For FIFA’s Technical Study Group, there were a raft of valuable conclusions to be drawn from the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019, all of which can be found in the tournament’s typically detailed and comprehensive technical report, which is now available on FIFA.com.
In Paraguay, the TSG consisted of Trinidadian Brent Rahim, FIFA Beach Soccer and Futsal Development Manager; Spaniard Ramiro Amarelle, a former beach soccer international; and Canada’s Ross Ongaro, a FIFA coach and instructor in the speciality.
Among the report’s most significant conclusions were the different attacking styles that helped Portugal and Italy to unlock increasingly physical and disciplined defences and claim the winners’ and runners-up’ spots respectively.
While the Portuguese were one of the few teams who banked on building attacks from the back, a tactic they deployed successfully due to the ability of their highly skilled players to find space, the Italians sought to get the ball into their opponents’ half as quickly as possible using counter-attacks often launched by their goalkeeper. This tactic allowed the Azzurri to take full advantage of the remarkable scoring ability of their pivots.
In fact, the role of the goalkeeper was a specific trait analysed in the report. The goalkeeper is already considered one of the main players on the team, as he touches the ball more than any outfield player and frequently decides which play to execute and consequently its tempo.
The report also highlights how coaches have assimilated advances in the game’s speed and intensity, substituting players an average of every two to three minutes. The outliers in this trend were Russia, who made changes on average every 90 seconds, and Italy, with one every three minutes.
The technical report, which underlines the importance of development programmes as a key building block in beach soccer growth, can be downloaded HERE.