The curtain has come down on the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2007 and despite going down 8-2 to Brazil, the Mexico squad are all smiles. In their first appearance in the finals, the Aztecas surprised everyone by reaching the final.
The man with the broadest smile of all, however, is Morgan Plata, the recipient of two thoroughly merited awards. His eight goals and one assist were enough to win him the adidas Silver Shoe as the tournament's second highest scorer. To cap it all the front man also pocketed the adidas Bronze Shoe as the third best player in the world after garnering 9 per cent of the votes.
Understandably elated with his achievements, the 25-year-old front man emerged from the dressing room to chat exclusively to FIFA.com.
Morgan, how do you feel right now?
On a personal level I'm very happy about reaching the final, and so are the team. We had a great tournament, we showed a lot of dedication, and we're leaving with our heads held high.
Were you surprised at how dominant Brazil were in the
We had a feeling they'd come out and play like that, much more focused than in the earlier game. They know how to play in finals and they had their fans behind them too. The main difference is that they were brought up playing beach soccer and Mexico have only been playing for four or five months. You could see that clearly in the final.
What was the turning point of the match for you?
The penalty when we were 3-1 down. We could have got to within a goal, but that's football for you. Anyone can miss a penalty and today it was Oscar's [Gonzalez] turn. It could just as easily have been me. Oscar and all the team should be content inside because we gave everything.
Which award were you more surprised to win?
Both of them! But, of course, that's what you work towards. You always want to do the best you can for your team and I hope I did that. Things just started to go my way but I wouldn't have achieved anything if it hadn't been for the rest of the guys.
What does the future hold for the Mexico team?
We need to keep on working now. If we can keep these players together, keep on picking up experience and maintain the same attitude we had here, I'm sure we can be among the best again next year.