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BEACH SOCCER

Over the past decade, Beach Soccer has journeyed from the beaches of Brazil to the hearts of millions of fans all over the globe. The participation of internationally renowned players such as flamboyant Frenchman Eric Cantona , legendary Spanish strikers Michel and Julio Salinas and Brazilian samba stars such as Romario , Junior and Zico has helped to expand television coverage to large audiences in over 170 countries worldwide, making Beach Soccer one of the fastest growing professional sports in the world and converting it into a major showcase for international commercial opportunity.

Beach Soccer had been played recreationally all over the world for many years and in many different formats but it wasn't until 1992 that the laws of the game were envisioned and a pilot event staged in Los Angeles. The following summer, the first professional beach soccer competition was organized at Miami Beach, with teams from the USA, Brazil, Argentina and Italy taking part in what would turn out to be an historic event.

In April 1994 the first event to be covered by network television transmissions was held on the Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro and the city hosted the inaugural Beach Soccer World Championship one year later. The competition was won by the host nation, making Brazil the first ever World Champions of Beach Soccer . The success of the tournament saw commercial interest begin to match developments on the pitch and growing demand for the sport around the world gave rise to the Pro Beach Soccer Tour in 1996.

The first Pro Beach Soccer Tour included a total of 60 games in two years across South America, Europe, Asia and the USA, attracting major names both on and off the pitch. Interest generated by the tour in Europe led to the creation of the European Pro Beach Soccer League in 1998, providing a solid infrastructure that would increase the professionalism of the spectacle on all levels. The EPBSL , now known as the Euro BS League, united promoters from across the continent and satisfied the demands of the media, sponsors and fans. Only four years on from its creation, the successful first step in the building of a legitimate Worldwide Competition Structure for the sport of Pro Beach Soccer had been taken.

The euro BS league flourished, with a nail-biting 2000 season decided in the closing match of the final tournament when Spain beat Portugal in an intense encounter.

The next four years would see this growth consolidated by further progress both on and off the pitch, with the Euro BS League emerging as the strongest Pro Beach Soccer competition in the world. By 2004, some 17 nations had entered teams, and 20 in 2009, leading to more than seventy countries looking to stage events.

Since 2009, Beach Soccer has been a part of the FIFA family. In May, the first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was staged on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. The event was  fantastic opportunity for fans to watch the top stars of the sport, including Neném, (Brazil), Amarelle (Spain), Madjer (Portugal), Meier (Switzerland) and Sciortino (France).  To everyone's surprise, France defeated Portugal in the final, after disposing of favourites Brazil in the semis.

Roll of honour at the 11 Beach Soccer World Championships

2009

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners: France
Runners-Up: Portugal
Third: Brazil
Player of the tournament: Madjer (POR)
Top goalscorer : Madjer (POR) - 12 buts
Goals: 164 (average 8.2)
 

2004

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners: Brazil
Runners-up: Spain
Third: Portugal
Player of the tournament: Jorginho (BRA)
Top goalscorer: Madjer (POR) 12 goals
Best goalkeeper: Roberto (ESP)
Goals : 155 (average: 7.8) 
2003

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners: Brazil
Runners-up: Spain
Third: Portugal
Player of the tournament: Amarelle (ESP)
Top goalscorer: Neném (BRA) 15 goals
Best goalkeeper: Robertinho (BRA)
Goals: 150 (average: 9.4) 
2002

Vitória (Espirito Santos) and Guarujá (São Paulo) (BRA)
Winners : Brazil
Runners-up: Portugal
Third: Uruguay
Player of the tournament: Neném (BRA)
Top goalscorer: Neném (BRA) , Madjer (POR) and Nico (URU) 9 goals
Best goalkeeper: Nomcharoen (THA)
Goals: 145 (average: 9.1) 
2001

Costa do Sauípe, Bahia (BRA)
Winners : Portugal
Runners-up: France
Third: Argentina
Player of the tournament: Hernani (POR)
Top goalscorer: Alan (POR) 10 goals
Best goalkeeper: Olmeta (FRA)
Goals: 144 (average: 7.2) 
2000

Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners : Brazil
Runners-up: Peru
Third: Spain
Player of the tournament: Júnior (BRA)
Top goalscorer: Júnior (BRA) 13 goals
Best goalkeeper: Kato (JPN)
Goals: 172 (average: 8.6) 
1999

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners : Brazil
Runners-up: Portugal
Third: Uruguay
Player of the tournament: Jorginho (BRA)
Top goalscorer: Júnior (BRA) and Matosas (URU) 10 goals
Best goalkeeper: Pedro Crespo (POR)
Goals: 186 (average: 9.3) 
1998

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners : Brazil
Runners-up: France
Third: Uruguay
Player of the tournament: Júnior (BRA)
Top goalscorer: Júnior (BRA) 14 goals
Best goalkeeper: Paulo Sérgio (BRA)
Goals: 219 (average: 9.1)

1997

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners : Brazil
Runners-up: Uruguay
Third: USA
Player of the tournament: Júnior (BRA)
Top goalscorer: Júnior (BRA) and Venâncio Ramos (URU) 11 goals
Best goalkeeper: Paulo Sérgio (BRA)
Goals: 144 (average: 9.0) 
1996

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners : Brazil
Runners-up: Uruguay
Third: Italy
Player of the tournament: Edinho (BRA)
Top goalscorer: Altobelli (ITA) 14 goals
Best goalkeeper: Paulo Sérgio (BRA)
Goals: 131 (average: 8.2) 
1995

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Winners : Brazil
Runners-up: USA
Third: England
Player of the tournament: Zico (BRA) and Júnior (BRA)
Top goalscorer: Zico (BRA) and Altobelli (ITA) 12 goals
Best goalkeeper: Paulo Sérgio (BRA)
Goals: 149 (average: 9.3)

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HISTORY OF WORLD CUP WINNERS 
                                1930-Uruguay - Uruguay 4-2 Argentina
1934-Italy 
Italy 2-1 Czechoslovakia 
1938-France
 Italy 4-2 Hungary
1950-Brazil
 Uruguay 2-1 Brazil 
1954-Switzerland
 Germany 3-2 Hungary
1958-Sweden
 Brazil 5-2 Sweden
1962-Chile
 Brazil 3-1 Czechoslovakia
1966-England 
 England 4-2 Germany
1970-Mexico
 Brazil 4-1 Italy
1974-Germany
 Germany 2-1 Holland
1978-Argentina
 Argentina 3-1 Holland 
1982-Spain
 Italy 3-1 Germany
1986-Mexico
 Argentina 3-2 Germany 
1990-Italy 
 Germany 1-0 Argentina
1994-US 
 Brazil 3-2 Italy (on pens) 
1998-France 
 France 3-0 Brazil
2002-Japan/korea
 Germany 0-2 Brazil
2009-Germany
Italy
World Cup 2006
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