The 2021 Beach Soccer World Cup begins today, August 19, with four games on the schedule. This tournament marks the 11th edition of the premier beach soccer tournament.
This year, Moscow hosts 16 teams from around the world to compete in the 11-day event.
The tournament happens every two years. In the 2019 tournament, Portugal won their second championship.
In terms of the most successful team, the honor belongs to Brazil. The Brazilians won four-consecutive Beach Soccer World Cups from 2006 to 2009. Then, the tournament occurred annually. Portugal is tied with Russia on two titles, and France won the inaugural competition.
This year, the 16 nations competing in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup come from around the world. Portugal, Spain, Belarus, Russia and Switzerland represent the European participants.
Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, El Salvador and the United States hail from North, Central and South America. Japan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are the Asian nations in attendance. Additionally, two African nations Senegal and Mozambique send teams to the tournament. Finally, Tahiti makes a return for the sixth time.
Beach soccer is an attacking-minded sport. To encourage goals, no game can end in a tie. Unlike the standard FIFA World Cup, beach soccer games always go to extra time and penalties, even in group stage games.
The format of the tournament largely reflects the standard FIFA World Cup, just half the teams. Four groups with four teams each. The winner and runner-up in each group advance to the quarterfinals. From there, it’s a standard single-game elimination tournament.