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03 Apr 2019
“Soon I’ll have as many goals as Pele” Adriele Rocha tells ESPN
The Brazilian beach soccer star discusses her career and jokes in interview with ESPNW
Adriele Rocha was the feature of an ESPNW interview in which she talked about her life in beach soccer so far, her aspirations and even cracking a joke comparing her to the Brazilian footballing legend, Pele.
She opened by reflecting on the events of the past year.
"It has been magical. I work very hard every day in training, to be achieve these things and be a professional athlete. What happened in 2018 was extra motivation for me to go even further, "said the 20-year-old.
Her first contact with football on sand was at just 13 years, in the form of a championship in the region of Tutóia, Maranhão.
Since then, years have passed by but her love and ability for beach soccer has just grown stronger. Today, she has a resume filled with titles and individual awards, and a goal count which already exceeds the 900 mark!
"I need to work out the exact amount of goals I’ve scored, but it’s a lot.” Adriele told ESPNW.
“Soon I’ll have as many goals as Pele!”, she added jokingly.
Adriele finished behind Russia’s Marina Federova in the race for the Best Player in the World last November, making the final three along with Molly Clark from England.
But the women’s version of this title is only relatively young as the sport continues to develop, and Adriele shared her opinion on this matter with the American sports media giant…
“The Brazilian federation is always improving it’s organisation, trying to develop the sport at a grassroots level as well as women's football. Today the CBSB (Confederation of Beach Soccer of Brazil) has a department dedicated to women's football and this fills us with hope of having more competitions here. We need and deserve it.
She has a theory as to why her country may have struggled initially to develop beach soccer quicker. “The problem beach soccer has in Brazil comes from its origin. It was never treated as a competitive sport, but more of a display, but this is changing fast.”
Alongside being nominated as one of the best players on the planet, Adriele has spent the last year dominating the European leagues, winning the award for Top Scorer in the Italian championship, and while playing for Lady Grembach (Poland), scoring a screamer which went on to make the list of Top Ten goals of the season.
Who knows what the coming season holds for this young talent..?