Multi-talented Mounoud pulls out all the stops
Switzerland finished third at Russia 2021
Eliott Mounoud won the Golden Glove award
He scored twice in Switzerland’s win over Senegal in the match for third place
Switzerland had to dig deep to prevail in the match for third place against Senegal at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021™. After all, just the day before, the European side had come so close to earning a spot in the final. A goal up against hosts RFU with only 20 seconds left on the clock in their semi-final, the Swiss conceded a late, late equalizer and then lost out on penalties in the cruellest of fashions. However, Switzerland keeper Eliott Mounoud did win top honours to go along with his bronze medal: the adidas Golden Glove award. The award is well deserved, given Mounoud’s stellar performances in Russia. In the match for third place, Senegal’s Raoul Mendy was the latest star striker to find his route to goal blocked by the flying Swiss. Two minutes from the end of the second period, the shot-stopper somehow kept out Mendy’s free-kick from 10 metres out. Then, as if to add insult to injury, the man from Geneva conspired to score two vital goals – the very margin that ended up separating the sides.
“How did I do? Pretty good! My style of play is quite attacking. I like to go for goal when I can, and today it came off. I think I helped the team and that makes me happy,” Mounoud told FIFA.com. “We were gutted yesterday, so we went out there today to win. Coming home with a bronze medal means a lot to us.”
Mounoud edged out several other great keepers, including Russians Maksim Chuzhkov and Stanislav Kosharnyi, Japan’s Yusuke Kawai and Senegal’s Seyni N’Diaye to lift the adidas Golden Glove award. “It’s a trophy that I had dreamt of winning. Beach soccer is my life and I work very hard, so it’s great when that hard work pays off!”
Eliott is a worthy winner, given the ease with which he juggles the ball with his knee, and the way he has learnt to deal with the four-second rule that prevents goalkeepers from keeping possession beyond that time. Mounoud’s shot-stopping ability is quite something too. “I’ve been a keeper since I was a small kid. It’s what I do,” he said: “But I have always enjoyed using my feet too!”
He represents the future of Beach Soccer. He is very gifted with his feet, and not just when juggling the ball: his distribution is great and his shooting is excellent. He knows how to mix up short passes with longer balls and pulls off great saves as well. It’s almost as though the four-second rule was made for him. He is phenomenal!
Mounoud speaks five languages and is an all-round sporting sensation, not only at beach soccer but also at paddle-tennis. “I’m not perfect,” he insists. “I’m a terrible cook, for example, but I make up for it by washing up!”
Eliott is proud to take home the adidas Golden Glove: “We may not have been crowned world champions but I know I line up alongside the best players in the world,” he said. That sentiment is no doubt shared by Mounoud’s team-mates who can rightly point out that they have the world’s top goalkeeper in their ranks.