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World Cup Champions Portugal Aim To Create Beach Soccer History In Dubai
(1 November 2015)


World Cup champions Portugal aim to create history at the 5th Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup in Dubai.

Portugal have already landed in Dubai for the event to be held at Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) from November 3-7. 

The Portuguese National team hope to add the Intercontinental Cup to round-off a perfect year, following their brilliant Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup and Euro Beach Soccer League triumphs.

They have already got down to business facing off against the UAE National side in a friendly game in Al Mamzar on Thursday.

The team’s captain, Joao Saraiva, more commonly known as Madjer, has had a tremendous career, but this past season has been better than he could have imagined. 

Having helped give his country two of the biggest titles, the Al Ahli superstar knows the expectations will be high in Dubai while granting him the opportunity to finalise a dream year.
“The difference compared to last year is that, first of all, this year we enter the competition as World and European champions, our rivals and the public will have their eyes set on us for sure, and certainly our supporters will expect a lot from us in this competition,” said Madjer, who will taking part in the Dubai event for only the second time.

The Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai has always brought together the best teams in the world, including the current world champions, and the leaders from each of the Confederations.

“We can't hide that we can still make history not only in Portugal but also in the world, winning the three major competitions in beach soccer in the same calendar year. We know the difficulties ahead, but we are aware that if we maintain our high level we are capable of winning the Intercontinental Cup too,” he added.
The challenges are evident this year for the Portuguese side but Dubai is a perfect setting to conclude their spectacular season, in part because it has become a beach soccer paradise over the years, and no one knows better than Madjer.

“Over the years there has been a huge evolution of local players thanks to the coaches who have been working with the UAE National team as well as the clubs. This evolution also is due to the Dubai Sports Council as well as the UAE Football Association,” he said.
The improvements are evident and though the competition will feature the UAE, Argentina, Egypt, Russia, Tahiti, Mexico, and Iran, Madjer and Portugal will still be favourites and hungry enough to win yet another competition.

For Madjer, moreover, playing in Dubai is always a very special feeling. 

The Portuguese star, one of the target men of Al Ahli as well, feels right at home in the emirate: “For me, Dubai is like my second home. I love it here. The city is great, and beach soccer is something everybody should feel very proud of. It is going to be very special to play in Dubai with my country.”

UAE head coach Gustavo 'Guga' Zloccowick is confident despite the tough opposition.

“For me as a coach, I am optimistic whenever I enter the competition or whatever it may be, I expect the best possible outcome and this year is not any different with UAE National Team. We are working very hard and the players understand our tactical systems more and more each day. Our first target to qualify for the semis and then who knows,” he said.

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