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"Copa Lagos is an excellent event"
The Spanish star had a great time in Nigeria, in which he considers "the best competition in Africa". With FC Barcelona, the beach soccer maestro had the chance to experience the uniqueness of a competition that is a key asset of the Beach Soccer in Africa.
What was your experience in the Copa Lagos like? Did you enjoy it?
It was my first ever experience in Nigeria, well, in Africa in general, and I was really amused for what I saw. The truth is that Copa Lagos is an excellent event. It is a top class tournament, with everything it takes to be a global elite showpiece: brilliant atmosphere, thrilling beach soccer, excellent facilities.... I would say that this is the best event in Africa, without a doubt.
So you think that Copa Lagos parallels other top-flight events in other parts of the World?
Absolutely! We had the best National Teams in Africa there, which means a huge level of beach soccer, and a great competitiveness...And, besides, it is a key event for the development of the sport in Africa. Having a such a competition fosters the growth of the sport in the whole continent. The value Copa Lagos has is just enormous.
What do you think about the African beach soccer teams you faced?
African teams treasure a huge potential. Physically, they are beasts, and they have a great talent, too. With a better formation and training programs, they can be in the highest places of the world.
Was the crowd at the stadium what you expected?
Wow, they were unbelievable. They were such an important part of the whole party... They made the whole experience even more enriching. The way they behaved and cheered, their passion and their support were fantastic, and the communion even between rival supporters, singing and dancing together, was a true fair play lesson.
What would you say to the rest of the beach soccer world if they asked you about the Copa Lagos?
I would tell them only two words: just come. They will not regret. It is a great experience. All those that think that Nigeria is a difficult place are absolutely wrong. We felt completely safe at all moments, and I can only show my warmest and most honest gratitude for the Copa Lagos organizing committee, with Samson Adamu ahead, for their hospitality and the way they treated us.
Would you change anything about the Copa Lagos?
The only thing I do not like is that it only happens once a year, and only for three days! I wish it took place every month!