Although Spain boast a huge array of continental titles (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009) and have never failed to qualify for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, luck has deserted them on the global stage. Having fallen at the first hurdle in 2006, they reached the quarter-finals in 2005 and 2007, while last year they managed a fourth-place finish. Can they finally make the breakthrough in 2009?
La Roja again arrive as European champions, a title they worked very hard for in an exhausting but highly entertaining decider against Russia in Castellon last June. After a 4-4 draw in regulation time the tie was decided when a marathon penalty shootout went their way 13-12.
"I think we'll perform well in Dubai. We've got the experience, having played in a few different events at the top level. We need to remain focused because consistency doesn't come about by itself. Beach soccer really is a team game, and we have a great team spirit. When a player is in trouble on the pitch, whether in attack or defence, his team mates know they have to lend a hand," Roberto, Spain goalkeeper.
Facts and figures
David (2005), Alfonso, Julio Salinas, Johnny (2006), Javi Alvarez (2007), Miguel Beiro (2007).
Roberto (goalkeeper), Nico (defender), Amarelle (winger), Javi Torres (defender), Cristian Torres (defender), Juanma (defender).
Spain won the qualifying tournament with five victories and one draw, the latter coming in the final against Russia when they triumphed from the penalty spot. In those 6 games Spain scored 43 goals and conceded 18.
The numbers game
4 - Editions of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup staged to date, with fourth place being Spain's best finish.