The draw for the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Russia unfolded today at the Home of FIFA in Zurich.
Record five-time champions Brazil will square off against Switzerland, whom they beat in a thrilling Dubai 2009 final, 2011 semifinalists El Salvador and Belarus in a mouth-watering Group C.
Holders Portugal play Senegal, Uruguay and Oman in Group D, while Tahiti, the two-time runners-up, face an intriguing clash with Spain in Group B. United Arab Emirates and tournament newcomers Mozambique make up the pool.
Hosts Football Union of Russia will kick off the tournament on August 19 against USA. The teams have Japan and Paraguay for company in Group A.
“It’s a really difficult group,” said Brazil captain Bruno Xavier. “It’s certainly the toughest group. Belarus are a great side. Nico is an excellent coach and he knows Brazil very well.”
“Switzerland have been one of the toughest opponents for years, and El Salvador are another really strong side who did really well in qualifying. It’s wide open.”
Switzerland coach Angelo Schirinzi added: “It is a very difficult group. We don’t have to discuss Brazil. Belarus and El Salvador are also top teams.”
“But it’s a World Cup, so it’s a big challenge. I’m really looking forward to the tournament.”
Portugal legend Madjer, who helped conduct the draw, said, “It’s going to be a tough tournament. Portugal will face three national teams we know quite well because we played against them in previous World Cups. We hope to go through.”
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is set to kick off on August 19 in Moscow. The champions will be crowned on August 29. Russia 2021 will be the 11th edition of the competition and will be held in its entirety at the Luzhniki Olympic Complex.
“If Beach Soccer is synonymous with one thing, it’s entertainment,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “A great atmosphere, an electric pace, stunning showmanship and plenty of thrilling action.”
“Combine this with the spectacular location of Moscow, our wonderful hosts, and the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup promises to be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.”