Madjer invites Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo ,Suarez on sand

 The legendary Madjer invites Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo and Suarez on to the sand

He sees Brazil as the biggest threat to holders Portugal at Russia 2021

“I think it will be the most difficult World Cup ever

For many footballers of a certain age, the prospect of swapping boots for flip-flops and heading off for sun, sea and sand after a gruelling career will hold an enticing appeal. But when Portuguese legend Madjer invites some of the game’s legends to the beach there isn’t much relaxation involved. 

Madjer invites Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo ,Suarez on sand

“I think there’s some of them who could do great on the beach,” said the two-time FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup™ winner. “We have Cristiano Ronaldo, we have [Lionel] Messi, we have Luis Suarez, we have Neymar. So if they want to try, they can join us. We’ll be there, arms open to them.”

ESPINHO, PORTUGAL - JULY 19: Madjer of Portugal reacts during the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Final match between Tahiti and Portugal held at Espinho Stadium on July 19, 2015 in Espinho, Portugal. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017

Madjer – A Career in Numbers

Madjer, the top goalscorer in FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup history, was pivotal to Portugal’s success across a 22-year career. But as Russia 2021 kicks off, with his country out to defend their title, the 44-year-old will have to contend himself with a different kind of role.

"When I look on to the pitch, because we have already had the qualification and some other tournaments, it’s really a pleasure to look at those kids playing and growing up in Portugal,” he said. “So I’m glad – not glad because I’m outside [the squad], because I still want to play – but on the other hand we have great potential, we have great kids with potential, they can do a great job, so I’m really glad to be a part of this history. But now it’s up to them.

“Now I’m working with the federation. I’m the Beach Soccer Coordinator under the Portuguese FA. We are doing a great job. We are bringing some other creations, more competitions, women are playing. The national team is getting some of the new players that are coming from our competitions. It’s our role model, so I’m glad that I’m doing that and I keep being in a family.”

Brazil, five-time champions, are who Madjer expects to be the biggest threat to Portugal’s title, although he is wary too of the challenge that will come from Group D opponents Senegal, Uruguay and Oman.

“We always have Brazil, who are eternally the team who can win, that can beat everybody,” he said. “But we are growing a lot, all of the teams are growing a lot, so I think it will be the most difficult World Cup ever.

“We have Brazil, we have Russia playing at home, but also we have Paraguay, Tahiti, Spain, Belarus, the newcomers Mozambique that I had the pleasure to see them play already in qualification and they played quite well. So it’s going to be tough, but to be a world champion you have to beat all the teams that show up.

“It’s strong teams but we are going to play against teams that we know that we’ve played in the previous World Cups, so I know they are becoming stronger and stronger each year. But we are already also prepared to do our best to try and keep the trophy with us.” Certainly, he is optimistic that for a new generation of beach soccer internationals, there will be memories to cherish from this tournament.

“I have two [memories] that I cannot keep away: the World Cup that I won in Portugal in 2015,” said Madjer. “It was great because we were playing with our own crowd and it was an amazing feeling. And my last one in Paraguay because it was my last game and I finished

as a world champion. It was something fantastic.


“Everyone is looking forward to it because it’s the greatest event that can happen. I had the pleasure to play this sport for 22 years and it’s really nice to have this sport in Russia.

“They also have a lot of people who love the sport. They are improving a lot and like Portugal, we’re going to try and do our part.”

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