Portugal aim to win Copa Lagos
Though Brazil have been considered the planet’s finest beach soccer side for years now, in pure talent terms Portugal are not far behind. Indeed, it was the Portuguese who inflicted Brazil’s only defeat in FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup history, when sinking A Seleção at the semi-final stage of the inaugural 2005 tournament. In 2001 Madjer, Alan, Hernani and Co also became the only side apart from Brazil to win the competition’s predecessor, the Beach Soccer World Championship, with A Verde e Amarelo taking the title at the nine other editions.
Portugal boast a lethal combination of talent and vast international tournament experience in the trio of Madjer, Alan and Belchior. Euro Beach Soccer League champions in 2010 and runners-up at European qualifying for Ravenna/Italy 2011 – where they were beaten 4-2 by Ukraine in the final – coach Ze Miguel’s charges are definitively among the contenders for this year’s global crown.
The special skills and talents of Madjer and Alan make them indispensable to the cause. With one eye on the future, an effort has been made to start blooding younger players such as Rui Coimbra and 20-year-old attacker Jordan. Nigeria will need to be at their best to overcome Portugal at Copa Lagos 2012.