European Games 2015: Russias stars eye gold at beach soccer

Author : naboom1953
Publish Date : 2021-04-05


European Games 2015: Russias stars eye gold at beach soccer

Azerbaijan's capital will play host to new disciplines after the Olympic Committee made its selection of sports from an 'overwhelming' number of suggestions.

Twenty will be on the agenda -- 16 Olympic events and four newcomers to the Games format, among them the beach version of the world's most popular sport.

Matches will take place in the new Beach Arena -- and one team has already set its sights on the glory of gold.



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Russian prowess

Russia, twice winners of both the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and the Euro Beach Soccer League, is the hot favorite with just days remaining until the games begin.

The Russians will face Hungary, Italy and Spain in Group B of the eight-team men's tournament, with hosts Azerbaijan in Group A along with Portugal, Switzerland and Ukraine.

And coach Mikhail Likhachev has urged his players to make history and become the first ever winners of the event at the first ever European Games.

'This is a new page in the history of beach soccer,' the Baku 2015 website quoted him as saying.

'Our team will make every effort to go into history as the first winner of this competition,' he said.

Those views were echoed by Sergey Shamray, the head of Russian Beach Soccer, who said: 'The Russian team will head to Baku in the strongest shape as the current double world champion.

Where did it come from?

Beach Soccer, first played professionally in Miami in 1993, is one of the world's most widely-enjoyed sports and receives TV coverage in 170 countries.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, its origins go back to the football heartland of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which provided the breathtaking location for the first-ever Beach Soccer World Championship in 1995.

The eight five-a-side teams featuring at Baku qualified thanks to their performances in last year's Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal.

They will do battle on a compact sand pitch that gives players the chance to score goals from almost any angle.

And that's what gives the sport its thrills and spills -- an average of 60 attempts rain in on goal during a match (that's one every 30 seconds or so), with statistics also showing that between nine and 11 goals are scored per game.

Baku's Beach Soccer games -- the matches are played in three 12-minute segments with short breaks between them -- will take place over four days, with the final being staged on June 28. Don't bet against Russia being a part of it.

Matches will take place in the new Beach Arena -- and one team has already set its sights on the glory of gold. 'This is a new page in the history of beach soccer,' the Baku 2015 website quoted him as saying. Matches will take place in the new Beach Arena -- and one team has already set its sights on the glory of gold. 'Our team will make every effort to go into history as the first winner of this competition,' he said. Beach Soccer, first played professionally in Miami in 1993, is one of the world's most widely-enjoyed sports and receives TV coverage in 170 countries. Russian prowess Those views were echoed by Sergey Shamray, the head of Russian Beach Soccer, who said: 'The Russian team will head to Baku in the strongest shape as the current double world champion. Twenty will be on the agenda -- 16 Olympic events and four newcomers to the Games format, among them the beach version of the world's most popular sport. They will do battle on a compact sand pitch that gives players the chance to score goals from almost any angle. Twenty will be on the agenda -- 16 Olympic events and four newcomers to the Games format, among them the beach version of the world's most popular sport. Matches will take place in the new Beach Arena -- and one team has already set its sights on the glory of gold. Where did it come from? Azerbaijan's capital will play host to new disciplines after the Olympic Committee made its selection of sports from an 'overwhelming' number of suggestions. Beach Soccer, first played professionally in Miami in 1993, is one of the world's most widely-enjoyed sports and receives TV coverage in 170 countries. Baku's Beach Soccer games -- the matches are played in three 12-minute segments with short breaks between them -- will take place over four days, with the final being staged on June 28. Don't bet against Russia being a part of it. The eight five-a-side teams featuring at Baku qualified thanks to their performances in last year's Euro Beach Soccer League Superfinal. Russia, twice winners of both the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and the Euro Beach Soccer League, is the hot favorite with just days remaining until the games begin. They will do battle on a compact sand pitch that gives players the chance to score goals from almost any angle. Twenty will be on the agenda -- 16 Olympic events and four newcomers to the Games format, among them the beach version of the world's most popular sport.

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