1995 Beach Soccer World Championship
The 1995 Beach Soccer World Championship was the first edition of the Beach Soccer World Championships, the most prestigious competition in international beach soccer contested by men's national teams. It was organised by Brazilian sports agency Koch Tavares (one of the founding partners of Beach Soccer Worldwide), with the championships ultimately coming under the control of FIFA in 2005 and subsequently rebranded as the better known FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
|I Mundial de futebol de areia|
|Dates||January 24 – January 29|
|Teams||8 (from 3 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||1 (in 1 host city)|
|Champions||Brazil (1st title)|
|Goals scored||149 (9.31 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Zico|
|Best player(s)|| Zico|
|Best goalkeeper||Paulo Sérgio|
The tournament took place at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The hosts and heavy favourites Brazil won the tournament by beating the United States 8–1 in the final, coming from behind to claim their first world title.
The event was notable for featuring many high profile ex-association footballers, fuelling its popularity, including the likes of the Brazilians Zico, Júnior and Cláudio Adão, Italian 1982 World Cup winners Alessandro Altobelli and Claudio Gentile, Franco Causio, England's Gary Stevens and Luther Blissett, West German international Rainer Bonhof and brothers René and Willy van de Kerkhof of the Netherlands' 1978 World Cup runners-up squad.
In 1994, Koch Tavares organised the first international beach soccer competition in Brazil, the Mundialito de beach soccer, a small 4-team event, in view of understanding how commercially successful beach soccer could be in the region. It featured Brazil, Argentina, Italy and the United States and was dubbed an "unofficial World Cup". The Mundialito was deemed a huge success, which gave Koch Tavares the incentive to organise a fully-fledged international competition. This conception materialised a year later in 1995 as this, the maiden Beach Soccer World Championships – a larger and longer eight team event compared to the Mundialito.
The following format was decided upon by the organisers for the maiden edition of the championships: the eight participating nations competed in two groups of four teams in a round robin format. The top two teams progressed straight to the semi-finals from which point on the championship was played as a knock-out tournament until a winner was crowned with an additional match to determine third place.
The launch of the tournament took place from 12:30 onwards on January 18th at the Rio Internacional Hotel which involved the press and guests attending to see the opening presentation of the World Championships as well as explanations of the rules of the newly founded sport and the tournament's schedule. Furthermore, the Brazilian team was also revealed to the press and engaged in interviews.
The presence of Zico as part of the Brazilian squad, who made over 70 appearances for the Brazilian national association football team, gained considerable attention in the local press prior to the start of the championship. Zico revealed at the launch he accepted an invitation from his friend and Brazilian team captain, Júnior, to play at the event, despite claiming to be "out of shape" now aged 41, having retired from football a year earlier.
Following the launch, official training for the World Championships began the next day on January 19th on pitches external to the beach arena, in front of Copacabana Palace, concluding with training sessions inside the arena on January 23rd.
The draw to split the eight teams into Groups A and B was conducted on January 21st at the Rio Internacional Hotel. Brazil and Argentina were allocated as heads of the two respective groups, with the other six teams then drawn to accompany them.
The Championships were part of the 1st Olympic Summer Festival (Festival Olímpico de Verão), taking place in the Copacabana beach arena with a capacity of 12,000. Entry to all games was free of charge for fans.
There was no qualification process for the first Beach Soccer World Championships; nations were simply invited to play. However such invites were not random – specific nations were summoned.
Koch Tavares, the tournament organisers, decided that as the first World Cup of beach soccer, since the sport is a derivative of association football, it would be fitting for the six winners of the FIFA World Cup of football throughout history (as of 1995) to field a team in Rio (being hosts Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Uruguay, England and Germany) and as such the aforementioned nations were invited to play, all of which accepted the opportunity.
To make up the numbers, the Netherlands and the United States, despite having never won a FIFA World Cup title, were also invited as "guests".
Africa, Asia and Oceania were unrepresented.
|1||Brazil||3||3||0||0||31||8||+23||9||Advance to knockout stage|
|1||United States||3||3||0||0||11||4||+7||9||Advance to knockout stage|
- Argentina, England and Germany were tied on 3 points each and one win against each other and the same goal difference (0) in their head-to-head records
- The nations were than ranked based on goals scored in the matches between the three in the head-to-head results (ENG 9, GER 7, ARG 3)
January 27th was allocated as a rest day.
Third place play-offEdit
Blisset 20', 34', 36'
Cunningham 25', 36' (p)
|Report|| 6' Causio
8' (p), 9' (p), 31' Altobelli
14', 26' Soldá
| 1995 Beach Soccer World Championship|
- "Brasil tem Zico como reforco". Jornal do Brasil (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. January 19, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Brasil e favorito no Mundial". Jornal dos Sports (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. January 24, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- Dattoli, Vicente (January 30, 1995). "Esporte ganhara circuito internacional". Jornal do Brasil (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Beach Soccer" (in Portuguese). kochtavares.com.br. 1 February 1998. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Beach Soccer promove mundial em Copacabana". Jornal do Commercio (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. January 2, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Zico sera atracao do Beach Soccer". Jornal dos Sports (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. January 16, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Zico reforca o Brasil o Mundial de futebol de areia". O Fluminense (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. January 19, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Brasil completo no Beach Soccer". Jornal dos Sports (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. January 18, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Zico e Altobelli sao atracoes no Mundial". Jornal do Brasil (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. January 23, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- (Note that other articles dated before the 21st claim the draw was to take place at the beach soccer arena on Copacabana beach,  however this article referenced, dated after the draw, suggests an unexplained decision to change location of the draw in the meantime, and that it happened at the Rio Internacional Hotel.)"Brasil estreia contra Holanda no beach soccer". Jornal dos Sports (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro. January 23, 1995. Retrieved July 6, 2017.