Agony and ecstasy for Buru
Thirty-six minutes of agony culminated in ecstasy for Buru on Saturday at the Stade du Prado. There, the catalyst behind Brazil's charge to FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup glory last year watched on, suspended, as his team-mates recovered three deficits to snatch a place in the final of Marseille 2008.
"That was torture," gasped Buru following the Seleção's 5-4 win over Portugal. "I was so nervous. I just wanted to be out there, helping my team. It was the first time I've been suspended in the World Cup and I didn't enjoy it."
The experience may not have been to Buru's liking, but the result certainly was. "It was a great victory against a very good team," he said. ".
"Portugal have come on a long way. They have a number of excellent players. They performed really well today and it was a very even game that could have gone either way. Fortunately when the pressure was on, Bruno struck a wonderful goal to win it for us."
The No6 was not the only Brazilian player to receive praise from the reigning FIFA World Player. "Mao, in my opinion anyway, is the best keeper in the world. He's the complete keeper and he's at his peak. He produced some crucial saves today to keep us in the game," remarked Buru. "Andre was also decisive for us today, and Benjamin played another important game. For me, he's been one of the three best players in this competition, along with Belchior and (Roberto) Pasquali."
When Brazil take to pitch against Italy today, however, Buru will reassume the burden of inspiring his side to their third FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup title. "I'm desperate for the final," he exclaimed. "I can't wait to play. I did not enjoy being on the sidelines. I'm a player and any player just wants to play. There's no bigger match than the final of the World Cup, so I'm really looking forward to it."