Ball ready to roll at the Arena GNP Seguros
Everything is ready for the kickoff of the Acapulco Beach Soccer Cup, a competition that has generated great enthusiasm among players, coaches, and fans, not only for the good sports show in perspective but also for the venue of the competition. The GNP Seguros Arena, a 10,500-seat stadium known for hosting the Mexican Open Tennis, left everyone amazed on the day of official training, and the players can hardly wait to take the field in pursuit of victory in the tournament.
The day began with a press conference held with representatives of all four women’s and all four men’s teams, who enjoyed the panoramic view to the stadium.
Mr. Seyed Rezvani commenced the speeches, thanking Beach Soccer Worldwide and the local government and confessing he “didn’t know much about beach soccer before. But when I saw that it had music, a DJ, performers, entertainment, I thought that this event would be a great promotion of Acapulco. In the long run we, why not dream about bigger events like hosting a World Cup?”
Beach Soccer Worldwide’s director of events Josep Ponset then stated that “we’re really proud, happy and excited to be here, having an event in such an iconic stadium. All the teams were amazed upon seeing the stadium”.
The coaches of the teams were then invited to express an official statement.
Steven Black, England:
“It’s an honour to be here. The players are really looking forward to play here. We want to thank Beach Soccer Worldwide and all the organization for setting up this tournament”.
Morgan Church, USA women’s team:
“We are very happy to be here. It’s a great opportunity to prepare for the ANOC World Beach Games in Bali. The faces of the players the moment they entered the stadium yesterday says it all”.
Daria Adderley, Bahamas:
“Thank you Beach Soccer Worldwide for the invitation. We are very happy and excited to play here. We’re a new team, developing this project. The stadium looks amazing”.
Fátima Leyva, Mexico women’s team:
“Thank you to the organisation. We are proud to be here representing Mexico at home. Beach soccer is still football but it’s also really really fun and we invite everyone to come and enjoy. We are very happy to be back with the project of beach soccer and we will leave our hearts on the field. We want to provide a good show and play proper quality beach soccer”.
Santiago Alzate, Colombia:
“This is the start of our preparations for the World Cup, for which we qualified for the first time, and what better way to prepare than this tournament in this beautiful setting?”
Francis Farberoff, USA men’s team:
“I’m happy to return here, as I had already been here as a player in 2007. I think this is one of the most amazing stadiums I ever saw”.
Saudi Arabia’s Guga Gloccowick and Mexico’s Francisco Cati couldn’t attend the press conference but they were represented by Dr. Mujahid Awadh and Abdiel Villa, respectively.
Mujahid Awadh, Saudi Arabia’ team doctor:
“We are really happy to be part of this event and to share this experience with the other teams”.
Abdiel Villa, Mexico’s men’s team assistant coach:
“We hope we can bring joy to the people here. The team is doing well and we want to prepare for next month’s World Cup qualifier”.
Each team had the opportunity to fine tune the last details ahead of the competition in the official training sessions. Both the men’s and women’s tournament will be contested by four teams that will play in a league format to determine the champion of this first edition.
In the men’s tournament, hosts Mexico will try to impress the home crowd. The team is coached by Francisco Cati, who was a player of the Mexican National Team that reached the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2007. The Tricolor have won four times the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship, more than any other team.
They will face fierce competition from the United States of America, who arrive in Acapulco after having won the ANOC World Beach Games Qualifier in El Salvador the week before. Francis Farberoff’s men were also runners-up in the Mundialito Gran Canaria 2022 and will try to confirm their good momentum in the same city where the United States won the 2007 CONCACAF and CONMEBOL Beach Soccer Championship.
Colombia are living glorious days after having just qualified for the first time ever for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup as they reached the semi-finals of the Copa América in Argentina in March, and defeated Paraguay in the third place play-off.
Guga Gloccowick, the Brazilian coach with more than 20 years of experience in national teams such as Brazil, Portugal, Russia, Paraguay, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, will aim to further develop his team of Saudi Arabia as they travel 14,000 km to Acapulco.
In the women’s competition, England will count on the 2021 World’s Best Player Molly Clark to guide them to a title that they want to add to an impressive list of honours that include the 2017 Euro Beach Soccer League title, the silver medal at the ANOC World Beach Games Doha 2019 or the second place at the first Women’s Mundialito Gran Canaria 2022.
There’s also a regional derby in prospect between hosts Mexico and the United States of America, two teams that have the experience of the ANOC World Beach Games Doha 2019 in their bags. Morgan Church’s team will also aim to bounce back after having lost the final of this year’s World Beach Games qualifier against El Salvador last week, in a tournament where they faced the Bahamas.