- Portugal crowned Beach Soccer World Cup champions
- Madjer ends on high, says emotional farewell
- Podium finish for Italy (2nd) and Russia (3rd)
REVIEW OF THE DAY – In elevating their level of play at key moments during the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019, Portugal defeated Italy 6-4 to become champions for the second time, having previously claimed a maiden crown at home four years ago.
Jordan and Leo Martins were the Iberians’ best players in the showpiece match, combining for five of their side’s six goals. Jordan, as well as Be Martins and Andrade, all received individual awards recognising their strong performances throughout the tournament.
The Italians, meanwhile, were forced to collect runners-up medals for the second time in their history, mirroring their performance at Dubai 2008.
Gli Azzurri took the lead in the match, but fell out of the game; once they began linking up effectively again, it was just too late.
Russia, who had earlier come back from two goals down to beat Japan 5-4, finished third. Forward Fedor Zemskov scored a fine hat-trick to take his individual tally to ten goals, a total that earned him the adidas Bronze Scorer award.
Match for third place
Russia 5-4 Japan
Italy 4-6 Portugal
Moments of the day 📌
Tears of a talisman
As soon as the referee signalled the end of the final, Portuguese captain Madjer burst into tears. The living legend, who let it be known that the duel versus Italy was his last Beach Soccer World Cup appearance, can look back proudly on two global crowns and no fewer than 11 individual accolades.
Although Gabriele Gori was unable to propel Italy to World Cup glory, he did win his second consecutive adidas Golden Scorer award. The only player to previously achieve such a feat was Madjer, in 2005 and 2006.
After being crowned world champions in 2011 and 2013, and finishing third in 2015, the Russians secured their fourth successive top-three finish by beating Japan (they failed to qualify for the 2017 edition of the tournament). And how did the hosts of the next Beach Soccer World Cup celebrate? Facing the main stand, they took off their jerseys and flexed their muscles!
Applause for Ozu
After losing in the play-off for third place, the Japanese players went over to the area of the stadium where their fans were grouped, and as they were doing so, they received an ovation from the entire stadium. The most-cheered player was Ozu Moreira, who showed his appreciation with several bows. Later in the day, the Japan skipper would receive the adidas Golden Ball award, marking him out as the tournament’s most impressive performer.
Shots of the day 📸
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