Numbers in the sand
Since coming under the banner of FIFA in 2005, beach soccer has developed steadily, thanks in no small part to the stunning settings of its tournaments, its players’ gravity-defying skills and a never-ending stream of goals.
From September 1-11 next, the Italian city of Ravenna will host the sixth edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which you can follow game-by-game on FIFA.com. As the countdown continues to the big event, where more records will surely be set, we take a look back at some of the key stats of the five previous editions, the last four of which have been won by Brazil.
8.47 - The average number of goals per game, based on 1254 strikes in 148 games to date. No tournament has averaged less than eight goals per game, with the highest scoring edition to date being the 2009 event in Rio de Janeiro, which produced 8.94.
215 - The number of goals netted by four-time winners Brazil, unsurprisingly the highest scoring nation in the tournament’s history. O Seleção managed this in the course of 29 fixtures, averaging 7.4 goals a game. Portugal are a distant second on 161.
21 - The highest number of goals scored in a single game. That unforgettable fixture – the match for third place at the last edition, Dubai 2009 – saw Portugal prevail 14-7 against Uruguay. Lusitanian sharp-shooter Madjer helped himself to seven of those, in so doing setting a new tournament record for most goals by an individual in one game.
67 - That feat is far from the only record held by the prolific Portuguese No7. His 67 goals, for example, make him by far the tournament’s top scorer – the tally being almost double that of the next highest-scorer, Buru of Brazil. He also holds the record for most hat-tricks, 12, which goes a long way to explaining why he has won the adidas Golden Boot on three occasions (2005, 06, 08) and the Golden Ball on another two (2005, 06). All that’s missing now is a world title.
0 - Perhaps no stat is more impressive than the number of games Brazil have lost in this tournament during regulation time. On the one occasion O Seleção were knocked out of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, in the semi-final of the inaugural edition in 2005, they lost on penalties to Portugal after a 6-6 draw. In 2007 in the group phase, Brazil also drew 2-2 with Russia, on this occasion winning the subsequent penalty shootout. Their other 27 games have all ended in victory, the last 25 coming in succession.
To discover more records and historic feats at the Beach Soccer World Cup, click on the link on your right to access the Statistics Kit (in English)