The Euro Beach Soccer League kicks off in Portugal on Thursday
The Euro Beach Soccer League is back!
The European season will begin with the Division A Regular Stage in Nazaré from 17 to 20 June.
Europe’s top men’s and women’s national teams will fight for their place at the Superfinal which will return to Figueira da Foz, Portugal, in September 2021.
Defending champions and hosts Portugal haven’t been defeated in the Euro Beach Soccer League since September 2018, when they lost 4-3 to Spain in the group stage of the Superfinal in Alghero.
The previous side to claim the EBSL crown was Italy in 2018, and after meeting Portugal in the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, they may be the biggest threat to Narciso’s men, as they are ranked third (behind only Portugal and Brazil) in the Official World Ranking.
But in fourth and fifth are Russia and Spain, both of whom have five EBSL crowns and will be itching to relive their former European glory. Russia haven’t won since 2017, and Spain, despite reaching the final twice, have not won since 2006.
The Division B teams will play in Moldova (27 July – 1 August) to contend for their places at the Promotion Final, and a chance at joining Europe’s elite. The teams and competition format will be released closer to the event.
The Division B Regular Stage of the European championships will be contested in Chisinau, Moldova, from 28 July to 1 August. The Promotion Final will also take place in Figueira da Foz in September.
Men’s EBSL Regular Stage Nazaré Groups
In the first ever edition of the Women’s Euro Beach Soccer League, the seven competing teams, including an exciting debut appearance in a European championship for Ukraine, were split into two groups, one of four and one of three.
Ukraine may be competing in their first ever European championship, but the squad is composed of many of the Mryia 2006 players who lifted the 2020 Euro Winners Cup on their debut appearance.
This could mean that they are real contenders to try and dethrone Russia, who won the European championship (formerly Women’s Euro Beach Soccer Cup) in 2019. Russia also claimed the title the year before in 2018, while the only two previous winners of the continental crown are England (2017) and Spain (2016).
England have moved above group rivals Russia in the Official World Rankings and will be eyeing a return to the top, while Spain, who took gold medals at the ANOC World Beach Games in Qatar in 2019, are currently ranked as the best team in the world.
Picking a clear winner here is almost impossible, so get ready for some high-intensity beach soccer!
Women’s EBSL Regular Stage Nazaré Groups
– Czech Republic