Road to the Bahamas
Mexico got their campaign at the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship underway in style, sailing through to the knockout stage as Group B winners with a perfect record thanks to emphatic victories over Guadeloupe (9-2), Canada (8-3) and Barbados (10-0). The reigning champions made equally light work of their quarter-final tie against Trinidad and Tobago, prevailing 5-1, before booking their ticket to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 with a comfortable 3-0 win over Guadeloupe, again, in the semi-finals. However, a 4-2 defeat by Panama in the final meant that they relinquished their regional crown.
Strengths and style
Mexico displayed impressive firepower in the qualifying competition, with Ramon Maldonado – the tournament's joint-leading scorer with 12 goals – and Diego Rodriguez forging a lethal connection. El Tri were also resolute in defence, where goalkeeper Diego Villasenor caught the eye. The youngster was awarded the Golden Glove after conceding just ten times throughout the event, while the players ahead of him did a sterling job of nullifying many of their opponents.
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup record
Mexico have become a major force on the sand under Ramon Raya. Indeed, they were a revelation on their Beach Soccer World Cup debut at Brazil 2007, where they were surprise runners-up. That remains their best-ever showing at the competition. They failed to get out of the group stage at Marseille 2008 and Portugal 2015, did not qualify for Dubai 2009 or Tahiti 2013, and reached the quarter-finals at Ravenna/Italy 2011, where they were beaten by eventual champions Russia.