The Brazilian people’s love of football has spread beyond the football field to the beach. Traditional movements were adapted to the sand, an area in which talent, improvisation, excellent physical conditioning, and the swing and natural abilities that Brazilian footballers are known for have all overflowed. The heat, the sea, and the sand of Copacabana Beach provided the backdrop for the creation of Beach Soccer, a sport characterised by plasticity, aerial moves, dazzling dribbles, and goals…lots of goals.
Beach Soccer rules were developed by the founding partners of Beach Soccer Worldwide in a dynamic format that allows each player’s individual skills to shine while emphasising fair play among the athletes. The game was designed to be a popular spectator sport that would value and generate advertisement and sales revenue.
The formula has proven to be efficient. Beach soccer has rapidly spread around the globe, with 75 countries participating in the six FIFA Confederation Regions. It is a sport that is enjoyed by both men and women, as well as girls.
The scene has always been the same: plenty of sun and humidity, packed stadiums, sports stars on the Podium of Honour, massive lines forming before dawn for a place to watch World Championship finals, and so on.
Internationally renowned players such as flamboyant Frenchman Eric Cantona, legendary Spanish strikers Michel and Julio Salinas, and Brazilian samba stars Romario, Junior, and Zico have helped to expand television coverage to large audiences in over 170 countries around the world, making Beach Soccer one of the fastest growing professional sports in the world and converting it to a spectator sport.
Organizing the market
The early success of the World Championships (founded by Koch Tavares) saw commercial interest begin to match developments on the field, and the Pro Beach Soccer Tour, organised by the Barcelona-based Beach Soccer Company and later renamed Pro Beach Soccer, was founded in 1996 to meet the increasing demand for the sport around the world.
The first Pro Beach Soccer Tour included 60 games in Europe, Asia, and the United States, drawing big names on and off the field.
The tour sparked interest in Europe, prompting the establishment of the Euro Beach Soccer League in 1998, which provided a solid infrastructure for the sport’s professionalisation at all levels.
The EPBSL, which is now known as the Euro BS League, brought together promoters from all over Europe and met the demands of the media, sponsors, and fans. Just four years after its inception, the sport of Pro Beach Soccer had taken the first successful step toward establishing a legal worldwide competition structure.
Behind the scenes, important changes were taking place, with all founding partners joining forces to form Beach Soccer Worldwide, a single body (BSWW). Its mission was to bring all major Beach Soccer tournaments around the world under one umbrella and to represent the sport exclusively to major sponsors, the media, and FIFA.
FIFA is a member of the FIFA family.
Beach soccer joined the FIFA family only a few years ago, and the first-ever FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was held on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro in May 2005. France surprised everyone by defeating Portugal in the final, while Brazil was knocked out in the semi-finals.
The Auriverde, on the other hand, avenged their defeat the following year in the first edition of the tournament to feature 16 nations. They were never really in trouble against Uruguay in the competition’s final, and they went on to win their first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Meanwhile, Eric Cantona’s Bleus won the third-place play-off, defeating Portugal once more. In the following edition, Brazil defended their title, defeating surprise finalists Mexico 8-2 in the final. Their hegemony started to take shape.
The global showpiece then embarked on a journey around the world in 2008, leaving its birthplace at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach to extend the Beach Soccer family worldwide and open doors to the discipline for as many communities as possible. The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2008 in Marseille proved that the sport’s popularity would extend well beyond the clichéd environment. Despite this, the Brazilians were able to retain their championship title.
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup moved to a new continent in 2009. It was time to fly to Dubai. The Middle Eastern country demonstrated that it was capable of hosting such a large event, and it did so with great success. The 5,000-seat stadium was nearly sold out for almost every match, and beach soccer fans watched Brazil win for the fourth year in a row, with newcomers Switzerland losing in the final to the Canarinhas.
Soccer And Casino – A Popular Combination
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