soccer and they’re becoming more competitive.
What are your views on the increasing use of tactics? Raya: As I said before, it was the next logical step to level the playing field against the strongest teams, although even Portugal and Brazil have also improved in this regard.
For instance, Brazil never used to use the goalkeeper but they do now.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Fifa - Africa