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14 Jan 2020

“With beach soccer I can show the kids of the favela that it is possible to follow a good path in life”

One of the world’s top three players talks about growing up in the birth place of beach soccer and its effect on his career


Rodrigo da Costa has soared to stardom in recent years as part of the new generation of elite Brazilian players who have come through the ranks under the supervision of the world’s best beach soccer coach of the last three years, Gilberto Costa.

Since joining the Canarinha in 2014, Rodrigo has gone from strength to strength, winning the Rising Star at the 2016 Beach Soccer Stars gala, and just this year being nominated in the three-man shortlist of the best players in the world.

He is closing in on his 100th appearance for his national team (97 games) and in that time he has netted no less than 139 goals, and there are clearly many more awaiting the young forward.

 

Where it all began

Born in Rio de Janeiro on the 16 August 1993, Rodrigo grew up playing beach soccer on the sands of the Copacabana. But his career as an athlete wasn’t always clearly mapped out for him.

“I graduated from high school and my first professional experience was in a stationery shop” states the striker. “I only started playing beach soccer in 2011 after being invited by a friend.” 

“My first club was Botafogo from Rio de Janeiro. Since then I have had the opportunity to work with excellent players and coaches from all over the world who have shared their experiences with me.”

Back in Brazil Rodrigo has made quite a name for himself, but he will never forget his roots and, despite playing for several years in the Russian league with the beach soccer giants Kristall, he still lives in his home country with his father.

 

Inspiring the future of the game

“For many, beach soccer is just an accompaniment to their lives but for me it IS my life and my job. Today I’m a role model where I was born and raised. It is an opportunity for me to show the kids of the favela that it is possible to follow a good path. Just dream and believe.”

He is an role model to many, especially back in Brazil, but who was it that Rodrigo credits with him becoming who he is today?

“My parents influenced me a lot, teaching me to be disciplined, on time, to respect my teammates and coaches.” He also admits that there were other factors in his early life that formed his career. “Living near the beach helped a lot, because we played football in the sand all the time.”

For a man who has won everything at the tender at of 26, how does Rodrigo see his coming years in beach soccer?

 “I want to evolve every day to keep myself at the top level for a long time, to win more titles, especially the ones I haven’t won yet, and to leave a legacy for the next generation of players.”

In terms of picking the two defining moments in his life, the Brazilian needs no thinking time… 

“In beach soccer, winning the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was the happiest moment, and in my personal life it was becoming a father.”

 

Team Honours

1x FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017

3x Intercontinental Cup

3x Conmebol Qualifiers

2x Copa Américas 

2x Russian Championship

3x Russian Cup

 

Individual Honours:

Top Individual Awards

Top 5 Stars 2019

Rising Star 2016

adidas Silver Scorer 2017

 

Top Scorer Awards

Conmebol Qualifier 2019

2x Russian Championship 2017/2019

Russian Cup 2019

Mundialito de Clubes 2015

Brazil National Team 2017

 

MVP Awards

2x Intercontinental Cup 2017/2018

Brazil National Team 2017

Copa America 2018

Russian Championship 2017

1st and 2nd Stage of the Russian Championship 2016

 

RESULTS & SCHEDULE
February 12, 2020 - February 16, 2020
Prev
Next
Group Stage - Group A
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Tokyo verdy emblem 2020 TKV 3 2 0 1 13 11 2 6
Lokomotiv LOK 3 2 0 1 25 15 10 6
Levante1 LUD 3 1 0 2 19 16 3 3
2019 alanya belediyespor ABS 3 1 0 2 15 30 -15 3
Group Stage - Group B
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Spartak logo copia web SPK 3 2 1 0 17 7 10 8
Braga SCB 3 2 0 1 18 13 5 6
Flamengo FLA 3 1 0 2 11 13 -2 3
Grasshopper club zurich GCZ 3 0 0 3 8 21 -13 0
Play-off for 7th Place
Grasshopper club zurich GCZ 4 - 8 ABS 2019 alanya belediyespor
Play-off for 5th Place
Levante1 LUD 7 - 2 GCZ Grasshopper club zurich
Flamengo FLA 6 - 5 ABS 2019 alanya belediyespor
Levante1 LUD 5 - 4 FLA Flamengo
Semi-finals
Tokyo verdy emblem 2020 TKV 2 - 7 SCB Braga
Spartak logo copia web SPK 3 - 1 LOK Lokomotiv
Play-off for 3rd place
Tokyo verdy emblem 2020 TKV 2 - 6 LOK Lokomotiv
Final
Braga SCB 8 - 3 SPK Spartak logo copia web
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