Dubai, UAE, October 29, 2017: Brazil coach Gilberto Costa maintains his side's incredible winning run, which stretches back over 40 matches, does not add any extra pressure as they prepare to defend their title at the Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai.
The Verdeamarela head to the seventh edition of the Dubai Sports Council-organised event, to be held at Marasi Business Bay between October 31 and November 4, as the undoubted kings of the sport and with a proud recent record to maintain.
Crowned FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup winners in May, Gilberto's side have won every competition they have taken part in over the last two years thanks to a hugely impressive 42-match winning streak. Many nations have come close to ending that run and Brazil will again come up against some of their closest rivals in Dubai, but the Brazil boss is relishing the opportunity.
“No, the invincibility record does not add any extra pressure for us,” he said. “We know that there are around 10 national teams in the world who are at the highest level, which means that eventually, the first defeat will come because our opponents are working hard, too.
“We know that there is no such thing as an invincible team but our commitment is just to do our best always, in every second of every game or training session. For us, the prospect of delivering even just a little less is not acceptable.”
Brazil will go up against their nearest challengers in Dubai – second-placed Portugal – while Iran and Russia, third and fourth in the rankings respectively, are among the big hitters in Group B. With hosts UAE, Egypt, Mexico and Paraguay also seeking to make an impact in one of the sport's most keenly contested events, Gilberto acknowledges what a task his team face to defend their title.
“The Huawei Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup is the hardest and most important of the annual competitions and second only to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup,” he added. “Therefore, we expect a tight competition, with very good game.
“We were drawn in the same group as Portugal, who are former world champions and who can call on some terrific players such as Jordan Santos or Be Martins, who are playing at an incredible level.
“The UAE have also grown a lot during this last season, and, playing at home, they will show that extra spirit that turns them into a very dangerous team. Egypt also have some good attacking players, so we will need to be careful if we do not want them to catch us by surprise.”
Regular visitors to the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup will be used to Brazil's unique samba style on the sand and that's something Gilberto is eager to show off again, with the likes of Mauricinho, Rodrigo and Bruno Xavier set to supply the skills once again.
But Brazil will also work on a few new tricks and routines this time around, with Gilberto revealing: “We will keep playing with the intensity and pace we have been playing in the last months.
“We will try to bring some tactical evolutions, but not drastic changes. Of course, we will thoroughly analyse our opponents and adapt our approach to better tackle their strengths and expose their weaknesses. What we really want is to Brazil play better and faster than ever.”