A total of 192 players will be competing for beach soccer’s top prize in Moscow
There are just five days left until the biggest beach soccer show of all, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, begins in Moscow, Russia.
Friday saw FIFA release the official list of players – no less than 192 from 16 different nations – who will be competing in the 2021 edition.
Reigning champions Portugal are hard-hit with injury woes, and their absentees include 2019’s Best Player in the world Jordan Santos, as well as veteran defender Rui Coimbra, both of whom were instrumental in their winning the world title in the last edition.
On top of that, Mario Narciso is without the injured Bernardo Lopes, the young talent who was the Euro Winners Cup Top Scorer, and it will be Portugal’s first World Cup without their talisman, and arguably best player of all time, Madjer, who retired after the 2019 edition.
Hosts and two-time world champions Russia, however, have remained fairly unscathed during the European season, with the likes of Shkarin, Paporotnyi, Shishin, Zemzkov and Nikonorov ready for action.
Brazil’s squad includes a World Cup debut for the joint Top Scorer of the CONMEBOL Qualifier, Edson Hulk, who also led the scoring for the Euro Winners Cup for most of the tournament, alongside the usual suspects, including three players who are well-accustomed to playing in Russia, Kristall’s Mauricinho, Rodrigo and Datinha.
The battle to dispute the sport’s top prize will begin at the Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital on Thursday 19 August with group games, and will conclude on Sunday 29 August with the final.
Day 1 will see UAE meet two-time runners-up Tahiti, while the last edition’s hosts Paraguay take on Asian champions Japan, newcomers Mozambique will play Spain on their return to the World Cup, and finally the Russian hosts will go up against USA.
If you want to attend the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021, you can order tickets at fifa.com/tickets.